Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Question of the Month

Please take a second to share your thoughts about a disturbing trend in the world’s health.

Why are diseases like TB, malaria and typhoid making a comeback?

A) Antibiotic Resistance
B) Corrupt Political Regimes
C) Lack of Health Education
D) Low Priority for the Developed World

Here are the results from last month’s question:

What is the best way to end poverty?

By a large margin, “educating children” was the most popular answer chosen by the blog’s inaugural, question of the month participants.

Most people would agree that the approach to end poverty must be creative and utilize many pathways and education is a very important pathway.

Through sponsorship you give a child an opportunity to learn. Our sponsors provide school supplies, uniforms and fee assistance. These are huge benefits for a poor family and help keep a hungry mind in school for as long as possible.

Oxfam estimated that for every year a child stays in school, 10% is added to their future, annual earning potential. Education can change the world and sponsors are helping to do just that.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Shot at Health

Posted on behalf of Sarah Trapp

Let me just say it: I really don’t like shots. My very first memory of getting a shot was of a gravelly-voiced older woman looking at me scornfully and saying “If you cry, it only hurts worse!” Luckily for our sponsored children, getting vaccinated is a much more pleasant experience.

Coming out of a very nasty flu season in the United States, I’m sure you can relate to the need for flu shots. In February of this year over 18,700 children in Guayaquil, Ecuador lined up for and received their free flu shots at one of our community centers.

Join us as we follow Karina Alcivar through the process.

Karina and other sponsored children waited anxiously for their vaccinations.

Just a little stick, and then it’s all over.

A balloon and a piece of candy make everything better.

A little sore, but still smiling. Now Karina won’t have to worry about getting the flu and missing valuable days at school.

Photos and reporting assistance by Patricia Huerta, Communications Coordinator in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Four Years of eNews

Posted on behalf Damon Guinn

This April marks the four-year anniversary of eNews. And, as editor, I couldn’t be happier.

We’ve made leaps and bounds since our first issue was published in April 2004. In fact, if you mentioned the word “blog” to me back then, I might have thought you were referring to the sound a pig makes when burping. Now here I am announcing the release of this year’s April edition.

While times and technology have changed, the basics of sponsorship have not. It’s still one of the fastest, most effective and personal ways to reach out and help children in need. And eNews serves that purpose by providing a vehicle for us to share stories about children and families who might otherwise remain faceless and forgotten. This month’s issue is a case in point.

We’ll introduce you to a couple of very deserving children named Mousumi and José who really need sponsors – otherwise, they may not be able to attend school. We’ll also tell you what’s happening at some of our sponsorship agencies this month so you’ll know exactly what benefits your children are receiving. Then there’s the story of Ibelia from Ecuador. Hers is a tragic tale of the toll poverty can take on helpless individuals.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating four years of eNews by reading the articles and sharing them with your friends and family. Because, together, we form a virtual community that is actually addressing real world problems.

If you would like to subscribe to eNews, click here to sign up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You asked for it...

Posted on behalf of Sarah Trapp

We love hearing from our sponsors and donors; and when we do, many times they tell us that they wished they could see more pictures from their child’s country. So today we’ve decided to give the people what they want: more photos!

Every month we ask our Communication Coordinators in eleven different countries to send us some of their favorite photos they’ve taken. With so many submissions, it’s impossible for us to use all of these fab photos…but we certainly appreciate their hard work and love to put some of their best efforts in the spotlight.

This time we’ll be sharing some of the latest and greatest from the Philippines. Enjoy!

Man, the teacher assigned a lot of homework this time! Heavy backpacks are no match for clever kids in Tabaco. (Photo by Sarah Velasco)

Thirteen year old Raymond helps to support his family by selling bananas and other foods on the street after school. With the help of sponsorship, Raymond is in high school and hopes to one day support his family with a professional career. (Photo by Joel Abelinde)

Yummy! These sponsored boys and girls in Quezon City enjoy their Saturday meal provided by one of Children International’s feeding programs for malnourished children.
(Photo by CJ Tarroja)

King of the...tricycle? One man’s junk makes a perfect playground for these children in Legaspi. (Photo by Anthony Lorcha)

Rochelle stands in front of her home in Manila. (Photo by Joel Abelinde)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Meet Anghelo from Quito...

What do you want to be when your grow-up?

"I want to be a bricklayer because I see a lot of them in my neighbor. My mother told me that bricklayers build houses and I would like to build my own house someday."

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Way to Lose Wait

No, I didn’t misspell that.

Certainly, I’d be none the worse for the experience if I were to lose a few pounds...but right now, I’d like to lose some wait.

We all know how interminable some waits seem. Doctors’ offices. Automotive service centers. The stretch between lunch and supper. Waiting for the next passing zone so you can get around the driver you’ve been following for the last 30 miles and who is convinced that any speed over 40 (on the highway) is just a foolish and unnecessary risk.

But when you are a poor child waiting for someone to become your sponsor, the wait seems like an eternity – or even longer, if that’s possible.

Seeing the other children in the community proudly sporting their new school supplies...going to bed at night knowing that if tomorrow you get sick there is a doctor who’ll see you right away...having a chance to get a decent education…knowing there’s a place where you belong and that somebody across the miles really cares about you…these things are worth the wait.

