March 17, 2016 - We visited an elementary school in Orange County attended by children from families that are struggling. These 4th & 5th graders received school supplies and much needed hygiene products. The children were very respectful & appreciative, and it was a positive experience for all involved. One little girl, on hearing the children in Haiti drank water that is frequently unsafe and made them sick, asked if she bought a gallon of clean water would we take it to them on our next trip to Haiti! How sweet is that?!
April 15, 2016 A Childhood for Children made its first trip to Costa Rica in the form of our "Travel With A Purpose" program. This is where we take a holiday for ourselves, but find a way to support a local facility that cares for disadvantaged children. We found this to be an orphanage in La Fortuna and a rural school in the hills about 30 minutes outside La Fortuna. There were about 20 children at the orphanage between the ages of 6 and 14. Many were "deposited" there by families that couldn't care for them. We played with them over the course of 2 days for several hours until exhausted. The rural school is located far out of town near a small cluster of homes, and the receipt of school supplies and hygiene care were greatly appreciated!
December 18, 2015 - Our founder and President visited South Africa while on a business trip and visited Sithembile House, a home for mentally & physically challened children.
September 2016 With the help of school staff and parent volunteers, we distributed much needed hygiene care products to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Ivey Lane Elementary. These children come from families that are struggling to make ends meet, but they were overwhelmed to see pictures and hear stories of the extremely poor children we meet in Haiti, India, and Ecuador.
We tour the grounds either escorted or on our own, to evaluate the state of the facility and to note specific things we may be able to provide or do, to help.
All children lived in shared spaces, as the sheer number of children and available space dictate this. Some rooms are large with as many as 30 beds, while others are smaller allowing for only 4 beds. They are always gender specific rooms once they reach a certain age. Many beds were donated at this facility.
We spend time with the children, introduce ourselves, and ask them about themselves and listen to their stories - once they get past their acute shyness! Most of the the girls especially, speak in very hushed tones with a constant smile on their face and a fidgetiness conveying their uncertainty. Some of that comes from English being their second language. While some boys are shy, there are greater numbers of them that speak right up and sometimes it's almost impossible to get them to stop!
The first step when undertaking a project is determining where there's a need. This information comes from our own research, friends of the charity, or local sources we find that have useful knowledge. In the case of Sri Lanka, during our research online, we found an organization there that works with poor children, and they were happy to help.
Once we arrived in Sri Lanka, a staff member of the local organization drove us to several homes and/or schools for poor children and children with mental disabilities. We had discussions with the administrators regarding the state of their organization, and determining if their children had needs that we could help fulfill.
In this image, Radhika is seen in discussion with the director of a home for mentally challenged children, and taking notes that would help us evaluate and choose the locations that had the biggest needs to fill.
August 2016 Our 3rd trip to Nutre Hogar, and we had three ambassadors accompany us, The children here are no older than 5 years old, being brought back to good health after suffering from malnutrition. In the mountain villages, there's abstract poverty and good nutrition is scarce. When rehabilitating the children, the parents are taught what to feed them to keep them healthy.
April 2017 A Childhood for Children provided diapers to the families with babies and toddlers at Seneca House, in partnership with Hunt's Point Alliance for Children. These kids are from struggling families that are trying to get back on their feet after falling on hard times. The savings to the families enables them to move into their own new homes sooner and provide for themselves.
April 2017 We were at Ivey Lane Elementary School to provide hygiene care products to the children of the 3rd and 4th grades. Our new Board member, Rose Mills, partnered with project manager and Board Secretary, John De Silva, co-managing the project as her first hands-on experience with the charity. She enjoyed her experience and looks forward to many more.
July 2016 We conducted our first project in partnership with Hunt's Point Alliance for Children in The Bronx, New York. Our volunteers, Blerina, Helen, and Suzanne did great work in support. The project took place at Seneca House, a facility that provides temporary housing for families with small children, helping them get back on their feet and secure their own home. School-aged children are usually thrust into a new school as the families come from different parts of the 5-borough area. A Childhood for Children provided about one-month's worth of diapers for the littlest ones, helping the parents gather their resources a little sooner. We invite all of our supporters to join us on a future project!
January 30, 2016 - A Childhood for Children conducted its first quarterly project of 2016 for the 321 children of Sewa Bal Bharti, the 36 residing at Aashray Care Home for children affected by HIV, and a new facility we support for impoverished children, Uma Bal Bharti, where 255 children attend school. That's over 600 children we help every quarter!
December 2016 A Childhood for Children conducted a quarterly project for the 3 facilities we support in Jaipur, involving approximately 600 children. Our ambassador, Preeti, was joined by our visiting American ambassador Rakesh and his family, as they provided food, hygiene care, towels, and school supplies. They also visited, played with, and sang songs with the children, and even provided a special meal for the children.
The last steps are transporting all of the items from the stores or vendors to the place or places, and then distributing everything to the children. Transport can involve a car generously donated by the hotel we were staying at like in Sri Lanka, private cars belonging to friends like those used in Jaipur, India, or hired vehicles as was done in Ecuador or Bangalore, India. The distribution can be the really enjoyable part, as the kids are all happy to be receiving the items, and talking to us and spending time together. The atmosphere is always a festive one and the children are excited and have loads of fun! We always talk to them and play after the distribution.
