Mapping the path out of poverty

In my office at Children International I have two maps.

One is an antique map of London that I got while studying there as a college student. England was my first international experience, and the map seemed like a great way to celebrate my new and broader world.

The other is hand-drawn on an old piece of paper. It shows the route from the local airport to a community in Colombia being lifted from poverty

This sketch maps out the route from the airport to one of the communities CI serves.

I keep both as reminders of my own past — my own course. But they also bring to mind the path out of poverty that our programs offer to kids. Into Employment® and career readiness, youth leadership training, youth health corps and other programs really do guide their participants to a new life.

Our programs are a set of maps.

Navigating into adulthood is tricky enough for any of us! I can remember a few mistakes I’ve made along the way. It is significantly harder when you live in a destitute community with what seems like only bad choices as options. CI’s commitment to communities gives credibility to the choices we offer our youth. We have helped thousands become healthy and educated adults prepared for more.

Youth practice carrying plates as part of their hospitality training.

Young adults hone their serving skills as part of CI’s Into Employment program in Ecuador. These skills will help them get jobs in Guayaquil’s hospitality industry.

Those old maps help me remember what all of us — staff, volunteers, sponsors, donors and advocates and especially the kids — are working for each day. I see the faces of those we are supporting along the twists and turns on these pieces of paper. 

A Youth Health Corps peer educator leads a workshop in the Philippines

What do you have in your life that makes you think of your sponsored child? I’d love to know.
Tell me in the comments below!


Jul 5, 2016

Keeping my girl Felina's pictures on my bulletin board at work keeps her in my thoughts constantly. I look at her smiling face and get the warm fuzzies knowing she has a chance at a better future and it is taking so little on my part to make that happen. :)

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