And hundreds of children are waiting. Some have waited for as long as two years. Why not be the one who brings that wait to an end?

Not sure you can handle it? Maybe your Uncle Sam will help you out this year! Just think of what a difference a sponsorship paid for with a tax incentive rebate would make in the life of a child who’s been waiting for help for a long, long time.

On Tuesday, April 15, you’ll be able to visit our home page,, and read a special feature about children who are waiting for sponsors. You’ll also be able to watch a slideshow that will let you meet some of these children.

Give it a try...Sponsorship: The Ultimate Wait Loss Program.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

From Student to Teacher: Spreading a Little Hope

Posted on behalf of Sarah Trapp.

For many college students, getting up at 7:30 on Sunday morning can be a difficult task, but sponsored youth Jherlyn Cadimas rolled herself out of bed for a good cause. Along with around ninety other youth, most of them Hope Scholars, Jherlyn participated in a youth initiative to tutor more than one thousand elementary school children in Manila. Jherlyn taught math, science and English to struggling fourth grade students.

Although a student herself, teaching was definitely a challenge for Jherlyn. With the help of a Hope Scholarship, she is studying Business Administration, a far cry from fourth grade materials. She had to prepare, review lessons and read elementary school textbooks in order to make a connection with the children and help them succeed.

When Jherlyn asks the questions, students like this little boy are eager to answer.

In the end, it was all worthwhile for both Jherlyn and her students. Little by little the children participated more, and they started improving their scores. Parents noted their children’s increased enthusiasm for reading and learning. Even Jherlyn gained more self-confidence through the experience saying, “I felt the children trusted me. I feel happy that I have been able to help them in my little way.”

Jherlyn explains a lesson to this happy young pupil.

Like many sponsored youth who volunteer, for Jherlyn, helping these children was her way of giving back for all of the support she has received though the sponsorship program. “As I have received, so I want to share,” she says. And what better way to give back, than to share the gift of knowledge with children who might otherwise be left behind?

Reporting assistance and photos by Joel Abelinde, Communications Coordinator in Manila.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Building Bridges

When Belkis tripped and fell while she was playing, it should have been a case of getting up, brushing off the dirt and going on with the fun. But when she began to scream in agony, onlookers knew something was very wrong.

That was four years ago, when she was only four years old. A trip to the hospital revealed that she had broken her leg…but it also revealed the reason why. A benign cyst had weakened the bone so it snapped under pressure.

I met this brave little girl as she lay in the hospital awaiting surgery. Then, we didn’t know what the outlook was for her recovery. But when I visited Colombia a few weeks ago, I met a smiling young lady who now runs and plays like any other child.

It was gratitude for the help her daughter received from Children International and her sponsor in this crisis that inspired her mother, Ada María, to become a CI volunteer. Life isn’t easy for this single mom, who was abandoned by her husband shortly after Belkis had her surgery. In fact, her makeshift wooden home collapsed last winter, and they’ve been living in a single room while they wait to rebuild it.

Belkis is not finished with her ordeal. She’s already had surgery for another bone cyst, and she’s scheduled for yet another. Her condition is genetic.

But Ada María is not complaining. She is excited about the sponsorship program and about Belkis’ future. Because of all the help she received in the hospital, Belkis dreams of going to college and becoming a doctor…and Ada María dreams that her daughter will get her wish.

“Education is the bridge between our current reality and my daughter’s future,” asserts Ada María.

And here at Children International, with the help of our family of sponsors – we’re in the business of building bridges.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Meet Mabel from Tabaco, Philippines

What do you want to be when you grow-up?

I want to be a teacher so I can teach children how to read.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Keeping a Sponsored Youth "Write" on Track

Posted on behalf of Miriam Lemus. Edited by Sarah Trapp.

Sixteen-year-old Erick from Guatemala City is a hardworking young man who began selling and delivering dairy products at the age of 8.

“I like it because I can see new places,” he says. But Erick has bigger dreams. One day, he’d like to work in a bank.

His sponsor's care has had a profound impact on Erick (center, with his mother and his brother).

For several years now Erick has lacked the influence of a father in his life, and things haven’t been easy. Luckily, Erick can count on the support of his caring sponsor, Nathaniel. According to Erick’s mother, his sponsor has been there for Erick more than his actual father. Erick and his sponsor communicate regularly, and the bond is obvious.

“My sponsor writes me things, and I tell him about what I do here. He has helped me to get ahead, especially with my studies,” says Erick.

In addition to the regular benefits of sponsorship, Erick’s sponsor has also sent him special donations for things like furniture, groceries and even a bicycle. These special gifts and words of encouragement make a world of difference in Erick’s life. Take it from Erick: “I like having him as my sponsor, and I feel very grateful for everything.”

With a caring sponsor guiding him through kind words and material support, Erick is one step closer to achieving his dreams.

Have you written your sponsored child lately? Go to and log in to “My Account” to send your child a few kind words.

Miriam Lemus is the communications coordinator for Children International's agency in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Sarah Trapp works at CI's home office in Kansas City, Missouri.