December 2016 A Childhood for Children visited Seneca House in The Bronx, bringing diapers for all of the families with babies and toddlers. The parents really appreciate receiving them, as it provides just a little more help to them getting more stability and finding a place of their own. The children also had coloring and puzzle books to enjoy, as well as treats and drinks.
June 2017 In Panama we were joined by 3 ambassadors. Two were newcomers to our projects, while the other had joined us for a project in Haiti.
We supplied the babies and toddlers of Nutre Hogar with formula, Pediasure, rice, and laundry detergent. We focused on the very expensive nutritional needs that others generally do not donate due to their high cost.
The ambassadors were immensely touched by the children, forming quick bonds with them, making departure an emotional experience for all.
July 2016 We provided hygiene care items, school supplies, towels, shoes & socks, and textbooks to over 350 children across three care facilities and schools in Jaipur, India. As some of you already know, and as can be seen in the January project below, we serve these children four times a year.
April 2017 While on a brief holiday to Cuba in April, we carried out our "Travel with a Purpose" program, and provided some school supplies to local children we found in a poor neighborhood and a facility that cares for children with behavioral challenges.
It is something we have adopted that makes our travels more meaningful. We have done this program in places such as Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Costa Rica. We encourage everyone to consider spreading the live to children living hard lives wherever they may travel.
March 11, 2016 - Our Ambassador Ananya, who goes to high school in Houston, Texas, used part of her spring break time to travel with her family to Panama. They visited Nutgre Hogar in Santiago, and using the funds she raised through an event she planned at her school, along with funds raised by making requests for financial support from friends and family, she was able to supply the 23 malnourished children with baby formula, rice and other food items, diapers, and other hygiene needs. Her family of 4 spent an entire day and half of another with the children, playing with them, helping to feed them, and putting them down for their naps and at the end of their day. They were quite overwhelmed by the experience and the opportunity to see how some not so fortunate struggle just to stay alive and remain healthy.
Welcome! Here is where you will find information and pictures from our most recent completed projects.
We appreciate your interest in the past work we have done to help children have a chance at a happy childhood. Sometimes, our mission is even more basic than that. In extreme cases, our work can assist in the child strengthening their lives and gives them a fighting chance to reach adulthood. One example of this is providing babies in Panama with nutritious baby formula when they have become malnourished. This absolutely puts them back on the road to recovery. It helps their bodies and brains continue to develop, and reach an age where they can better adapt to their dietary restrictions due to where they live and the available food sources.
We are proud of our past work, but we look forward to supporting these children and new children yet discovered that need our support.
Please help us in this service to children with a financial donation today!
100% OF YOUR DONATION GOES TO THE CHILDREN. THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS COVERS ALL EXPENSES
We hope you find this very condensed description of carrying out one project in Columbo, Sri Lanka in January 2015 interesting.
The next step is shopping…literally shopping for the best price and availability of needed items can take a full day, or longer. Consider the time taken to gather information from locals on the best places and ways to buy the items we need in large numbers, and how to transport same items adds even more time to the entire process. We have always run into availability issues when seeking to purchase 30 or more bottles of shampoo. Multiple places to purchase must be found constantly, as we rarely find everything we need at one location. All this with a language barrier. Also, we encourage the vendors to contribute something from their side for the children. Smaller vendors are almost always able to donate.
July 2017 A Childhood for Children conducted a quarterly project at the 3 facilities we support, impacting over 600 children.
Food items such as vegetable oil, rice, dal, peanuts, and much more were provided, along with steel eating utencils & bowls, bed sheets & blankets, as well as towels, school supplies, hygiene products, and undergarments all being distributed to the children.
September 2016 Hunt's Point Alliance for Children held a Back To School Fair, and we were invited to participate.
Hunt's Point is predominantly a low-income area, with many commercial businesses, warehouses, and the associated traffic of big tractor trailers going to and from the warehouses. Because of this added air pollution, children have higher rates of asthma and other breathing issues than the norm. This is just one of the hardships facing these children and their families.
January 21, 2016 - A Childhood for Children made it's first trip to Haiti in late January, 2016. President Radhika Narain, Secretary John De Silva, & Ambassador Esther Tingue visited the remote village of Bod Me Limbe for several days, where we made a census in order to distribute soap, diapers, and sanitary napkins to the over 140 children living there. The living conditions there were some of the harshest we have seen. A scarcity of food, no access to safe drinking water, no electricity. Mosquitoes seem to be the only things in abundance.
January 2017 A Childhood for Children distributed sweaters and light jackets to 89 children in the 4th and 5th grades at Ivey Lane. The ear-to-ear smiles and joy from getting these apparently didn't end on this day, as we were told they were still thrilled when they came back to school after the weekend! What was especially heartening was that the children remembered me from my visit 4 months earlier (see September below), and 3rd grader Alphonso remembered the stories and pictures I shared of the poor children in India and elsewhere. The teachers and staff were quite happy to know that the children retained that experience!
October 2016 A Childhood for Children made its second visit to Haiti.
We visited and served the children of Maison de Benediction, a facility that cares for mentally and physically challenged children. It was such a rewarding experience, as the love that came from these children was undeniable. There was so much joy in them as we painted, pushed them on the swing, and played games. The hygiene care we provided was such a dire need, the staff was full of emotion and gratitude.