I am a Nurse. One year, I went to Ecuador on a medical mission – and to meet someone very special. The country was beautiful. The people were gracious. But there was also the astonishing reality of communities of homes made of plastic trash bags supported by sticks, of children too small for their age – and of hope.  It was an experience that transcends words.

cijhpim07450098Within one poor community, Children International was there to help improve lives and generate smiles. CI is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports children and prepares youth to break the cycle of poverty. The goal is to help children be healthy, get educated, become empowered and skilled, and employed to contribute to society.

Beyond these critical needs, CI provides nutritional support, cihdsc_007400741dental care, counseling for children and families, school supplies and fees, clothing, and items for the home. It also engages youth through leadership development opportunities, scholarships, and financial and job-skills training such as welding, electrical, refrigeration and industrial mechanics. Youth may also take courses on sales techniques, customer service, accounting, critical thinking and leadership.

The organization delivers these results through its community centers, which offer programs, computers, libraries and other educational tools. These centers serve as a distribution network for aid and support system that offers skill and leadership training, college preparation, and confidence building.

Today, Children International operates in 10 countries with their mission to graduate healthy, educated, empowered and employed young adults from their program.

During my trip to Ecuador, I met the child I have sponsored through Children International for the past 10 years. She is happy, healthy, doing well in school and has hopes and plans for her future. It was pleasure seeing her grow into a confident young lady anxious to “pay it forward” and make a difference! I also witnessed the pride on the face of her mother. We keep in touch and send letters and exchange pictures both by mail and through an online service CI provides on their website.

I saw in person how much a monthly $32 sponsorship of a child changes life and consider it an investment beyond measure.

See how you can provide hope or get involved in other ways.     

Video – Breaking the cycle of poverty

Children International is a 501(c)(3) organization and gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law.

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