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Helping Children, Helping Communities

Major news organisations and investigative journalists have, throughout the years, taken a close look at which charities and non-profit programs rank as the largest in the world. Among the top 40 or 50 programs, there are several that focus solely on providing aid to needy children, hungry children, and to young people who otherwise would not have access to clean water and medical care.

Some of these essential programs have been in existence for a hundred years or more. In some situations, the assistance began immediately following a military conflict that disrupted families, leaving children vulnerable to hunger and disease. Some of those children were orphaned by the conflict, making it necessary to provide safe housing for hundreds, and even thousands of kids.

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From Small Beginnings

Many of these organisations began with a staff of two or three, with the goal of serving the children in one community or local area, and some have grown through the decades to bring benefits to young people around the world. Much of this growth took place in the 1950s and 1960s, after the upheaval of World War II and the Korean War.

With this geographical expansion, some of the organisations changed their names to better reflect the mission they set for their programs. During this growth period, some of the more successful organisations took a slightly different direction with their efforts, not only feeding and housing the young, but also working to bring their communities out of poverty. This expanded focus allows the children to grow up in a thriving social setting.

Sponsorship is one of the most important elements in the work of these groups. Most people have seen advertisements and other messages asking for financial help, with the name and photo of a specific child connected to the donation. This has proven to be quite successful for most organisations; others have extended their reach by coupling sponsors to larger projects, and to entire communities as well.

Values in Action

With compassion for the youngest and most vulnerable, these organisations focus on establishing communities that allow children to be safe, healthy, and ultimately, happy. But this is not as simple as collecting funds and paying for essential services; it involves sharing information and collaborating with individuals and businesses who share the same values and the same commitment to quality and integrity.

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Success in this essential field involves maintaining an optimism that can be difficult to uphold. It also involves connecting with people who can sponsor individual children, community projects, and entire social networks. It involves challenging people and companies who have the means to provide sponsorships and support.

Fortunately, with the technology available in the 21st century, communicating the important messages is a bit easier and can be sent to millions of people around the world. Even when someone is far from the problems that many children experience each day, they can reach out to lend a hand. Life is a struggle for many children, even today, and a regular gift can help not just one child but an entire family, or even an entire community. As one organisation has so aptly stated, this is not a handout; it is a hand up.

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