on the needles

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Harry's Family & Income Generating Project

I have so much sponsor kid news I hardly know where to begin!

First - some background...

I recently asked Children International to provide me with photos of all of my children with their families outside of their family home. This serves a few purposes. It gets the field workers out to visit each of my families so that they can assess their situation and advise me of any special needs my sponsor kids might have. It also gave me a visual reference point regarding their housing so that I could prioritize which kids might need the most help in that area. And, most importantly, the field workers were able to meet with each of my families to discuss with them the possibility of me providing them with capital to set them up in income generating businesses.

The longer I have been a sponsor, the more my idea of what being a sponsor is about has evolved. At first I didn't think beyond the basic assistance my sponsorship dues would provide. But as I have gotten to know these kids I have found myself wondering what else I could do to help them. I wanted to move beyond addressing their basic needs. I wanted to help them, the best I could, to have a better chance of improving their lives and possibly even moving them out of a state of poverty. Setting up what Children International calls "income generating projects" is the best way that I can see to help my families to help themselves.

This is not something that CI expects every sponsor to do, but they have been more than helpful in assisting me. I love it that CI is not some huge, ponderous sponsorship machine. Instead, CI really gives meaning to and stands behind the idea of direct sponsorship. It has been fascinating for me to read the proposals for the various income generating projects as they have come in. It's truly amazing what you can do for these families with a fairly small output of capital!!

I also want to add that I recently spent 45 minutes on the phone with Greg Jones, who is the head of sponsor services at CI, discussing the income generating proposals for my families. He was so helpful answering all my questions. CI has never failed to give me excellent service as a sponsor.

So - over the next weeks and months I will be sharing the process of setting up these income generating projects. CI will be sending me progress reports and pictures as the businesses get started. So we will all get to see the change happen. I can't wait!!

Here we go!

The first income generating project proposal I received was from Harry's family in the Philippines.

Here is Harry with his mother, father and siblings outside their home. Harry, 13, is in the yellow shirt.

Harry's siblings are, Jericho 9 and Jerica Mae 4. Little Jerica Mae (who is a TOTAL cutie pie!!) does not have a sponsor yet. If you would like to sponsor her PLEASE EMAIL ME and I can have Children International set that up for you. If you sponsor her you would likely at some point get a letter written for her by Harry. Let me tell you, a letter from Harry is a singular experience! Harry has the heart of a poet. He is so wonderfully expressive!

Currently, Harry's family income is about $30 a month. How they get by on that I'll never know. They asked for help in setting up a small business selling fresh fish in the market. I provided them with $140 in capital to buy fish and coolers. That's all it took! $140 and now they have a self-sustaining business that can bring in a steady income. Isn't that amazing?

I sent Harry's family their money a month ago. In a few weeks I will probably get the report and photos from CI. I can't wait to share them with you guys!!

Labels: , ,


Blogger teabird said...

I could cry, contrasting what such a small amount can do for Harry's family vs. what's going on in our own greed-driven economy.

namaste, friend.

6:54 PM  
Blogger PJ said...

gosh, I agree with Teabird. (HI!)...of course, our over driven economy is the source of our problems currently- I saw it coming. Yet $140 ground-root level to really give a family a help to sustain themselves. What a journey you are taking!

3:46 PM  
Blogger Heather M said...

That is terrific! I think that the income-generating projects are the MOST beneficial "special needs gift" to our children's families because it provies them wit so much. Not only have you given them a steady income, you also, give them pride that they can provide for their family!!!!

6:06 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home