They Are Our Future
Children are among the most vulnerable to the hardships of living in poverty. In the past year, approximately 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday.Often, their life circumstances deny them proper nutrition, a safe and sanitary environment, and basic education.
ADRA operates supplemental feeding programs to help children grow healthy and strong. ADRA ensures the safety and rehabilitation of child victims of neglect and abuse at its many shelters staffed with physicians, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Additionally, ADRA runs education initiatives to help children grow up and become productive members of society, breaking the poverty cycle by unlocking a world of opportunity and a future with hope for success.
On the first day of school, Jo walks down familiar streets. When he reaches the schoolhouse, it is no different than before. Fewer people lingering in the street, perhaps. Fewer children laughing on the front lawn.
One year ago, the Ebola outbreak was a growing rumor in West Africa. It steadily became the most fatal outbreak in history. At the heart of the disaster are communities paralyzed by loss and fear, and within them, families burying one another until there is no one left to hold the shovel.
Jo is a survivor in the most tragic definition of the word. He survived the Ebola Virus, but lost his mother, his father, and all six of his siblings. At 10 years old, he is starting again.
The first step begins at school. For nearly a year it stood empty, a silent witness to the chaos plaguing the small Liberian village of Bulorquellen. Today, its doors are open again. The children of the recovering community have returned.
When the outbreak began, ADRA’s local staff worked within communities to prevent Ebola’s spread and to provide relief. Today, the need for protection supplies has been replaced by the need for school supplies. ADRA is there for this and more.
For recovering children, relief can be found within schools. With hand-washing stations and health presentations, we are ensuring the continued health of children and teachers, and by giving backpacks full of school necessities, we are helping kids have faith in the future again.
Santhash, a 13-year-old living in Chennai, India, used to skip school every day to pick fights and roam the streets of his native Anna Nagar slum with his friends. His mother, Vellin, was resigned to a life of poverty for herself and her son.
ADRA’s childhood development project in India provides academic support, creative learning opportunities, and medical checkups for children like Santhash.
Through after-school clubs at a local community center in Anna Nagar, ADRA gives children the confidence to think creatively and the encouragement to reach their full potential. The clubs teach dance and debate, tutor children in math and reading, and provide medical checkups and nutritional support.
Now that Santhash has discovered ADRA’s club, he has stopped talking back to Vellin. He no longer skips school to play on the beach and scrounge for coal to sell. Instead, he spends hours building a science project for the ADRA summer camp and has declared his favorite subject at school to be English. He brings home recipes for new dishes for Vellin to make, and he regularly shares meals with his entire family.
With no encouraging learning environment, children like Santhash remain trapped in the cycle of poverty. ADRA has started four after-school clubs in slums in Chennai, which have helped more than 2,000 children. With your support, ADRA can continue its efforts to use education as a key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Now children like Santhash can unleash their potential and dream of a brighter future.
Suleiman Al-Ghabani, a 10-year-old living in Jordan, misses his home in Syria. Forced to flee during the recent conflict, Suleiman missed a year of school as he and his family made their way to Jordan to start a new life. Suleiman is just one of the thousands of Syrian children whose childhood and education have been put on hold as their families escape areas of conflict.
ADRA’s Basic Educational Support for School Children (BESSC) project provides children like Suleiman the opportunity to get an education.
At his new school in Jordan, several hundred of Suleiman’s classmates are also refugees from Syria. ADRA’s BESSC program in Jordan supports these Syrian refugee children and hundreds of less fortunate Jordanians on their educational paths.
The BESSC program has helped more than 5,000 students like Suleiman, in more than 50 Jordanian schools, through the provision of school supplies, the creation of school clubs, and rigorous teacher training.
Suleiman goes to school every day with a big smile: with the right tools and the right environment, he is eager to learn as much as he can to make up for his lost year of schooling. He is ready to start the next chapter of his life.
The generous support of donors around the world allows ADRA to provide schoolchildren the education they deserve, integrate them more fully into society, and pave the way toward a brighter future.
When Aloina was 5 years old, ADRA workers found her and her brother living in the garbage in downtown Chisinau, Moldova’s capital. Their home was a cardboard box. With their father dead, their mother—having no interest in them—had abandoned the little children.
ADRA’s Rainbow Children’s Home provides a safe haven for abused and neglected children.
Located in a beautiful rural area far from the noise and dangers of the capital, the children’s home offers its residents bunk beds in cheerful bedrooms, an exotic jungle-themed playroom, and an outdoor playground.
When the children first arrive, many of them need medical attention, lack any education, and are wary of social interactions due to the trauma they’ve faced. To care for these children, the Rainbow Children’s Home is staffed with a physician, a nurse, a psychologist, a social worker, and educators.
Once they’ve received the necessary medical attention, along with psychological and educational evaluations, the children are divided by age into groups of six or seven, where educators offer homework help and teach the children about hygiene, etiquette, and conflict resolution. The staff works hard to create a family atmosphere, where photos of the children and their artwork hang on the walls, rooms are clean and neat, and each child is responsible for daily chores that are age dependent.
“I like to read, especially in English,” Aloina shares. “I don’t always understand it, but I try hard. I also enjoy music and drawing. One of my favorite things is representing the children’s home and singing in music festivals. I tell the smaller children here to take good care of the things in this home; you are blessed to be here.”
ADRA donors allow ADRA’s Rainbow Children’s Home to be a beacon of hope where neglected and abandoned children like Aloina find acceptance, patient attention, quality care, and hope for the future.