On Mother's Day, Children International Declares the Power of Motherhood is Helping to End Poverty

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Volunteer moms have become agents of change for global humanitarian organization

With Mother’s Day being celebrated worldwide this time of year, global nonprofit Children International is recognizing the thousands of courageous, determined mothers who support its humanitarian mission every day. These moms often make a shift from voiceless victim to agents of positive change. They do so to help their children, and all children, live a better life.

Children International helps more than 200,000 children in 10 countries find a path out of poverty with programs focused on health, education, empowerment through life skills development, and employment. Many of Children International’s volunteer partners are mothers (some 9,000 strong) whose children participate in its programs in 67 community centers around the world.

According to the latest findings from a World Bank report, too many people around the world closely tie their financial prospects to their parents’ social status rather than to their own potential. Low expectations for upward mobility are particularly pronounced in the developing world. The study further indicates three ways to stop this generational cycle: Foster equal opportunities for children, nurture aspirations and tailor development interventions at a local level.

By investing in children and giving volunteer mothers a dynamic role in the process and progress, Children International has found a way to increase its return on investment, said Susana Eshleman, the humanitarian organization’s president and CEO. Many of CI’s volunteer moms, she said, have experienced lives of oppression and abuse on top of the dismal living conditions they endure daily.

“When CI staff first meet these moms, they often have little confidence,” Eshleman said. “We give mothers meaningful work and a way to move from passive participants in their lives to informed and engaged agents of change in their families and communities.”

“Volunteer mothers join our work as a way to give back. They tell us they receive so much than they ever expected and are often engaged in our programs for years or decades,” Eshleman said. "After being involved in the program for a while, it is so rewarding to watch these women beam with confidence and pride for the impact they have on their children and their communities! The human connection of mother and child definitely strengthens our work and our world; we are grateful we have this designated time of the year to recognize all the moms that make the world a better place.”

In partnership with its supporters and partners, Children International works to end poverty for good by providing a long-term, holistic approach to invest in the lives of youth. Volunteer and local staff in community centers from Colombia to Zambia coordinate programs aimed at breaking the cycle of poverty.

Children International is sharing the story of its volunteer moms and the impact they – and the power of motherhood -- have on the organization’s work. A link to the CI blog can be found here.

About Children International
Children International, based in Kansas City, Missouri, is a leader in the movement to eradicate poverty. From toddler to young adulthood, the organization surrounds kids with a caring team, a safe place and a clear path out of poverty through programs focused on health, education, empowerment and employment. Its supporters are inspired as they see children radically change their lives and create a ripple effect that impacts families and communities for generations to come. For more information, go to http://www.children.org

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Dan Wilinsky
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