Life is hard for boys like Stiven in the impoverished village of Pueblo Nuevo, Dominican Republic. In this part of the world, boys learn at an early age to be scrappy, act tough, and do whatever is necessary to survive. Stiven’s future did not look much better than his father’s, who works as a chiripero—someone who does odd jobs no one wants, including work as a freelance security guard protecting properties with only a machete.
Have you ever packaged meals? Every year, thousands of you meet in churches, schools, and community centers to put together lentils, spice, chicken, and rice—the nutritious combination that helps feed thousands of hungry children in Africa and the Caribbean. But what happens to the meals once you seal up your packages?
Follow your meals and find out how they get to the children—and into their bellies!
Alieu had somehow made it to sixth grade without ever learning to read. He started school late, as many children in Sierra Leone do because their parents cannot afford school fees. By the time he was given the opportunity to attend Children of the Nations' school through COTN's child sponsorship program, it was hard for him to catch on.
Santa Ramirez looked up at the sky and knew tonight would be difficult for her family. Soon it would begin raining, and the tin roof on their home in the Dominican Republic leaked badly. She would have to find enough dry places for all the beds, but with thirteen people crammed into one small home, that wasn’t an easy task. Tonight, no matter what Santa did, her children would end up cold and their belongings would be soaked by the rain. In the morning, they would go to school tired.
Alhaji and Mohamed sit in the resource library, waiting for their bus back to school. They wait silently, but every once in a while, when one of them has something to say, he signs to the other and smiles.
For Duramany and Mikailu, getting to school is quite a committment. They leave the village of Mokpangumba in Sierra Leone just after dawn to cross a river in a dugout canoe, then walk for about an hour through jungle and farmland to reach the Children of the Nations (COTN) junior secondary school in time for class.