There has never been a greater need for the world and its communities to come together, and this unprecedented time has called on global citizens to get involved and take action now. While the health and well-being of Canadians will continue to be a priority in our national fight against COVID-19, as the global crisis evolves, many are wanting to help locally and internationally, and give all that they can to make a positive difference. A recent study+ conducted by Children Believe, a Canadian organization that works globally to help children live and dream fearlessly, surveyed Canadians about their views towards supporting international causes amid the pandemic. The goal was to encourage Canadians to think about what they can do to enable change. The study reveals that 88 per cent of Canadians recognize the increased threat that COVID-19 poses to vulnerable communities, and 74 per cent feel that they have a duty to support those less fortunate both in Canada and beyond our borders.
Children Believe is committed to improving the lives of children by helping them overcome barriers to education such as inequality, discrimination, and violence, to access essential resources and to be able to exercise their rights.
Ninety-six per cent of Canadians surveyed agree that supporting children is vital and that every child deserves access to education and basic life necessities, regardless of who they are and where they are from. While respondents believe support for local causes is important during COVID-19, more than half (55%) say they aim to support organizations that work within international development for children. Children Believe is working in Africa, Asia, and the Americas to stop the spread of the virus, ensure children are nourished, keep kids safe from violence and help them continue learning.
“COVID-19 knows no borders and is wreaking havoc on the lives of children and youth in many of the communities we serve,” says Fred Witteveen, Chief Executive Officer at Children Believe. “Adults cannot work, children cannot go to school, and shortages of food and critical supplies are rampant. I am so grateful that through the generosity of Canadians, Children Believe has been able to help 572,000 people thus far during COVID-19. Through prevention messaging and education, the provision of protection supplies and equipment, food rations and food packages given to those in greatest need, mental health supports and learning aids for children, we’ve been able to help children and families weather this global storm.”
Taking Action on COVID-19 on a Global Scale
While the vast majority of Canadians say they stay up to date on COVID-19 news outside of Canada (82%), half report that they rarely read or hear about how COVID-19 is impacting communities beyond North America or Europe. This lack of information has made it difficult for Canadians to relate to the extreme challenges children and their families in low-income countries are facing. Children Believe is listening to community members, monitoring how things are going, and ensuring communities and children get the support they need. This makes it possible to share the stories and challenges in developing communities that Canadians don't hear otherwise, while maintaining transparency in reporting the results of the charity’s work.
Canadians Recognize the Need is Great
- 96 per cent agree that many people around the world are not as fortunate as us to have the infrastructure and support systems in place during a pandemic
- Nine-in-ten (91%) understand that communities in vulnerable countries may not have the equipment or medical care to manage the impact of COVID-19
- Two-thirds (66%) are proactively trying to educate themselves on how COVID-19 is impacting other countries
A Legacy of Integrity
Throughout its 60 years of operation, Children Believe has ensured the highest standards of integrity across all levels of the organization. The non-profit has on-site global professionals working closely with community-based organizations and partners on the ground, who are knowledgeable about and can effectively address the needs of children and families.
“Our survey reveals that 89 per cent of Canadians want charities to have a responsible and transparent fiscal approach to operations,” adds Fred Witteveen. “Canadians can be confident when supporting Children Believe that we uphold our commitment to maintaining open communication and trust with our partners, donors and the public at large.”
Children Believe's success is rooted in its child sponsorship program, bringing together Canadians to help vulnerable children around the globe. Another way to help is through its Gifts for Good catalogue, which features 40 life-changing gifts – many of which bring relief to urgent COVID-19 related needs – that empower children through gifts of education, agriculture, health and more. For more details, visit childrenbelieve.ca.
About Children Believe (formerly Christian Children’s Fund of Canada):
Children Believe has programs in 160 communities across 12 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, Children Believe has brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists with a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.
A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of 11 child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 16 million children and their families in more than 60 countries to overcome poverty and the underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. They work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.
To learn more, visit childrenbelieve.ca/covidhelp
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