|Motto||"Real help. Real hope."|
|Purpose/focus||Eradicating child poverty|
|Headquarters||Kansas City, MO|
|President & CEO||Jim Cook|
Children International is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that supports children and prepares youth to escape poverty traps. It addresses children’s critical needs through early intervention and regular interaction in community centers. The goal is to help children overcome the effects of poverty, support their education, and prepare youth to contribute to society.
The organization provides health benefits, such as annual medical exams and care during illness. If a child needs more advanced health intervention, the organization assists in providing referrals to specialists. Beyond these critical needs, Children International provides nutritional support, dental care, counseling for children and families, school supplies and fees, clothing, and items for the home.
Children International engages youth through leadership development opportunities, scholarships, and financial and job-skills training. An example of youth programming is "Into Employment," where participating youth receive training in welding, electrical, refrigeration and industrial mechanics.
- 1 Approach
- 2 History
- 3 Mission
- 4 Celebrity supporters
- 5 Partnerships and alliances
- 6 Programs and publications
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 External links
According to the Children International website, the organization aims to "reduce the burden of poverty on impoverished children, invest in their potential and provide them with opportunities to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society." The organization delivers these results via its community centers, which offer programs, computers, libraries and other educational tools. Educational support of this kind is frequently absent or difficult to acquire in impoverished areas, leading to secondary illiteracy and educational lags. Community centers serve as a distribution network for aid, although the focus is on using each center as "a unique support system" that offers skill and leadership training, college preparation and confidence building. Children International has indicated that its interests lie in cross-sector work with private industry, local and national governments, individuals and other non-governmental organizations. Children International uses a child sponsorship model to fund these activities, with nearly all of its funding coming from private donations. Funds are transferred to each agency, which oversee the organization’s community centers, according to an approved budget.
Known in its earlier years as "Holy Land Christian Mission," Children International was founded in 1936. The organization distributed food baskets to widows and poor families, provided early childhood education and operated a small medical clinic as well as a children’s home for orphans. This clinic was expanded following a polio outbreak in 1952 and became larger and more sophisticated over the years. Eventually known as the Mt. David Crippled Children’s Hospital, the clinic provided critical orthopedic medical services until its closure.
In the 1980s, the organization began expanding its scope by launching sponsorship agencies in Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Honduras and the Dominican Republic. It would later change its name to Children International.
Children International is currently a secular organization which supports equal participation for all children regardless of religion. The organization operates in 11 countries, including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and Zambia.
Singer and longtime CI supporter Debbie Gibson was featured as a contestant on the 2012 season of The Celebrity Apprentice on NBC. From the show, she raised $50,000 for CI and her winnings went towards the construction of a community center to serve 5,000 poor children in New Delhi, India. The community center will include a medical and dental clinic, pharmacy, library, computer lab and playground. The center will allow impoverished children to receive much-needed health care and educational support they would not have otherwise.
Children International's mission is to bring real and lasting change to children living in poverty. In partnership with contributors, we reduce their daily struggles, invest in their potential, and provide them with the opportunity to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society.
In addition to Debbie Gibson, Children International has a dedicated base of celebrity supporters who have graciously agreed to lend their names and faces in support of bringing real and lasting change to families around the world. The list of names includes Edie Falco, Drew Carey, Christian Finnegan, Heather Graham, Helio Castroneves, Miranda Kerr, Hannah Teter and Neil Patrick Harris.
Partnerships and alliances
Children International has worked with a number of organizations and agencies.
Working with USAID/Colombia, Children International piloted a program called Hope for Colombia’s Children that trained youth in conflict resolution. The two organizations have also distributed books together in the Philippines.
Additionally, the organization has two sub-grants under USAID-funded projects in Honduras: IMPACTOS – In partnership with Counterpart International, Children International works with youth and community leaders in four communities in the Asentamientos Humanos, San Pedro Sula area to increase transparency and accountability of public institutions. METAS – In partnership with Education Development Center, Children International works with at-risk youth to advance their job knowledge and skills, linking them with professional opportunities in their communities.
