Children Believe

by Diana Quick / Our Members

Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

With COVID-19 threatening the health, safety and education of children, we've helped nearly 600,000 children and families by providing food rations; life-saving PPE and education to stop the spread of the virus; support to protect children at heightened risk of violence and education supplies to keep children learning.

Children Believe is a Canadian independent registered charity, which manages and directly funds program activities in our countries of operation. We hire nationals in our field offices, and work with local partners and community groups to ensure we’re making the biggest social impact possible. Our work is helping 900,000 children, youth, women and men change their lives.

Children Shouldn’t Be Leaving Their Homeland Alone

by Patrick Canagasingham, CEO of CCFC / Member Spotlight

The mass migration underway around the world puts children in harm’s way

We’ve been talking about a specific global controversy for what seems like ages — on TV, the radio, the web, social media and around the water cooler, but it’s an age-old problem. And, putting up barriers won’t solve the systemic issue causing people to risk their lives to migrate from their homeland through unconventional, dangerous channels.

What’s missing from much of the reports is a conversation about the number of vulnerable children caught up in the shuffle — children escaping poverty, crime and violence in search of more opportunities. The scariest part? They’re alone.

Finding “Hope at Home” for Vulnerable Children

by CCFC / Member Spotlight

$15-million joint venture led by Canadians providing hope and solutions for irregular child migration from Central America

MARKHAM, Ont. — Recently, the horrific plight of child migrants from Central America created both empathy and outrage throughout Canada, North America and the entire world. We watched news images of families who risk everything — separation, incarceration and even death — in search of a better life. For most, it was the frightened, desperate faces of the children that were particularly heart-wrenching. But what we witnessed through newscasts is only a fraction of the dangerous reality that actually affects so many young people living without safety, security or opportunity. Every day, youth in some of the most desperate countries in the world are faced with crime, violence and the drug trade. Coupled with limited employment and educational opportunities, these youth are pulled into a downward spiral of hopelessness and struggle to find a better future for themselves and their families.

Former Sponsored Child Speaks for Her Peers on Global Stage

by Ángeles, CCFC former sponsored child, Paraguay / Member Spotlight

By Ángeles, CCFC former sponsored child, Paraguay

(Translated by Maria Ferreira, program officer, Paraguay)

It’s been a busy few months for Ángeles, a former sponsored child from Paraguay. This past fall, she attended a violence-prevention meetingin Ottawa, hosted on behalf of the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada. And, she’s just returned from a global meeting in Sweden. The 17-year-old attended the End Violence Solutions Summitwith academics, civil-society organizations, private-sector leaders and government officials. (She even met the Queen of Sweden!, See below.)

Here Angie opens up about her impressions of this special trip — one she shared with Leticia, a peer from SOS Children’s Villages.

Fred Witteveen, CEO, Children Believe

by Diana Quick / CEO Forum

Fred 2

Fred is devoted to helping the most vulnerable children, their families and their communities overcome adversity and achieve their dreams.

The global humanitarian’s reputation for improving results in complex situations has led him on diverse journeys. Fred has gone from leading a multi-ethnic church in Canada to facilitating conflict mitigation in Kenya, to overseeing the transition from emergency relief to development programming in Pakistan. Most recently, he grew an established sponsorship program into a juggernaut for development and humanitarian grant growth in Bangladesh.

The dynamic, supportive leader comes to Children Believe from global senior roles at World Vision and World Renew. Prior to that, he founded and pastored the multi-ethnic Friendship Community Church in Toronto.

Fred encourages individuals and organizations to flourish by tapping into his expertise in organizational and program assessments, operations management, strategic planning as well as coaching and group facilitation, among other skill sets.

Fred holds a masters in business from Toronto’s Schulich School of Business at York University; a masters in divinity from Michigan’s Calvin Theological Seminary; and a bachelor of arts from Michigan’s Calvin College.

Irregular Child Migration in Central America PICMCA

by Christian Children's Fund of Canada / Video Gallery

Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is leading a $15.2-million regional project in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, designed to improve the well-being of children and youth who are at risk of irregular migration. The Government of Canada is contributing $12.6 million to the four-year project. The initiative addresses a number of the root causes that fuel irregular migration — from high levels of crime and violence, limited employment and educational opportunities, to social exclusion and a lack of information on the inherent dangers of migrating without following the normal immigration procedures. For this project, CCFC is partnering with two non-governmental organizations: ChildFund International (USA) and EDUCO (Spain).

Is the World Making Effective Change for All?

by CCFC / Member Spotlight

Find out about the High-Level Political Forum — what is it, and why is it so important to the global community.

More than 2,000 representatives of government, civil society, business and United Nations (UN) agencies are meeting at the annual High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) this week in New York.

They’re figuring out if the world is on track to meet six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015 for completion by 2030.

Pursuing a Global Vision to End Violence Against Children

by Patrick Canagasingham, CEO Christian Children's Fund Canada / Member Spotlight

Our progress for positive change in Paraguay is setting the stage for collaboration with governments and civil-society organizations around the world

If you’ve ever been to Paraguay, you might understand the feeling of community you experience from people in all corners of the country. I experienced this genuine welcome on my recent trip there a few days ago, but my eyes were also opened to one side of the country I couldn’t see.

I couldn’t see what happens behind closed doors. Jorge Méndez Rheineck, our country director in Paraguay, spoke frankly about the situation: “Violence against children in the home is a problem for too many. Worse, children suffer sexual abuse from adults they trust — relatives, family, friends and neighbours,” he said.

What More Can We Do to Keep Children Safe?

by Patrick Canagasingham, CEO, CCFC / Member Spotlight

A big part of [the sustainable development] agenda is protecting children to ensure they can realize their dreams. It’s a daunting task, so organizations are joining forces like never before. We understand we can’t achieve the 17 [SDGs] in isolation — we need one united voice.