When it comes to creating lasting change, it takes dedication, passion and a lot of analysis. Statistics, research and rigorous follow-up go into every initiative we put in place. It’s how we know what’s working — and what’s not. Each year, we track progress and make modifications to build more effective and impactful programs for our children and youth.
Why we measure
Our programs are built around a concept called “adolescent prevention theory,” which looks at both early accumulated risk and adolescent-onset risk. We know that missing an early milestone makes missing later ones more likely. Early interventions, like the ones offered through our programs, help children meet developmental milestones, provide them with protective factors that may counteract later negative forces, and give them a chance to create lasting change in their lives.
HEALTH | EDUCATION | EMPOWERMENT | EMPLOYMENT
Measuring healthy behaviors
Beginning healthy behaviors early helps children and youth reduce their chances of facing preventable disease. We focus on healthy behaviors that have direct, proven results in reducing childhood illnesses and death, while also being simple enough to implement into their daily lives. The healthy behaviors we promote are identified as having the greatest positive effect on the lives of children and youth in our communities.
& SAFE WATER
When it comes to healthy behaviors, we measure:
- Improved attitude: You can know the facts but not believe they are relevant to your life. We measure how children and their caretakers feel about the healthy behaviors we’re encouraging before and after our programs. Do they believe those behaviors are important?
- Increased self-efficacy: Knowledge and attitude mean nothing without follow through. Sometimes children’s and caretakers’ environments hinder their ability to make healthy changes. Sometimes they just need confidence to carry on. We measure whether they believe they can stick with these healthy behaviors.
When it comes to the use of health services, we look at these results:
- Improved availability: Ensuring children can get to nearby providers when they are open and at times that work for their families.
- Improved affordability: Removing financial roadblocks for families so children can get the care they need.
- Increased accessibility: Educating families to help them understand when to see a health care provider and how to find the services they need.
Results in action
At the end of our Oral Health program, 100% of children and youth own a toothbrush and toothpaste, 98% can demonstrate correct brushing technique, and 96% say they now brush twice a day.
In 2018, 33,926 children and youth completed our Handwashing & Safe Water Promotion program. Before the program, just 38% knew when they should wash their hands. After completing the program, 89% of our children and youth demonstrated correct handwashing (with soap and water) and reported washing before eating and after playing outside, using the toilet and handling the garbage.
Our Emotional Well‑Being program focuses on self-care, identifying emotions and self-calming exercises for children and youth. In 2018, Mexico entered its second year for children ages 6 to 12, while India embarked on its first year for ages 12 to 18. After the program, 92% of caregivers in Mexico said their child could identify both their own emotions and others’. In Kolkata, 93% of youth were practicing self- replenishment following the program, showing they are capable of self-care.
Our Adolescent Health program led to a big reduction in the number of youth who self-reported substance use, including a 49% decrease in the number of adolescents abusing drugs. Reducing adolescent substance abuse leads to further positive life choices, reduces risky behaviors and increases life expectancies. We saw a 66% increase in the number of youth who are comfortable discussing and purchasing contraceptives after taking our program.
of participants decreased their BMI
After participating in our nutrition programs, 35% of participants decreased their BMI, and there was a 20% increase in parents who reported healthy home-environment behaviors.
of children and
In 2018, 95% of children and youth in our program received the dental services they needed and 83% utilized services provided by our program.
Winning big In 2018, 97% of the children and youth in our program received the primary health care they needed.
Did you know?
Currently, more than 50 percent of the global population lacks access to necessary health services. Paying for health care expenses forces 100 million people into extreme poverty every year. Health care inequalities are stark. For example, high-income countries have 10 times the number of doctors as lower-income countries.
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When I grow up, I want to be a nurse so I can help little kids like me.”
— Clowie, Sponsored Child, Philippines
Without the foundation of an education, children can’t envision a life for themselves beyond their circumstances. Living in poverty, many children fall behind and often drop out of school, leading to a future of drugs, violence or chronic unemployment. Our programs provide resources, safe spaces to study and tutoring support to help children and youth reach graduation day.
When it comes to education, we measure:
- Increased secondary school completion: We measure success by identifying the percentage of sponsored Children International graduates who reach this milestone by age 24.
- Increased school enrollment:We measure the percentage of sponsored children who are enrolled in any level of formal education.
- Increased achievement of identified learning outcomes: We measure the percentage of sponsored children who achieve minimum proficiency standards for their age or grade level.
