UNITED STATES

Population: Over 313 million
Government: Democracy
Land Mass: 9,826,675 square miles
Currency: U.S. Dollar
Primary Religion: Christian
Infant Mortality Rate (per 1,000 births): 6.0

Chile | Colombia | Dominican Republic | Ecuador | Guatemala | Honduras | India | Mexico | Philippines | United States | Zambia

Perhaps no country in the world is as diverse as the United States. Geographically, it is home to arid deserts, towering mountains, wind-swept plains, river valleys, frozen tundra and everything in between. And its cultural makeup is as diverse as its geography. The United States is home to people who are descended from immigrants who come from every corner of the globe. Despite this diversity, and the United States’ prominence in the world political and economic stage, it is a young country and has growing issues with poverty. In recent years, economic woes have had a significant impact, leaving nearly half of all Americans struggling economically – with those classified as living below the poverty line reaching nearly 50 million.

OUR WORK IN THE UNITED STATES

Children International’s United States sponsorship program, known as Share America®, is located in Little Rock, Arkansas – a city with some of the highest child poverty rates in the nation –  and operates as a joint effort between Children International and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Working with over 30 partner organizations, including the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Share America provides vital services to impoverished children and youth in Little Rock. Some of these include: medical and dental screenings, after-school tutoring programs, summer camps, school uniforms, youth activities and college-prep courses. For parents of sponsored children, Share America offers computer training and GED classes for adults, a service that helps parents of sponsored children improve their job skills and increase their earning power.

Help a child

HARD TRUTHS

  • Poverty is still a major problem in the United States. Currently, 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. The rate is higher in Arkansas, which has an overall poverty rate of 19% and a child poverty rate of 29%.

  • While the United States is known as the land of opportunity, it has a much lower rate of socio-economic mobility than most other advanced nations. Children born into poverty in the U.S. have a very low likelihood of ever escaping it.

  • Unemployment remains a serious concern, with the rate hovering above 7%, and in some states reaching as high as 9%.

  • Nearly 1.6 million American children are homeless each year.

CHALLENGES

Prolonged economic difficulties touch working-class Americans the hardest, and the worldwide recession that began in 2008 continues to linger in the U.S. The average income for sponsored families in Little Rock is $1,575 per month, with most of that being spent for housing and food.

Solutions

  • Nearly 3,000 children and youth are receiving the support of sponsorship in Little Rock.

  • Because sponsorship benefits cost more in the U.S., each sponsored child in Little Rock has multiple sponsors.

  • Sponsored children have access to after-school programs that include academic and social enrichment courses and give them a safe, constructive place to be until parents arrive home from work.

  • Summer camps are held for sponsored children and youth where they can learn about starting and managing small businesses.

  • Sponsored children have access to the Future Smiles Clinic, a school-based dental program that helps improve their oral health and overall well-being.

  • Computer courses are offered to sponsored children and youth to help them develop job skills.

  • College-prep courses help sponsored youth prepare to apply for and succeed in college. This includes access to grant and tuition resources.

  • GED courses are provided for parents of sponsored children.

The Full Story

Click on the titles below to watch videos and slideshows or read stories about our programs in Little Rock:

Freedom from Poverty in the U.S.

Needy children

A closer look at how the sponsorship program in Little Rock, Arkansas, works to help poor children and youth reach for the American Dream. More...
July 1, 2010 – Tags: single mothers in Little Rock, poverty in the United States

Sharing America through Sponsorship
August 27, 2007 – Tags: Children International program in Little Rock, sponsor American children

A Unique State of Sponsorship
August 10, 2009 – Tags: sponsorship video, poverty and sponsorship U.S.

 
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