Children International has worked with the U.S. Peace Corps in a number of countries. The organization has trained Peace Corps volunteers in Guatemala, and has worked on several water-related projects in the Philippines, including a sanitation project and installation of water pumps.
Children International began its partnership with Aflatoun in 2010, when it implemented its programs in three countries: Ecuador, India and the Philippines. Children International has since expanded Aflatoun to its sponsorship areas, including Colombia, Honduras, and Chile.
In 2012, sponsored child Carla Vasquez from Guayaquil, Ecuador, was awarded the Youth Champion Award in Geneva, Switzerland, by Child and Youth Finance. In 2013, Children International had two children, one from Ecuador and one from India, qualify as finalists with their Aflatoun projects at the 2013 Child and Youth Finance Summit in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sponsored youth in the Philippines, trained by Children International, have assisted UNICEF in disaster relief. Children International has also implemented a child protection policy based on the tenets of UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies.
The Eli Lilly and Company's Lilly MDR-TB Partnership worked with Children International to create a public awareness campaign in India in 2009 that continued for several years. Sponsored youth, trained as Youth Peer Educators (YPE), supported tuberculosis patients during their treatment and worked as change agents to decrease stigma about the disease and increase overall community awareness of the illness.
Children International's United States' program, located in Little Rock, Arkansas, partners with Americorps. Celebrity Apprentice Singer-songwriter Debbie Gibson played for Children International on NBC’s 12th season of The Celebrity Apprentice, winning $50,000 for the charity.
Programs and publications
Journals and publications
- Field Notes: "an annual newsletter", written by agency directors
- LiftNote: a monthly online newsletter, distributed through e-mail to members of the LiftOne social networking site
- Journeys: a biannual magazine for donors, chronicling the organization's progress and accomplishments
Lift One community
Sponsors are able to socialize, communicate, organize, and advocate on a social networking site called LiftOne. Members create their own profiles and contribute blog posts and photographs to the community. Called "Lifters," these online activists come from around the world, with the large majority being active donors to Children International.Lift One Project:
Pen Pal program
Children International seeks to create a distinct, individualized connection between donors and their sponsored children. In order to accomplish this, the organization hosts an international "pen pal" style program in which letters are exchanged and both benefactor and recipient are able to get to know each other personally, sometimes over a span of years. In addition, CI donors receive a photograph of their child yearly, as well as an annual progress report that tracks how the cycle of poverty is being broken.
- Children International received the National Gawad Kalasag Award in the Philippines and was the Hall of Fame Awardee for having won as Best Civil Society Organization on Humanitarian Assistance for three (3) consecutive years (2010-2012).
- In 2012, Consumers Digest named CI one of their "top-rated charities."
- Charity Navigator gives Children International 3/4 stars.
- The Better Business Bureau has given CI accredited status, meaning that it "meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a Seal Holder."
- Children International is part of the Combined Federal Campaign, which promotes charitable giving among government workers in the United States. Its number is 12078.
- The National Disaster Coordinating Council in the Philippines awards Children International top honors in disaster relief.
- Charity Watch rated Children International a "B" grade.
- Great Nonprofits rated Children International with a 4- out of 5-star rating.
- In 2012, Consumers Digest named Children International one of its "top-rated charities."
- Forbes magazine recognized Children International, a U.S.-based humanitarian organization, as a top U.S. charity in its "Top 100 Largest U.S. Charities" list for 2012. The Forbes list includes ratios regarding a nonprofit's level of fundraising efficiency and charitable commitment and the press release 
- http://expreso.ec/expreso/plantillas/nota_print.aspx?idArt=4320506&tipo=2; http://www.eluniverso.com/noticias/2013/06/10/nota/1008121/ciudad
- Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report, Volume Number 59, December 2011