Partnering with Christian schools in countries around the world, a Canadian organization is giving hope and a future to less-fortunate children.
Child Care International (CCI) is a Christian organization based out of Surrey, B.C.
"Our organization helps children achieve their dreams, their full potential, by providing Christian education in many countries around the world. They learn not only academic subjects but also learn about the Lord," says Jose Prem, the Executive Director of CCI.
The Canadian organization has been helping children in 10 countries on three continents for over 25 years. This includes Central America, Asia, and Africa.
"I was born in Guatemala, Latin America and I was exposed to poverty my whole life. It's a third-world country where people struggle all day long. The Lord spoke to my heart that I should make a difference somehow," says Prem.
After coming to Canada and having 10 years of experience in community development and helping children in his home country, he came to work for CCI.
People wanting to partner with CCI can sponsor a child in one of the 10 countries for $40/month.
"Most of the money from sponsors goes toward paying the tuition of the child. Also, spiritual development by providing Bibles and other spiritual activities. Beyond that, when disaster strikes, a part of that money provides specific relief needs."
A sponsorship affects more than just the child being sponsored.
"When you help one child it basically affects the whole family and the community at large. When a child understands God's plan for him or her, then that child becomes an agent for change in their community."
Prem has seen the direct effect sponsorship has had on one boy who is now an adult.
"We have some graduates who are working in health departments in their countries. I can think of one in Uganda right now. He's affecting the policies of the whole country and guiding people in how to take care of their health."
People partnering with CCI in child sponsorship can connect with their child in a personal way if they wish.
"When you become a sponsor, you're able to pray for that child, send a letter and receive letters from that child. One of the most treasured things a child has in these countries is a letter from their sponsor or a postcard. Someone sending a letter of love, it changes their whole world."
Prem says people are investing in eternity when they sponsor a child.
"It's a good way to do international missions. If you're not able to go to a place like Philippines or Thailand or Uganda, but you can support the local efforts being made there through child sponsorship. Basically, we're doing international missions without being able to go there."