by Virginia Sowers, ChildFund Community Manager
At ChildFund, we end 2010 with gratitude for the generosity of our supporters in helping children survive desperate situations and become healthy, educated and skilled as they grow into adulthood.
In the past year, we’ve taken important steps forward to provide children and families with essentials for survival and increase awareness of the plight of those who live in poverty.
Here are five ways ChildFund had a positive impact in 2010 (five more to follow tomorrow):
1. From Asia to Africa to the Americas, we provided children and youth with leadership training and supported their efforts to become involved in their communities and bring about change. In The Gambia, young people in our programs used digital cameras, audio recorders and hand-held video cameras to present both the challenges and assets in their village.
2. We worked with community members in several project areas to identify solutions for keeping communities healthier — starting with the safe delivery of infants. Our community-based maternal and child health programs in Senegal were featured in the Stories of Mothers Saved project produced by the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and the United Nations Population Fund.
3. We contributed to the global development conversation by conducting a survey of Americans to gauge their concern for children living in poverty. Among those surveyed, 66 percent said they believe the United States has an obligation to help poor children around the world. Almost one-third think that aid to the globe’s poorest children should be our nation’s number one charitable priority.
4. To ensure that children’s voices are heard and included in our program planning decisions, ChildFund joined other members of the ChildFund Alliance in conducting a global survey of 3,000 children in some 30 countries. The Small Voices, Big Dreams project revealed the high importance children in developing nations place on education. Asked what they would do if they were president for a day, nearly 60 percent of the participants said they would educate all children, build more schools and improve the quality of schools already in place.
5. To improve child health, ChildFund began pilot testing netbook computers in Brazil. The netbooks speed collection of data used to assess a child’s well-being through such key measures as weight, nutrition and general care. The small computers also hold much potential for delivering educational lessons to children at remote sites.
To be continued…