fighting poverty by empowering children
Children in impoverished communities need the essentials: health care, safety and education — that’s step one. But to truly end generational poverty, children must have hope for the future and see possibilities for themselves beyond their circumstances. At Children International, we believe confidence grows as children develop leadership skills, understand social responsibility and take an active role in their community. When you make a gift to our empowerment programs, you’re supporting life-changing initiatives that build teamwork and encourage children to make an impact that lasts.
Programs tailored to fit the need
Around the world, every community has distinct needs and suffers from its own set of obstacles. In the Dominican Republic, one in 10 teenage girls became pregnant in 2013. While in Colombia, the high rate of poverty leads to an increase in gang affiliation among youth. Our team assesses the conditions in every country we serve to create specific programs to help children overcome the challenges of their community and end poverty for good.
Let’s talk about giving
If you’re interested in making a major gift to Children International programs, please contact our Global Philanthropy team at 816-943-3834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A natural leader, Edilma became the first girl to play on the youth program's soccer team and ultimately began encouraging other girls to play as well. Breaking down barriers helped Edilma envision a better future for herself and believe her dreams were possible.
Here are some of the ways we work to empower children:
Games and sports
Why: Games and sports not only teach the value of teamwork and empathy, they build life skills like self-awareness, problem-solving and the ability to cope with emotions or stress.
Why: Art forms like dance, singing, music, drawing, painting and theater help sponsored children and youth learn to express their emotions in new and creative ways. Additionally, they develop life skills like decision-making, communication, self-awareness and problem-solving.
Why: As democratically elected Youth Council members, youth learn to manage funds and spearhead projects like neighborhood cleanup initiatives or community literacy programs, while building leadership skills and helping create solutions for their communities.
Financial Education & Responsibility
Why: Using a proven curriculum from partners like Aflatoun, participants receive social and financial education that empowers them to make a positive change for a sustainable future. Aflatoun programs have inspired young people to become entrepreneurs or continue their education with the ultimate goal of making an impact in their communities.
Community Youth Reporters
Why: Through journalism, Community Youth Reporters gain important life skills like creative and critical thinking, communication and appreciating diversity. They also have access to new technologies and equipment through channels like digital and radio media. With these tools, sponsored youth not only have a better chance of completing school, getting a good job and living a healthy life — they bring community issues to light so leaders can help bring about much-needed change.
Did you know?
Direct links between empowerment and breaking free from poverty are real. Self-confidence, personal responsibility and aspirations for the future are associated with an increase in the ability to escape poverty. Check out more facts about poverty and empowerment here.
More of the story
Each year, we survey the youth in our programs and analyze the results. The outcome is our annual Youth Report Card. This comprehensive report provides detailed evidence that youth graduating from our program are more capable, confident and ready to improve their lives and communities.
Why focus on empowerment?
In many impoverished communities, children have never seen an example of a person or families pulling themselves out of poverty. They can’t imagine it. It’s too hard to believe. That’s why it’s crucial to give children the tools to create lasting change in their life and the confidence to lead their family out of poverty. Our programs foster social responsibility through leadership, life skills and employment training workshops so children are empowered to make an impact for the next generation.
What gets measured?
Empowering children means equipping them with life-skills and social responsibility. When we measure empowerment, we look at the following:
- Strengthened life skills, measured by the percent of individuals who self-report having a strong competency in the long list of essential life skills as defined by the World Health Organization.
Life skills include: self-awareness, critical thinking, effective communication and more.
- Increased social responsibility, measured by data that identifies the percent of individuals who self-report having a strong competency in social responsibility.
Social responsibility includes: Empathy, conflict resolution, valuing group work and more.
Fast Fact: Some of our artists are going International. Due to their dedication, leadership skills and talent, two of our young musicians from the Dominican Republic were invited to perform at the OneWorld Symphony Festival in Washington, D.C.
Results in Action
Sport for Development
Nearly 19,500 children participated in our Sport for Development program in 2018. The program helped children practice life-skills and revitalized disadvantaged communities. 94% of children said playing sports in their community created a caring climate, while 93% said it made them value group work.
In 2018, over 6,800 young artists and musicians performed or held exhibits in their communities.
Youth Councils across all Children International locations created projects that helped over 150,000 people in their communities.
Aflatoun International serves 5.4 million internationally, including Children International sponsored youth.
Community Youth Reporter
92% of participants who complete the Community Youth Reporter program say they have strong life skills.
Did you know?
About 15 million girls a year marry before age 18. That’s one every two seconds. See more facts about poverty and empowerment and how you can help.