One of the best ways to understand the power of sponsorship is to see it in action for yourself. By visiting one of our communities, you can see firsthand the unique problems children in poverty face, and how your support provides tailored solutions. Making that journey yourself isn’t always possible, but you can get a glimpse through one of the videos below. Transcripts provided below.
Colombia’s diverse culture is a product of its unique, colonial history. European, African and Native Indian influences are all celebrated in its architecture, music and arts. Unfortunately, around 27% of Colombia’s population lives below the poverty line. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Colombia Poverty Facts & Statistics
Located between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean. Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, many Dominican families face extreme poverty. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Dominican Republic Poverty Facts & Statistics
Guatemala is a country steeped in tradition and rich with cultural heritage. Latinos and Maya make up the majority of the Guatemalan population. Unfortunately, poverty is a fact of life, both in the city and rural areas. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Guatemala Poverty Facts & Statistics
With its blend of Spanish and Indigenous influences, sunny beaches and historical sites make Mexico the sixth most popular country in the world for tourists. Despite its popularity, Mexico is plagued with poverty issues. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Mexico Poverty Facts & Statistics
Located in southeast Asia, the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 tropical islands. A blend of Spanish colonialism and southeast Asian tradition make this country unique. Unfortunately, poverty in the Philippines is especially prominent in this region. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Philippines Poverty Facts & Statistics
Zambia is a stunning mix of beautiful landscapes, magnificent wildlife and diverse local culture. Despite tourism being a strength of the local economy, it’s estimated that around 60% of the population lives below the poverty line. Find out more.
View on Youtube: Zambia Africa Poverty Facts & Statistics
Colombia's diverse culture is a product of its unique colonial history. European African and native Indian influences are all celebrated in its architecture, music, and arts. The city of Cartagena de Indias is known for its beautiful beaches and historic walled old city while Barranquilla is host to one of the world's most famous carnival celebrations. Colombia has the highest rate of internally displaced persons in the world. Civil conflict has led to large groups migrating to urban areas in hopes of finding work. About 27% of Colombia's population lives below the poverty line, many in informal settlements. Colombian children living in impoverished communities often suffer from malnutrition and poor health. Due to their substandard living conditions, it's difficult for them to get the education they need to get themselves out of poverty, and teenagers run the risk of joining gangs or becoming victims of gang-related violence. In our community centers, Children International provides access to health care and educational support like tutoring and computer classes. Programs like our youth leadership training and Youth Council teach important life skills and prepare them for post-secondary education and our hope scholarship program helps them cover the costs. Youth in Columbia deserve to participate in the country's growing economy but they can't do it without additional support. Thanks to our supporters children in Columbia are receiving the help they need to break the cycle of poverty for good.
Located between Cuba and Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean. It shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, its neighbor to the west known for its vibrant culture and diverse geography. The Dominican Republic boasts nearly 1,000 miles of coastline. Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, many Dominican families face extreme poverty. It is estimated that one in every three Dominicans lives below the poverty line. The healthiest segments of the economy are the tourism and service industries, but without at least a high school education, these jobs are mostly out of reach. At Children International, we offer life-changing programs to children and youth that place them on a path out of poverty. Our community centers provide access to medical and dental care and are safe spaces where kids benefit from education, empowerment and employment programs. Children International partners with local businesses in developing our youth’s abilities and talents for a competitive job market. Programs like English as a second language provide participants with a marketable and highly sought after skill. Generous supporters make it possible for our kids to leave poverty behind, develop their full potential and become agents of change in their communities. Ending poverty is a team effort. Children International brings people together in the Dominican Republic and around the world to end poverty for good.
Surrounded by Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean, the country of Ecuador is one of the most environmentally diverse countries in the world. Straddling the equator line, it's a part of the Andes mountains and the Amazon basin. The population is diverse too. In addition to many indigenous peoples, Ecuadorians are descended from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Amid all of the rich diversity lies a prominent poverty problem. Around 23 percent of the population hovers below the poverty line. Education is a primary issue because families can't afford the costs associated with schooling. This means children wind up working jobs such as day laborers instead of getting an education, ultimately perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Other issues include lack of employment and little access to land. Ecuadorians who live in rural highlands don't have access to health care which can lead to malnutrition. Children International works to serve the various regions of Ecuador through dozens of community centers: we focus our work in Quito, a modern city in the highlands, as well as Guayaquil, a port city along the Guayas river. We give children and youth safe spaces to not only access basic needs like medical and dental care but also life-changing educational support so they can become well-qualified job prospects. Your support makes this work possible and it creates a ripple effect that benefits entire communities. Ending poverty is something we can do together and your help will help end it in Ecuador and around the world for good.
