Mr. Franklin, our Volunteer Coordinator at the English Medium School, an energetic middle-aged man with curly white hair, showed us around the home when we arrived. The building itself is two stories high; the boys’ dorm is on the second floor, and the study room and kitchen are on the first. All of the 39 boys that live at the home, who range in age from five to seventeen years, are enrolled in our program, and are benefiting greatly from sponsorship: not only do they have the opportunity to attend school, but also to learn English early in life, which can give them advantage in life.Read More
After spending a long day visiting two projects outside of Hyderabad, Luis Bourdet, our Director of International Programs, and I prepared to travel even further into India’s rural landscape to a small town called Dornakal, in the state of Telangana, where we would be visiting six more homes. Before we left, Luis had explained to me that our projects in Dornakal are nestled in a cathedral compound run by the Diocese of Dornakal, which is a sector of the Church of South India, the largest Protestant denomination in the country.Read More
When Luis Bourdet, Children Incorporated Director of International Programs, and I left the Chandrakal Methodist Boarding Home to visit the Lou Ann Long Girls’ Hostel on our second day in India, I was just starting to get an understanding of what poverty looks like for children in the country. The Chandrakal Methodist Boarding Home, although older and lacking in funds, is providing for hundreds of students coming from poor farming communities - kids who otherwise would not go to school. The children face a lot of barriers when it comes to getting an education; but thankfully, many of them are being supported by sponsors who can help them overcome adversity.Read More
I didn’t know what to expect upon arriving to India after having spent a week visiting our affiliated projects in Sri Lanka. India was a place of wonder to me. Most of what I knew about the country was statistical information about its enormous population and the extreme poverty Indians face; of the 1.2 billion people living in India, an estimated 23.6 percent of the population lives on the equivalent of $1.25 or less a day. I was curious to see what more I would come to understand about India on my first trip there, especially when it came to the differences between India and Sri Lanka in terms of educating children.Read More
After two days of visiting our affiliated schools in Lawrence County, Kentucky, U.S. Projects Specialist Shelley Oxenham and I traveled about an hour south to Floyd County to meet with a new Volunteer Coordinator, Scott Shannon, as well as to visit with a long-term coordinator, Sharon Collins, who had recently been transferred to a new school. Although Scott was brand new to the Children Incorporated program and Sharon was not, since they were both new to their respective schools this year, each of them was meeting the children for the first time, many of whom they found would greatly benefit from having a sponsor.Read More
When Shelley Oxenham, U.S. Projects Specialist, and I met with our Volunteer Coordinator, Brenda Curry, at Fallsburg Elementary School in August, the first thing Brenda wanted to talk about was a very special family that she had arranged for us to visit with that afternoon. Stewart and Carolyn Sawyer live in a small home in Lawrence County, Kentucky, about a twenty-minute drive away from the school, where their son, Michael*, who is sponsored through Children Incorporated, is in the eighth grade.Read More
Since I first started visiting our affiliated projects in Eastern Kentucky in April of 2015, I have been reporting on the burden of poverty that our sponsored children and their families face every day. With a lack of jobs and scarcity of resources for people in need in this region of the United States, I often get asked when I return home: Why don’t people in need just move somewhere else?Read More
In late August, Shelley Oxenham, U.S. Projects Specialist for Children Incorporated, and I traveled to Lawrence County, Kentucky to visit Louisa Middle School and Lawrence County High School. The two schools are located in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field region in a very rural part of the state. The county is one of the largest in the state, meaning the distances between stores, homes, schools, and businesses are vast.Read More
It is an unfortunate reality that even in modern times, girls have fewer opportunities than boys when it comes to receiving an education. Girls all over the world face discrimination within their cultures where they are not seen as equals to men, and therefore an emphasis on educating women is mostly absent. Barriers such as early marriage, low social status, chores and responsibilities, unsafe schools, and sanitation mean that young girls are not learning and not getting jobs to generate steady income. Without an education, they can’t educate their own children, which keep their families living in a cycle of poverty.Read More
When Luis and I first set foot on the compound of the Wijewardane Children’s Home in Panadura, Sri Lanka, I was mesmerized by the beauty of the house and the property. The gravel driveway was lined with lush green bushes and red and yellow flowers, leading to an equally impressive covered front porch, which had a railing that was lined with wicker chairs.Read More
I wake up at 5 AM and I still never get everything done that I need to in a day. My workday always ends too early, and then I am off running to buy groceries, or meet friends for drinks, and somewhere in their trying to get exercise and not eat what is terrible for me. Before I know it, its 11 PM and time to get in bed so I can rest and do it all over again. It is exhausting.Read More
The tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in 2004, caused by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake off the island country’s coast, was one of the most devastating disasters ever recorded in the country’s history. The tsunami left tens of thousands dead, and many more, homeless, as well as had widespread effects on the country’s environment and ecosystems. The eastern shore of Sri Lanka faced the hardest impact because it was facing the epicenter of earthquake.Read More
A video from my travels with Children Incorporated to Eastern Kentucky in 2016.
From my visits to Eastern Kentucky with Children Incorporated.
A longer video from my travels to Ethiopia with Children Incorporated. All footage by me.
From my trip to Ethiopia with Children Incorporated in 2016. All footage by me.