HOLISTIC CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Imagine a bicycle wheel representing extreme poverty. The hub is a life in which survival is a daily accomplishment, the spokes represent basic human needs, and the rim represents a life fulfilled. Our mission, to release children from poverty in Jesus' name, brings children living in poverty from the hub of the "poverty wheel" to the rim.
In our Child Sponsorship Program, implemented by local churches, we blend physical, social, economic and spiritual care together to help each child fully mature in every facet of life. Thousands of local churches in low- and middle-income countries tailor our holistic child development model to the contextualized needs of the children in their communities to best deliver the care that the children need most.
When a child is registered in our Child Sponsorship Program he or she immediately begins experiencing the benefits of participating.
>> Learn How We Choose Which Children to Register
THE BENEFITS OF OUR PROGRAM INCLUDE:
The Opportunity to Hear the Gospel and Learn About Jesus
Without an understanding of God's love, it is difficult to resist despair. Children are particularly vulnerable to the emotional and spiritual messages of worthlessness and hopelessness poverty delivers. But their lives undergo a revolution when they realize God loves and values them.
We devote ourselves to helping children of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds and races experience God's love and embrace who they were created to be. We do not impose conversion requirements on any child participating in our programs, but we do teach God's Word. Children receive regular Bible lessons and encouragement through the local church partner running the child development center.
Physical and emotional health is the basis for our ability to work, play and develop sound relationships. That's why we teach children how to monitor their own health for common diseases and provide hygiene training. Children also have the opportunity to participate in sports and exercise where they develop their gross and fine motor movement skills.
We also provide medical assistance; teaching preventative care and helping when more serious needs arise. We help with emergency surgeries, organ transplants, casts, wheelchairs and canes, cancer treatment, hearing and eye care, and dental needs.
Children gain access to clean water for drinking and hygiene purposes. They also receive nutritious food while at the child development center. Children with greater needs receive food and vitamin supplements and have access to therapeutic feeding and food stability initiatives.
Education and Vocational Support
Education is often an unaffordable luxury for children living in poverty, and a lack of education creates a lack of options. It makes finding future work difficult, and it makes children vulnerable to exploitation.
We provide resources for children to complete and go beyond a primary education. In some cases, the cost of school fees, clothing and supplies are provided. In other cases, it means providing tutoring, help with homework, mentorship and, if necessary, participation in a literacy program outside the classroom. Children also learn a vocation that can later provide them employment.
>> Learn How Our Child Sponsorship Program Complements and Supplements Traditional Schooling
As children grow older, we offer job-skills development and income-generation training, such as: teaching business and entrepreneurship, financing start-ups, providing seed capital and micro-loans.
We also provide a consistent and dependable source of learning and support for caregivers and parents, including literacy training, financial training, parenting and marriage workshops, and seminars to address and prevent domestic violence and child abuse.
Safety and Protection
The protection of children is central to God’s heart for them, and we place the love, care, and protection of children above all other considerations. Our church partners facilitate foster care, counseling, intervention, and medical care for children dealing with abuse, and help with legal resources to represent and defend a child’s rights or to help find a missing child.
>> Read Our Commitment to Child Protection
We also help meet basic needs by providing clothing and shoes for children in immediate need and shelter renovation to damaged or unsafe homes.
We expand the circle of caring adults actively participating in a child’s life. The child development center workers and church leaders offering the program know each and every child they serve. They know each child’s name, family circumstances, future dreams and immediate needs. They invest in each child personally and relationally, as friends, teachers and mentors.
The church staff offer love, guidance, personal attention, safety and structure to the children and create the environment for the children to develop strong life and social skills, self-confidence and positive self-esteem.
The minimum standards for our program dictate that each child development center provide four to eight hours of programming each week, at least 48 weeks out of the year, and that individual child attendance be taken each time the center is open. If a child doesn’t show up at the center, a staff member checks in on the situation.