Results in action
improved their knowledge
Our tutoring programs are designed to help children who have fallen behind catch up, graduate from high school and continue their educations. In 2018, 19,592 students in our program completed math tutoring while 18,488 completed literacy training. Some students did both, bringing the total number of students tutored to 23,763. 92% of students who received math and literacy tutoring improved their knowledge in either or both subjects.
of participants in Kolkata improved their science skills
Formal learning activities at Children International libraries boost math, science and literacy skills, helping students work toward secondary school graduation. Creative learning opportunities in our community center libraries (clubs, workshops, innovative programs) help children stay engaged and on track for secondary school completion. Colombia, India and the Dominican Republic achieved 100% completion rates. The Dominican Republic and Kolkata beat their goals for increased student proficiency in both math and literacy. In Kolkata, 92% also improved their science skills. In Colombia, 98% of learning space participants increased their literacy proficiency.
of participants increased their knowledge
In 2018, we saw a 35% increase in participation in our computer courses with more girls completing the course than boys — a significant figure in the male-dominated tech world. 95% of total participants increased their digital literacy while 87% significantly increased their knowledge.
Winning big Throughout our program, 97% of our population finishes fifth grade — a key milestone to continuing education. And 90% complete lower secondary school, or 10th grade.
Did you know?
Education is a powerful driver of development and is one of the strongest instruments for reducing poverty and improving health, gender equality, peace and stability. - The World Bank.
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Coming to the library has changed my life because, without the library, I would probably have been one of the drug abusers in the community. I have read books that discourage drugs and alcohol, and now I am even able to tell my friends to come to the library to study instead of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.”
— Arnold, 15, Zambia
Many children and youth in our communities have never seen an example of someone finishing school, achieving their dreams or breaking free from poverty. It’s why empowerment is so important when we talk about giving children and youth the confidence they need to create lasting change in their lives. Empowerment programs give children hope for the future and important life skills like, problem-solving, creative-thinking, leadership and more.
SOCIAL & FINANCIAL EDUCATION
When it comes to empowerment, we measure:
Strengthened life skills, measured by the percentage 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 percentage of individuals who self-report having a strong competency in social responsibility.
Social responsibility includes: Empathy, conflict resolution, valuing group work and more.
Results in action
performed in their community
In 2018, over 6,800 young artists and musicians performed or held exhibits in their communities.
Youth Councils across all Children International locations completed community-service projects that helped over 150,000 people in their communities.
Aflatoun International serves millions yearly, including Children International sponsored youth.
Winning big We’ve exponentially boosted our investment in empowerment programs in recent years — and it shows. Our youth implemented 70 community improvement projects in the latest calendar year.
Did you know?
The Search Institute conducted a study finding that youth in developing countries who have higher levels of social development (like empowerment, positive self-identity and social skills) also show better outcomes in areas like employment, health and education.
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For me, Children International is a door to success. CI has had a great impact on me because it helped me grow as a leader. This program changes lives — it changed mine. I participated in almost all the programs here. Now, I am a volunteer, teaching the kids everything I learned.”-
— DAYANA S., 22, CHILDREN INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE
When it comes to escaping poverty, employment is the final piece, giving young people stability, purpose and hope for the future. But, it’s not as easy as walking in and applying for a job. Youth in poverty lack many of the skills needed to join the workforce. Skills like: resume writing, interview prep or even how and where to look for work. These gaps can feel overwhelming, leading them to give up their job search altogether. Our career readiness workshops teach youth crucial skills needed to prepare for the workforce and to find and secure employment.
ENGLISH AS A
When it comes to employment, we measure:
Increased marketable skills, measured by the percentage of youth actively developing skills through university or vocational training programs. For younger youth, we measure enrollment. For young adults, we measure completion.
Enhanced access to the local job market, measured by the percentage of program youth (18- to 24-year-olds) who demonstrate knowledge and skills to access the job market in their communities.
Competencies in problem-solving, effective communication, positive self concept, self-control and interpersonal skills.
We also measure:
- The percentage of youth enrolled in our programs who obtain a university degree or a vocational training certificate.
- The percentage of youth enrolled in our program who demonstrate job readiness skills including:
- Resume writing
- Job application knowledge on interview skills
- Job search skills
- The ability to obtain necessary legal documents
Results in action
Of the 2,721 youth who completed our Career Readiness program in 2018, 40% found jobs. That number has nearly doubled in the last few years, showing how this program is effectively promoting youth employability.
76% of those who began the course finished by starting their own small business, including bakeries, diners and restaurants; food sales and distribution; clothing and shoe production and sales; and household item sales.
ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE
Our ESL program teaches English language skills and job-readiness skills. In its inaugural year of 2018, the program taught 131 youth.
Winning big In 2021, 95% of youth enrolled in our Career Readiness Program graduated from the course.
Did you know?
Between 2019 and 2020, global youth (defined as those between 15- and 24- years-old) experienced a much higher percentage loss in employment than adults, with an estimated 280 million youth not in education, training or employed.
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Children International has helped make the sponsorship experience more personal. From the day we first began sponsoring children in the Philippines, we received a letter from the local agency thanking us and encouraging us to visit. The CI staff has helped us help the children, and we can see the results.”
— PAUL N., SPONSOR SINCE 1999
In FY 2022, 81% of our total operating expenses supported programs for children and youth.