Tag Archives: ChildFund International

ChildFund’s Blog Has Moved!

To Our Readers:

ChildFund’s blog has migrated to a new hosting site. For those of you who have followed us on an RSS feed, you should still receive notice when there’s a new post, but our email subscribers will need to sign up at our new site, on the right side of the page. Please take a moment to do that now, as we don’t want you to miss anything!

We greatly appreciate your readership and invite your comments. Stay tuned for posts at least twice a week — including a special long-term series in honor of ChildFund’s 75th anniversary, beginning in September.

P.S. Should you encounter a security certificate message when visiting the new blog site, rest assured that it’s OK to click through to the site.

50 Days Campaign Comes to a Close, But Work Continues

 By Danielle Roth, ChildFund Youth Program Officer

The 50 Days of Action for Women and Girls is coming to a close. On ChildFund’s blog, we’ve shared stories about our work with women and girls in several of the countries where ChildFund works.

Kenyan girls

These 12-year-old girls attend school in Kenya. Our aim is to help more girls and young women receive an education. Photo by Jake Lyell.

We’re reminded that women and girls, who make up more than half of the world’s population, are resilient in the face of tough challenges like forced marriages, lack of access to lifesaving health services and medicine, lack of political freedom and limited access to education, among many additional obstacles.

ChildFund is part of a larger effort to support women and girls in the United States and abroad. Networks like the Coalition for Adolescent Girls and Girls Not Brides work tirelessly to assure that women’s and girls’ concerns are elevated to the attention of decision-makers like President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition, many organizations are engaging with the United Nations to ensure that women and girls are recognized in the Post-2015 development agenda.

We encourage ChildFund’s supporters to continue to add their voices to advocacy efforts for girls and women.  For example, if you have a blog, share stories and important data on the well-being of women and girls around the world. On your Facebook and Twitter accounts, share relevant news stories with your friends and followers.

At ChildFund, we know that women and girls’ challenges are global issues and invite you to support us going forward. For now, we reflect on the 50 Days campaign with an apt quotation by poet Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.”

Why Words Matter

Speechwriter Jeff Porro has helped Fortune 250 CEOS and the heads of some of the nation’s most influential nonprofits.

Words That Mean Success book coverChildFund is fortunate to have been one of his clients. One of the toughest types of speeches to write is a commencement speech so when ChildFund’s President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard was asked to give the commencement speech for Assumption College, her own alma mater, Jeff agreed to write it based on input from her.

In a recent interview Jeff was asked about his favorite speech and he cited that commencement speech. “[Anne] is a terrific woman with a great sense of humor, and she was very willing to share wonderful stories,” Jeff recalled. “I’m very proud of that speech, but Anne made my job pretty easy.”

The commencement address can be viewed online.

If you want to know more about speechwriting, check out Jeff’s new book, Words That Mean Success.

Payroll Tax Increase Expected to Suppress Charitable Giving

By Cynthia Price, Director of Communications

infographic on charitable giving

Click to view the full graphic.

I’ve noticed my paycheck is a bit smaller with the return of the 6.2 percent payroll tax, a 2 percent increase over the 4.2 percent rate we’ve experienced for the past two years. I’d already identified and committed to my charities this year, so it’s not going to change my giving levels, although I may have to see fewer movies or cut back on my coffee shop visits.

At ChildFund, we were curious as to what Americans might say when asked whether the tax increase would impact their giving. Today, we release a survey conducted for ChildFund by Ipsos Public Affairs.

Here’s what we found:

  • 20 percent will reduce their charitable giving by an average of 29 percent.
  • 21 percent will not give at all to charity in the coming year.
  • 54 percent will continue to make charitable donations at the same level.
  • 6 percent anticipate giving more.

“While there is some good news in these findings, the survey results suggest a challenging year ahead, in what already has been a demanding fundraising climate,” says Tereza Byrne, ChildFund’s chief development officer.

“Nonprofit organizations like ChildFund can take comfort in the fact that six in 10 Americans will either maintain or increase their charitable giving,” she adds. “What is alarming, however, is the anticipated decrease in contributions by as many as one in five givers. If that comes to pass, it will likely have broad-reaching consequences across the nonprofit landscape.”

ChildFund Distributes Emergency Food in The Gambia

Reporting by ChildFund The Gambia

woman being interviewed

A community member describes her family’s situation to a local reporter.

Last week, ChildFund responded to the ongoing food crisis in The Gambia, working with our local partners in the West Coast region to distribute rice and cooking oil to 1,768 affected families.

The distribution took place during three days in the 32 communities where ChildFund has operations. All families received 50 kg of rice and 3 liters of cooking oil. We expect to continue support for affected families through October, when we anticipate food security for the region will improve.

child and mother receiving food

Mai and her child.

