There are so many ways to protect, nurture and educate children. Here are some projects that need doing in almost every community in the Americas. All they lack is one person with passion who is willing to spend some energy and take some risks for kids. We’re hoping you might be that person. Just imagine if every school, every faith community, and every person who felt called to do something for kids, would help us with our projects, or would do one of the following projects, striking out on their own to reduce the threat to children! Just imagine!
Street Kids Refuge Creating a place where city children can come and be safe for the night. Provide a chaperone, a mat to sleep on, some soap and water, and a roll and hot drink in the morning.
After-School Program with Nutrition Lots of kids go home to empty homes because one or both parents work. Providing a safe place to stay to do homework, get some nutrition and adult guidance can make a huge difference.
Sister Schools Bringing two schools together for friendship and mutual support in the same community or on the other side of the globe can produce some incredible synergy.
Teach a 2nd Language, Organize a Choir or Fútbol Team If you speak one language, you can help some child who needs help. Bringing a choir together or coaching a soccer/fútbol team are mind-blowing projects to connect with needy kids. Got it? Do it!
City Kids to Nature The entire world for too many city kids is about 8 blocks square. Organizing day trips or week-long summer camps to get these children to “the country” can be life-changing.
Children as Sex Slaves, Work Slaves, Soldiers, and Child War Victims This is hard core. Where does one begin? Who is qualified to do it? The reality is, it doesn’t only happen in distant, more primitive cultures. An Indian diplomat in New York was recently deported because she had a child working as a domestic slave. Children are used by drug dealers in our inner cities and child prostitutes, as well. Child soldiers are more rare but there are also rare, brave heroes who take on those who would force children into killing and mayhem. And children killed in Syria, Afghanistan and Chicago as “collateral”or “drive-by” victims cry out for the protective embrace of a champion. When one considers these callings, the starting of an after-school program seems like a stroll in the park.
Health Initiatives We are losing 25,000 precious children every day and most of these deaths are preventable. Providing children with nutrition, clean water and access to medical care are major deterrents. Nearly 9 million children under the age of five die every year, due to pneumonia, diarrhea and health problems in the first month of life. The WHO says two-thirds of child deaths are preventable. Most of the children who die each year could be saved by low-tech, evidence-based, cost-effective measures such as vaccines, antibiotics, micronutrient supplementation, insecticide-treated bed nets, oral rehydration, and improved family care and breastfeeding practices. The world cries out for volunteers to respond.
Environmental Initiatives There are many concerned about increasing pollution within our biosphere, that is, where all our air, water and land is located. Carl Sagan said that if we were able to reduce the size of our planet to the size of a basketball, our biosphere would be the thickness of a coat of shellac. Our very future almost certainly depends on our actions in the next decade, to understand and reduce the impact of our human footprint on the biosphere. Educating and motivating children and adults and our communities to be protectors of the environment is critical to our survival. The video, An Elder’s Vision, by Canadian geneticist David Suzuki, suggests some of the issues we need to consider. The good news is, we can be champions for the environment right where we live.
Country Directors How do we find one passionate community leader in every one of the America’s 35 countries to join us in carrying out nutritional, educational and protective actions for kids? Is there one person or, perhaps, a small group of close friends, in Rio, Medellin, Managua, or Vancouver, who would share this journey with us? How can we help each other? If we start the conversation, perhaps we can create a web of support and compassion that will reach into more corners of our troubled Americas. Maybe. ¿Quién sabe?