Online Children Charities:
1.) Children International:
By Erin Fitzgerald
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Four children of different backgrounds stand
in a line clasping hands and smiling. In this carefree scene filled with lush
green grass and blooming flowers, these children don't have to worry about
equal opportunities in life. Their futures are shining brightly, and their
dreams are well within their grasp.
But this perfect society is only an illusion. A dream that 16-year-old
Wilda Vasquez Ibanez, a sponsored youth, portrays in her mural titled
"Right to Equality."
The reality is much harsher for children in impoverished countries.
Here in Guatemala, where Wilda lives, some families can't even afford to
buy nutritional food, let alone help their children pursue an education.
Their children's futures are dim, shadowed by a lack of knowledge and a
society where the poor often can't break free of poverty.
Wilda completed her "Right to Equality" painting as part of
a contest organized by social organizations. Painting has helped her
overcome her shyness, and she hopes to attend college. In the meantime,
she wants people to learn from and understand one another through her paintings.
"Age, color, gender and race are not important," Wilda said.
"We are all human and should receive the same opportunities."
Visual messages serve as an important tool of communication
in Latin America, where reading isn't stressed as much as it is in
the United States, said Vickie Coromac, Children International's
regional director for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
"Some of the adolescents in our program in Latin
America found that a good way to reach others was using visual art,"
Coromac said. "You retain an image better. It stays in your brain."
While impoverished families may still struggle to find work
and send their children to school, sponsorship - and paintings like Wilda's -
give them a reason to dream.
Wellington Gonzalez and
Astrid Salazar of United International's Guatemala City project
office contributed this report to Children International's web site.
World Vision Ie: (Part of World Vision International.)
HIV-AIDS Youth Programme in Tanzania
World Vision and the European Union (EU)
recently signed a contract to fund an
integrated programme to combat the spread
of HIV/AIDS among 2.6 million youth in Tanzania.
WV Ireland, WV Netherlands and WV Germany and are
co-sponsoring this project, contributing a total of 270,000 Euros.
The European Union supports this new initiative with 2.5 million Euros ($ 2.9 million USD).
WV Tanzania will implement this programme
jointly with Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI),
the Centre for Education in Health Development(CEDHA), and the Institute of Public Health (IPH).
More than two million people have been
infected with HIV in Tanzania since the first case was reported
in 1983, and over 810,000 children below 15 years of age have
lost one parent or both due to HIV/AIDS. An alarming trend
indicates two thirds of new cases of HIV infections occurring among youths.
The programme will mobilise youths between the ages of 10-24,
with a special focus on vulnerable girls, orphans,
school-going children, and out of school youth.
Community-based youth centres will provide youth-friendly
information regarding reproductive health and HIV/AIDS,
voluntary counselling and testing, access to reproductive health services,
and treatment of STIs. More than 2000 orphaned girls will receive vocational training.
Programme activities target changing the sexual
behaviour of youth through Behaviour Change
Communication Information (BCCI).
Training on HIV/AIDS will be provided
to influential community persons like
schoolteachers, religious leaders, traditional birth attendants,
traditional healers, and village health workers,
as well as youth peer educators.
Working through existing health structures, the programme will
train 100 health service providers in quality Sexual and
Reproductive Health Services (SRHS), including counselling services, to youth.
In order to improve the capacity of community-based structures,
including faith-based organisations to respond to the needs of
orphaned and vulnerable youth resulting from
HIV/AIDS, the partners will mobilise and
sensitise the community on the needs and legal
rights of youth and orphans as well as on prevention and mitigation of HIV/AIDS.
The EU funded programme will be located in 225 villages in eight regions of
the country (Arusha, Manyara, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Singida,
Dodoma and Kagera), benefiting over three million people.
Since 1990, WV Tanzania has been working in collaboration with the Tanzanian government, other NGOs and institutions to reduce HIV transmission and the impact of HIV/AIDS through integrated community-based primary health care, education and counselling, social care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
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