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10 feats that brought us hope amidst the challenges of 2021

POSTED December 20, 2021

10 feats that brought us hope amidst the challenges of 2021

Find out how our donors helped boost support for pregnant women, early childhood development, job opportunities for young people and more

By Fred Witteveen, CEO, ceo@childrenbelieve.ca 

CEO stands by poster

This time last year, many of us thought COVID-19 would soon become a distant memory. Today, we understand the recovery will take much longer — especially in the countries where we work.

It’s hard to image kids were out of the classroom (completely!) for a year in our India programs. And, we know those students are not alone in their struggle to access education during this difficult time.

In fact, more than 100-million children are expected to teeter below the minimum proficiency level of reading due to the pandemic, reports UNESCO.

BUT, we won’t give up on our work helping vulnerable kids access opportunities to learn, grow and reach their dreams. In fact, nearly 400,000 children gained greater access to education this year through Children Believe (CB).

Today, I’d like to celebrate our amazing supporters. They made it possible for children, families and communities to find hope as we all prepare for the year ahead. Below are just 10 achievements that gave our teams hope this year as we prepare for 2022. Check them out (and find more in our latest Annual Report)…

  • Pregnant mothers benefited from maternal healthcare supported by trained health workers who helped them overcome nutritional deficiencies. This reduced risks for unsafe deliveries and improved the health of 300,000+ mothers, children and community members.
  • Nearly 100 percent of the 23,000+ children who had access to CB-supported early childhood development centres in our last fiscal year were on track with their social-emotional and cognitive development.
  • We increased girls’ enrolment in primary education — and realized overall gender parity across all our six countries combined — as we sought to ensure everyone was included. We did this by working with education departments, improving teacher knowledge and promoting gender and social inclusion in schools, among other methods.
  • With a zero tolerance for early child and forced marriage, we continued to challenge social norms, which were perpetuating these harmful traditional practices. We supported traditional or religious leaders, police and other government bodies to implement laws protecting girls from being forced into early marriage. As a result, 10 of 15 planned child marriages reported to us were prevented in the past fiscal year in our India programs, for example.
  • Young leaders influenced positive change in their communities, from ending child marriages to addressing climate change to realizing their rights to decision-making processes affecting their lives.
  • We helped 135,000+ young people, aged 15 to 24, primarily from low-income and indigenous families, develop vocational and self-management skills to gain stable employment.
  • We helped make digital alternatives to skills-training possible by supporting partners to boost their technical output. Together, nearly 120 youth in Nicaragua learned about accounting, marketing, culinary arts, microcomputer operation systems and more.
  • We helped women take key roles in decisions affecting their lives. This is thanks to women’s collectives and organizations dedicated to their advancement, such as savings-and-loans groups. In India, this approach has led to women becoming politically active; in our past fiscal year, nearly 100 women got involved in their local governments.
  • We helped tackle misconceptions about the benefits of irregular migration among youth and supported them with skills and resources to start businesses and contribute to building their communities and nations.
  • We became even more intentional about working with and through our 26 local partners (27 percent of whom have been with us for 20+ years) so they’re equipped to make positive change and promote child rights in their communities and countries.

Join us next year in continuing to work with our partners, communities, young adults and children in creating more stories of hope.

Learn more about how you can help today.

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ABOUT CHILDREN BELIEVE (formerly Christian Children's Fund of Canada):

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

Preventing Irregular Child Migration in Central America (PICMCA):

Children Believe is leading a $15.2-million regional project in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, designed to improve the well-being of children and youth who are at risk of irregular migration. The Government of Canada is contributing $12.6 million to the four-year project. The initiative addresses a number of the root causes that fuel irregular migration — from high levels of crime and violence, limited employment and educational opportunities, to social exclusion and a lack of information on the inherent dangers of migrating without following the normal immigration procedures. For this project, Children Believe is partnering with two non-governmental organizations: ChildFund International-USA and Educo.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 12 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in more than 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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