You can always look at things in different ways ... just take what happened at one of our programs a month ago.
Our point of view:
Sister Omaira is the director of Hogar Santa Rosa de Lima, a home for 50 girls in Cúcuta, Colombia. She is never late and never misses an appointment. When she didn’t show up for our phone conference call last month, we were worried. When we tried to call her, all our attempts were systematically rejected. This was an important call to discuss next year’s support for her program, and we wondered if she was no longer interested in our partnership.
Sister Omaira’s point of view:
At Hogar Santa Rosa de Lima, there are only five old computers for 50 girls. Only three of them work well, and none of them has a camera. When the girls told Sister Omaira that they had a Zoom meeting with a teacher, she gave them the iPad she uses for international calls so they would not miss the class. She knew the meeting with A Chance In Life was important, and that lending the girls her iPad would mean missing the call … but life is made of priorities.
“Do you want the good news or the bad news first?”
A research study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin states that the answer depends on whether you are the giver or receiver of the bad news. If you are on the receiving end, experiments showed that an overwhelming majority – more than 75 percent – wanted the bad news first. So, I will start with the bad news.
Last November, I traveled to the state of Chihuahua in Mexico. Because of A Chance In Life's reputation as an advocate for vulnerable children, I had been invited by local organizations to explore possible partnerships in support of the child victims of ‘narco-trafficantes’.
The trip was emotionally intense as I visited juvenile prisons, rehabilitation centers for teenagers trying to recover from drug addictions, and homes for orphans who had lost their parents to the drug wars. One of the most poignant moments was meeting with the Tarahumara people (or Rarámuri, as they call themselves), a group of indigenous people living in the state of Chihuahua. They are renowned for their long-distance running ability, and have produced some of the best long-distance marathoners in the world. In fact, Rarámuri means "runners on foot" or "those who run fast" in their native language.
A Chance In Life, in collaboration with Equidad para la Infancia, launches new video series to tell the stories of marginalized families in Latin America.
Get excited, A Chance In Life Family! In collaboration with Equidad para la Infancia (Equity for Children), we are launching a powerful new video series, En Primera Persona (In First Person) to share the stories of marginalized families in Latin America during the pandemic. Enjoy the teaser trailer above, and visit our En Primera Persona page on Friday, June 26, for the premiere of the first En Primera Persona video!
The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it many questions that I needed to answer as a father of four children in New York City. How would my wife and I keep them safe? How would we keep their lives intact during lockdown? (The questions eventually shifted towards how I would keep my sanity intact amid the endless energy of my young children ... but that came later.)
I hope you have already seen the messages of gratitude that our youth from Latin America have been sending us. As cases have spiked in their countries, causing the World Health Organization to name Latin America the new epicenter of the pandemic, they have also sent us photos of how they and their families are trying to keep safe. Maintain social distance ... wear a face mask ... stay at home.
The families of our children overseas have been asking themselves the same questions I asked myself in New York. How do we keep our children safe and healthy? But in the impoverished communities we serve in Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico and Colombia, they've had to grapple with even more difficult questions. How can I stay at home when we have no money - how will I feed my family? Do I continue working to put food on the table and risk getting my family sick, or do I watch our children go hungry? How can my child keep up with schoolwork when we don't have a computer or smart phone?
Luckily, we have the answers. Or rather, you do! A gift from you allows us to continue providing this life-saving aid to our youth, and begin working with our partners overseas to ensure no child loses access to an education in the coming year. To help with this endeavor, a partner foundation has offered to match any donation to our #MonthofMeals campaign given before June 30 - providing TWICE the amount of support and doubling your impact on the lives of children around the world! To say thank you and help you stay safe as well, we'll send an A Chance In Life face mask (photo below) to anyone who gives at the $100 level or above.
The families of our youth face increasingly difficult questions about their children's health and education. I hope you will join me today in providing them with resources they need to answer them. Thank you.
A Chance In Life is so grateful for our partnership with the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust, whose support has been instrumental in strengthening our COVID-19 hunger relief efforts. Trustee Ariane Slinger provided us with more insight into the Trust's work and her own role as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
You can provide emergency food supplies to our youth and their families during this crisis by supporting our Home Together event, which will take place on Tuesday, May 19. This digital feast is approaching fast, so make your gift today!
A Chance In Life and the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust collaborate to supply emergency food relief throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
As COVID-19 rages across international borders, A Chance In Life launched an immediate response to continue caring for the 3,000 youth we serve in Italy, Ethiopia, India and Latin America. As schools closed around the world, many children were sent home to struggling relatives poorly equipped to care for them. Since mid-March, A Chance In Life has worked to supply these children and their families with enough food supplies to get them through the end of this crisis.
Three weeks into our #MonthofMeals campaign, I have some thoughts to share about the "joys" of working from home with my four children. More importantly, I have a message about A Chance In Life's urgent efforts to ensure the children of our Towns do not go hungry during this crisis. $50 is enough to provide a child with enough food for a month - please join us in this lifesaving work. Grazie a tutti.