Guatemala is a country steeped in tradition and rich with cultural heritage. Latinos and Maya make up the majority of the Guatemalan population. The Maya are rooted in the rural highlands where life often continues much as it did centuries ago. Latinos generally gravitate toward the larger cities. The vibrant dress of the Maya complements the natural beauty of the country which boasts sprawling mountains, volcanoes and forests. The intricate designs of the clothing may identify the wearer's hometown. Although Guatemala is known as the land of eternal spring,
temperatures can fluctuate dramatically throughout the country. Its capital of Guatemala City with typical 21st century amenities can also present extreme contrasts. Poverty is a fact of life both in the city and rural areas where many families of sponsored children use an open fire to prepare meals. Fortunately Children International helps more than 30,000 children and youth in both Guatemala City and rural areas - places where our help is needed the most. Sponsored families generally earn less than one hundred sixty dollars a month. As day laborers with limited incomes, they may go without sturdy clothing, medical attention and even an education. That's why sponsorship benefits are so important: medical and dental care, medicine, clothing and educational support help improve daily life. We also offer vocational training classes teaching youth skills to help them become self-sufficient adults. While parents work hard so that children can realize a better way of life, Children International is lending support along the way in hopes that these children may embrace their unique culture while creating new traditions and memories, free of poverty and suffering.
Here's a simple truth: far too many children are forced to trade in an education for hard work. They simply have no choice. Poverty dictates they give away their futures so their families can survive. What's surprising is that there are often simple things that can change that: providing them with books, school supplies, uniforms, tutoring, even a new pair of shoes. In the “Dr. Miguel Paz Baraona” school in Honduras, it was ‘desks’. By providing those simple things, our kids stay in school. They do well in school - most of these kids are smart - they finish and they have more of an opportunity to change their lives and the future. Honduran law says that every student must have a desk, but with few resources the school couldn't provide all the desks they needed. Those students without one would use whatever they could even afford, perched between cinder blocks. “Education is very important because it allows a child to prepare himself for life. A child without education is lost: with discomfort comes distraction; with distraction comes poor performance and that can add up to nothing fast.” A few determined parents bought their own desks, but at a cost of 20 to 30 dollars, not many could and for those who did, it
often meant a loan that took an entire year to pay off. the debt. The desks are exactly the kind of support sponsorship in Honduras is providing to address specific needs at different schools. The
idea is to remove as many obstacles as possible, so every child has the opportunity to stay in school and prepare for the future. “ I hope my son becomes a professional - for him to become better than me - to get ahead because the life we are living isn't very good and I would like him to overcome those limitations for him to be a very successful person. And I think he will be able to achieve that thanks to the help from Children International. In Honduras and elsewhere around the world, education and help from generous sponsors are sending children down the right path and powering up their potential.
With its blend of Spanish and indigenous influences, Mexico has a colorful and diverse cultural footprint that is celebrated worldwide. Sunny beaches and historical sites make Mexico the sixth most popular country in the world for tourism. Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco is the nation's second largest metropolitan area with nearly 1.5 million residents. Guadalajara is the birthplace of some of Mexico's most iconic symbols: mariachi music; tequila and the sombrero. Surrounded by mountains, the city's high elevation provides a warm dry climate. Despite its popularity as a tourist destination, around 40% of Guadalajara's population lives in poverty. Children living in impoverished communities lack access to healthy foods, a good education, sanitation or decent housing. Crime related to drug trafficking is an ongoing issue and children are vulnerable to being lured into gangs and gang violence. Children International helps ensure kids have access to critical services like health care and educational support while our five community centers offer a safe option to the streets. We're also preparing youth for the job market through computer training, leadership workshops and our “Into Employment” job training program. Children in this beautiful country deserve a chance to grow up healthy, educated, empowered and employed. With the support of our contributors, Children International’s programs are helping children in Mexico break the cycle of poverty for good.
