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Like pretty much everyone who uses the internet, we sometimes Google ourselves. And we noticed that one phrase that seems to pop up often in relation to Children International is “children’s charity.”
It’s wonderful that we’re included in search results when people are looking to support children’s charities. So this may sound strange, but we don’t really consider ourselves just a children’s charity.
Here’s why: What children’s charities typically do is help those in need, singularly in the form of assistance. While that approach alleviates the symptoms of poverty, it doesn’t address the root causes. And that’s where we focus our work.
Yes, we’re a nonprofit humanitarian organization that helps disadvantaged young people. But we’re also in the business of preparing children and families to be their own heroes in their own lives and in their communities.
You’re probably familiar with the adage, “Give someone a fish and they eat for a day; teach someone to fish and they eat for a lifetime.” That’s a great analogy of the Children International approach to ending child poverty.
Being healthy starts with basic hygiene. Something as simple as teaching proper handwashing with soap and water helps reduce pneumonia and diarrhea — two leading causes of child mortality worldwide.
We provide age-appropriate health education to children, teens and family members. We also ensure that sponsored children have access to comprehensive health and dental care.
Our teams regularly assess the health equity conditions of children. And we help to improve community health by collaborating with local partners strengthen existing health systems.
Education is crucial for helping children end the cycle of poverty. That's why it's an essential pillar of our sponsorship program.
Money itself is a big obstacle to attaining education goals. That’s why we offer vocational and educational scholarships, providing financial support to both teens who need a little extra help to stay in high school and to graduates who need help paying for college or technical school. When students stay in school, the benefits of their education pay dividends in the future.
It’s important to tackle issues that exacerbate poverty, such as the lack of meaningful alternatives to negative behavior. So, our programs empower children by channeling their natural interests, like sports, music and the arts.
Another aspect of growing up in poor communities that is often overlooked is social responsibility.
CI’s Financial and Social Education program teaches social and life skills through age-appropriate activities. Children and youth learn about their rights and responsibilities, savings and spending, planning and budgeting, and social and financial enterprise.
There’s also a focus on helping children hone their leadership skills so that they can become change-makers in their communities. Thus, our Youth Councils identify community needs and are then given funds to spearhead community improvement projects.
Teens in our Youth Councils recognize their responsibility to the world — which often means driving change in their own communities first.
Ultimately, the best solution for the problem of poverty is access to decent jobs in the formal work sector. With an estimated 73 million young people unable to find work globally, we are creating solutions to this ongoing challenge.
Once they’re ready to enter the workforce, we help our youth write their résumés, practice mock interviews and assist with job searches. This is a crucial step for empowering young people to take their futures into their own hands.
Helping children and youth acquire the skills they need by providing opportunities for them to change their own stories is at the heart of the Children International approach. And our supporters are the ones who make it possible.
Comprehensively, it all adds up to something more like a holistic child development plan than it does a children's charity! SEARCH FOR CHILDREN WHO NEED YOUR HELP