“My family and I are indeed very thankful for ChildFund’s intervention because there is no longer a fear of food shortage,” says Mai, mother of a sponsored child in Siffoe. “We can now enjoy the pleasures of having three meals per day.”

ChildFund New Zealand, a member of the ChildFund Alliance, as well as corporate and individual donations are helping fund the emergency food supplies.

Family Struggled to Prepare a Daily Meal

By Saroj Kumar Pattnaik, ChildFund India

Being born into an extremely poor family tends to reduce a child’s chances for a promising future. Years aoo, that seemed to be the case for Kesavaiah, a 6-year-old boy living in a remote tribal village in the Annanthpur district of southern India’s state of Andhra Pradesh.

Kesavaiah’s father, an agricultural laborer, was the only breadwinner for his five-member family. Insufficient income and paucity of alternative livelihood options often forced the family to struggle to prepare a full meal for all. Going to school and truly enjoying childhood was just a distant dream for Kesavaiah and his two sisters.

But things changed gradually for Kesavaiah after he was enrolled in ChildFund India’s Early Childhood Development program in 1996. Praja Seva Samaj (PSS), ChildFund’s local partner, matched young Kesavaiah with a sponsor, who provided additional funds so Kesavaiah and his sisters could attend the village school.

youth from India

Kesavaiah

“I still remember the days when my father was struggling to arrange a square meal for each of our family. My mother was also working as a daily laborer just to satisfy our hunger. Many a time we went to sleep at night after just drinking water,” recalls Kesavaiah, who has now completed his technical degree and aspires to become a top mechanical engineer.

He notes that it was the timely support from ChildFund and its local partner PSS that helped transform him from a pessimist to a dreamer.

“I never thought that I would able to complete my primary education as the conditions were not allowing that to happen. It was the moral and material support by ChildFund India and PSS that helped me to come so far in life,” he says.

“Their assistance and advice have not only allowed me to become the first person in our community to see a college, but they also have proved to be a solid platform for my sisters to continue their studies,” he adds.

Kesavaiah, who has understood the value of money since childhood, took full advantage of the sponsorship assistance, never neglecting his studies. He was the top student throughout his primary and intermediate education, earning a full scholarship to technical college.

In addition to his academic achievements, Kesavaiah, now 23, has been an active member of the local Children’s Club supported by ChildFund. His perseverance and tenacity to achieve have become an inspiration for others in his village.

Kesavaiah’s mother, Venkataramamma wants her son to fulfill his dream of becoming an engineer. “I am so proud for my son. He has been a reason for hope for all of us, and I am very much thankful to ChildFund for making this happen.”

Village leader Pakker Naik concurs. “[ChildFund] has been focusing on many issues with interventions at the school level and village level. We are now seeing this positive impact among children today. I would say proudly that Kesavaiah is the first engineer in our village.”

‘When I Was Little, We Had Nothing’

By Patricia Toquica, Americas Region Communications Manager

Bolivian family

Karla with her family.

“Welcome. I’m Karla and this is my house,” says a 19-year-old girl from La Paz, Bolivia, as she ushers us into her home, a one-room rental house shared by seven family members. Karla’s house, located on a small lot, is surrounded by upscale homes, something quite common in Bolivia’s urban areas.

“When I was little, we had nothing,” says Karla, adding that she’s proud of what her family has been able to achieve in recent years. “My mother used to take me and my brothers and sisters to the ChildFund center, where they would feed us and play with us.” That’s how Karla and her siblings started participating in Early Childhood Development, after-school activities and youth leadership programs that ChildFund Bolivia offers in La Paz through its local partner Avance Comunitario.

“We would go there to study after school, and we would learn a lot that helped us improve our grades. We’d then write to our sponsors about this support, so that they could learn about our life and how their money was helping us,” explains Karla who is now a civil engineering student at a public university in La Paz.

She is the second of five children: the eldest sister is currently working on her thesis in computer science and soon will be graduating from the university. Karla’s younger brother also finished high school and is studying to become a sound technician; her younger sister, will graduate next year, and the youngest siblings are in junior high.

“We were able to go to university because through the center we built our self-esteem and leadership skills,” Karla explains. “I used to be very shy [when I was young], but when I saw the professionals and other youth leaders working at the project, I wanted to become a professional like them.”

Her father is an electrician and her mother, Albertina, works at home and on spare jobs cleaning houses or washing clothes. She volunteers at the Avance Comunitario Center, where she also has taken skills training classes.

“Their interest is to study and become professionals,” says Albertina, nodding at her children. “I could only make it until eighth grade, so we support them in every way we can. They are all good kids and know how it is to live in poverty. When they grow up, they will be professionals and entrepreneurs, and they’ll help others and give jobs for the ones in need.”