The Philippines, officially known as the Republic of the Philippines, is a country located in Southeast Asia. Situated in the western Pacific Ocean, it's made up of over 7,000 tropical islands. A blend of Spanish colonialism and Southeast Asian tradition make this country unique. Unfortunately, poverty in the Philippines is more prominent than other countries in Southeast Asia, with a great deal of the population still living below the poverty line. While poverty is generally higher in rural areas, urban poverty has been on the rise in recent years. Unemployed and low-income migrants who are unable to afford housing are key contributors to the poverty rate. Natural disasters in an underdeveloped agricultural sector play a big factor as well. At Children International, children get access to a safe environment where they can receive health care, educational support and treatment for malnutrition when it's needed. As they get older, sponsored youth get crucial life skills and career training so they can become qualified for in-demand jobs. Your support helps give children in poverty an opportunity to learn grow and develop skills that help them have a positive impact on their peers and their communities. Thanks to our supporters, children in the Philippines are receiving the help they need to break the cycle of poverty for good.
It may seem like an unlikely place for child sponsorship: it isn't riddled with poverty; it's not plagued by disease; nor is it steeped in unsanitary conditions like other areas where Children International works. In fact, Little Rock, Arkansas is a great place to live. Highly regarded for its city improvements, as well as its civic progress. So why then would we establish a sponsorship agency there? The answer is history: more than 50 years have passed since the historic integration of Little Rock Central High School and yet many school-aged children in Little Rock
still face barriers to getting an education. Lack of funding for public schools has drastically reduced the number of academic programs and services available to inner-city youth, making it increasingly rare for low-income children to receive important guidance and direction in school. It was that which motivated Children International and our partner the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to extend sponsorship directly through the city’s struggling public schools. “Sponsorship in Little Rock has just made an incredible difference for children that we work with in the public schools. It connects them to a caring adult that these children know, that care about their future. And beyond that it provides this wonderful financial base to provide gifts that children need. But the other part of that it provides programming - educational programming - and education really is the ticket for these kids. If we want to provide and invest in their future, the education pieces are the most important.” Beginning with our after-school program, “Kid’s Club”, boys and girls are experiencing a transformation at school. According to a study by the YMCA, 14.3 million children in the U.S. take care of themselves after school, which explains why unsupervised youth are three times more likely than their supervised peers to use drugs. At kids club, kindergarteners through fifth graders receive instruction in reading and math, from certified teachers and then rotate through enrichment classes such as chess, art, writing, gospel choir and computer training. One of the most promising outcomes of “Kid’s Club” has been a 19% increase in reading and math scores among the participants. Improved test scores can also be chalked up to an innovative program called bowling for math and science, coordinated by Keith Harris of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Bowling for math and science is specifically tailored to 4th graders. It fosters an interest in those subjects through fun, cooperative activities that teach simple problem-solving skills. “The reward for me is just seeing the magic and the learning that's taking place over the course of the year that I'm working with those fourth-grade students. There's so many opportunities for them and it's just getting them in touch with the right opportunities.” And sponsorship in the Little Rock is doing just that by offering a host of educational opportunities as youth grow older and make progress in school. From ACT and college prep programs to leadership and career planning workshops, sponsored youth are learning to rewrite the past in favor of a more promising future. Who knows? Maybe one day, one of these boys or girls will be determined enough to lead the country - it's all just a matter of time and your support.
Zambia is a landlocked country in Africa situated on a high plateau in south central location on the continent and gets its name from the Zambezi River which runs through all but a small northern part of the country. Zambia is a stunning mix of beautiful landscapes, magnificent wildlife and diverse local culture. With some 70 plus different ethnic groups, the various traditions of the country are rich and vibrant. Despite tourism being a strength of the Zambian economy, it's estimated that more than 60% of the population lives below the poverty line. In urban areas, around 54% live in subpar housing conditions where it is a challenge to have easy access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene. Such conditions have an overall negative effect on a child's development. Around 15% of children in Zambia are underweight and 40% experienced stunted growth. Children International’s approach to these challenges is to ensure kids have access to critical services like health and dental care, education enrichment and employment preparedness. We're also tackling malnutrition head-on. All three of our community centers regularly offer nutrition education and rehabilitation programs for undernourished children. By investing in Children International’s programs, kids in Zambia get the education, life skills, development and confidence to change their lives and the lives of those around them. Join us - be a catalyst for change in the fight to end poverty, not just for one child but for entire communities.