Richmond, Va. - June 12, 2009 - Monica is 15. She is from Zambia and she was forced to carry heavy loads of water and heavy bags of charcoal. Given this work, Monica had no time to play with her friends.
She was one of the 218 million child laborers in the world and one of the 100 million who are girls, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Richmond, Va. - April 16, 2009 - An African child dies every 30 seconds from this same disease; nearly a half billion people become ill because of it.
Richmond, Va. - April 14, 2009 - More than one million children under age 5 in the developing world are undernourished for their age so the ability to secure food for families is critical.
Richmond, Va. - Monday, Dec. 22, 2008 - Forrest Ewens - a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army - had a knack for putting a smile on a child's face in Afghanistan, often sneaking treats to them.
"Forrest had a real heart for the children in Afghanistan," Ewens'mother, Carol, said. "When he wrote home, he would write more about the help he was able to provide to the local people rather than his military adventures."
Forrest was 25 when he was killed in the line of duty in 2006.
Richmond, Va. - December 1, 2008 - Mohamad Shar, a Christian Children's Fund (CCF) staff member, was killed Nov. 30 in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber attacked a passing military vehicle. Shar was 52 years old and had worked for CCF for 18 months.
"We are deeply saddened by this senseless death," said Anne Goddard, President of CCF.
Traditions are a part of the cultural roots for any society. They define beliefs and determine attitudes. They can break down boundaries or build up barriers.
But certain practices endanger the lives of those who follow them. Take the traditional practice of female genital cutting. Still practiced in many parts of Africa, CCF came across this practice after beginning services for the refugee population in Chad.
Richmond, Va. - Sept. 15, 2008 - A Christian Children's Fund employee who was kidnapped Monday in the Philippines has been released.
Ludy Borja Dekit, 37, was kidnapped along with three other aid workers on the island of Basilan about noon Monday (Philippine time). According to a report received, two others managed to escape from their captors.
While Americans are cringing every time they pump gas, others around the world are feeling it too, although not just at the pump. Rising gas prices also cause a rapid increase in the price of staples.
While the security situation in Kenya has improved as a result of the Feb. 29 power-sharing agreement between Kenya's President, Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader, Raila Odinga, international media continues to report incidences of sporadic violence, including several deaths and burning of homes in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya.
A CCF Kenya emergency core team is in place to institute and run child protection activities in three informal urban settlements where Child Centered Spaces will be located.
By Martin Hayes, Child Protection Specialist
When the post-election violence broke out in Kenya, many CCF workers were on Christmas break with their families. Bernard, a CCF staff member, and his family were visiting relatives in the western region of Kenya - one of the most affected areas of the country when he heard the news. Bernard rushed back to the office in Nairobi, to begin responding to the crisis, while preparing his wife and 8-month-old son, Ryan-Kwee to join him.
On Jan. 28 the rains began. Less than 24 hours later, while they were sleeping, Emelda and her family were left homeless after a wall from their house collapsed due to the torrential downpours in Chainda, Zambia.
According to Emelda, this rainy season has been the most violent she can remember. "I heard a loud bang and then the wall fell away. I rushed to grab my youngest daughter who started getting wet as the rain came in the house," Emelda said.
By Kirsten Hongisto, Regional Communications Manager
Harsh weather conditions including frigid temperatures and heavy snows over the past two months have lead to hundreds of deaths-- mostly children and the elderly- in Afghanistan. Many families do not have the resources to stay warm or are trapped by the snow.
CCF is helping Kenya in the wake of post-election violence by partnering with other humanitarian agencies to conduct a sexual violence assessment in the most affected areas of the country.
Spearheaded by U.N.
By Jane Nandawula Okumu, Communications Manager for CCF-Uganda
Forty-year-old John had looked forward to the Kenyan elections. The father of six and owner of a small shop a few miles from the Ugandan border, he had no reason to suspect the elections would go horribly wrong or that he and his family would become refugees, fleeing the violence.
"On the 27th of December, my family and I were indoors listening to the election result announcements on the radio. On the 28th, we fled," John said.
In light of the violence that has broken out in post-election Kenya, CCF-Kenya National Director, Dennis O'Brien, met to debrief staff at the Richmond office on Jan. 29. O'Brien discussed the volatile state of Kenya and the current status of staff and CCF-assisted families.
Deep creases in Mary's forehead reveal her concern for her children. Mary has two children with mental disabilities and two children she took in from the streets. She was already struggling to care for her family when post-election violence broke out in Nairobi, Kenya.
Late one night she and her family packed their few belongings and fled their home in the slums of Nairobi due to increased violence in their community.
Security continues to be a top concern in Kenya as violence stemming from the Dec. 27 presidential election continues.
CCF staff in Nairobi report that ethnic tension is high which severely restricts movement within the slum areas. Informal road blocks slow the movement of minority ethnic groups to other slums.
Heavy snows combined with cold temperatures have hit north eastern Afghanistan, especially Takhar province where CCF has been working for the last six years.
The instability and violence stemming from the Dec. 27 presidential elections in Kenya is continuing to present security issues for many Kenyans. CCF's national office in Nairobi is now open, although the security situation remains volatile. CCF staff have been hindered in traveling to the program areas.
'The security of our staff is of utmost importance,' CCF President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard said. 'In order to properly support families and children, we must first ensure the safety of our staff.