Vulnerable children sit outside a rundown house

Our Philosophy: Compassionate care for Vulnerable Children is our strategic priority

In everything we do, we seek to serve the whole person: physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. Whether addressing the needs of a vulnerable child, the challenges facing a family in poverty, or the issues preventing a community from thriving, we deal with specific problems with the understanding that each issue interacts with and impacts others. In this series, we focus on one specific facet of the complex challenges facing those in need around the world.

There is no greater passion at Cross International than to care for vulnerable children. It’s at the heart of everything we do. While we care for all those in deep need around the world, these little ones uniquely need our focused attention and commitment. Even without a global pandemic like COVID-19 or a natural disaster, these precious lives face tremendous challenges. For that reason, every ministry we support has the ultimate goal of benefiting those at greatest risk: vulnerable children. 

You may not be familiar with the term ‘vulnerable children.’ It is used to describe kids at high risk of lacking adequate care and protection. Often, these children are orphans, either because one or both parents have died, or—in the case of ‘social orphans’—because they’ve been abandoned by parents who are living but unable or unwilling to support them. These precious little ones have no reliable social safety network to depend on to protect them. You may know of vulnerable children in your own community, whether as the result of abuse, divorce, or unemployment. Consider the additional risks vulnerable children face in developing areas of the world. For example, lack of food, clean water, and adequate housing can lead to illness, keeping kids from the education they need to support themselves in the future. During times of uncertainty like we are facing with the coronavirus, these children have no one to look after them. These situations affect us like we imagine they affect you: they break our hearts and drive us to action.

Quick action is needed, but there isn’t a quick fix. Supporting these kids requires a long-term plan that addresses the complexity of the problems with integrated solutions. Our approach meets vulnerable children’s immediate needs for nutritious food, clean water, safe homes, healthcare, and education. But it doesn’t stop there. We also consider the ability of families and communities to provide ongoing, stable environments for these little ones—not only during childhood, but also to provide the promise of opportunities when they grow up. Perhaps most importantly, we support parents and families facing crisis in order to help prevent the problems that lead to children being abandoned in the first place, keeping families thriving and together, where they belong.

As you can see, this is a big task. That’s why orphans and vulnerable children are a strategic priority for Cross International. Our focus on these children is a pervasive and all-encompassing theme for what we do with our ministry partners. With your support, these ministry efforts not only help kids thrive, they help families flourish and communities get stronger. 

Many of our ministry partnerships directly serve children who are vulnerable. Orphanage and childcare ministry partners provide homes for orphaned or abandoned children, often placing them in family-like groups where they can feel secure and supported. Many of our ministry partners provide feeding programs alongside educational services for children, nourishing both their bodies and their minds. Special education and physical therapy for those with unique challenges or disabilities further care for those who otherwise would not receive the help they need. Often—and by design—these ministry partners extend their services to benefit not only vulnerable children, but also other children in the community in need of assistance.

Ministry partners providing family and community services also benefit vulnerable children by strengthening the social networks around kids, providing stability and opportunity.  This helps children who are already at risk, as well as preventing situations that might result in children being abandoned. Vocational training, adult literacy programs, and micro-loans help parents gain the economic strength and stability they need to build thriving families. Our ministry partners often provide training for parents to help them understand how to care for their children’s health and wellbeing. Community services, such as medical clinics, medicines and medical donations, clean-water wells, and water delivery systems, all create healthier, stronger communities.  And that directly impacts vulnerable children in the area as well.

When it comes to helping these vulnerable children, we are compelled by the need we see and by our belief–based on years of experience and evidence–that we can make a difference for these little ones. Perhaps more importantly, we’re compelled by the consistent call in the Bible to protect and care for those who are orphans. With the current C19 pandemic, our work is both more important than ever and more challenging than ever. Will you partner with us in answering the call and responding to both the need and the opportunity? We would be honored to partner with you in serving these precious vulnerable children!

OTHER STORIES

Kenyan girl coloring a book while boy looks at her

Partner Highlight: Kupenda for the Children, Kenya

Many people in Kenya believe that disabilities are caused by witchcraft or are a punishment from God. Kupenda for the Children’s mission is to fight against these harmful beliefs by training community leaders to serve as advocates for children with disabilities.

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Children receiving lunch at the DSS summer feeding program

A Summer Without Hunger

Summer can be an extremely difficult time for children in the developing world. For some, school lunches are the only food they can rely on and without consistent meals, these children can begin slipping into malnutrition.

Read More »

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See your gift go TWICE as far!

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Any gift you give before the end of the year will be MATCHED dollar for dollar, up to $75,000, to transform lives not only now, but into the future!

Help Children With Disabilities

The UN estimates that between 93 and 150 million children worldwide live with a disability. In developing countries, these children are often unable to attend school, play outside or access specialized resources. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors and community leaders often reinforce these barriers.

This year, we’re providing $60,000 worth of medical equipment to Kupenda for the Children in Kenya. This is a very remote location, and your gift will help cover the shipping costs to this very worthy medical outreach.

This gift will benefit: Kenya

Heal the Sick

In developed countries, basic medical supplies such as gauze, wraps, bandages, and syringes are commonplace. Unfortunately, that is often not the case in the developing world. Christian doctors and volunteers in developing countries frequently run low on these supplies, and they also lack the funds to keep large inventories on hand.

This year, we’re providing $84 million worth of medicines and medical supplies. Your gift will help cover the shipping costs to medical outreaches in some of the most remote areas of the globe

This gift will benefit: Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Kenya

Build a Family a Home

A gift of a safe, secure home is tangible affirmation of God’s love for a desperate family — it brings hope, health, stability and opportunity. Most poor families must settle for much less. Mired in poverty, they are forced to live in unsafe shacks fashioned from mud and thatch.

You can provide the life-changing gift of a safe, storm-resistant new home with Cross partners Ambuya Development Center in Malawi and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A new home will ease the family’s burdens, protect them from the wind and rain, and help them achieve their dreams.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Malawi

Education

The gift of an education is an investment that reaps long-term dividends for a child’s future. By opening doors for the children of the poor to enroll in Christian schools and get the same educational opportunities as their more economically well-off peers, you are giving not just a hand-out but a “hand-up.”

Your gift will fund Christian education to nurture vulnerable children mentally and spiritually — for thriving futures that will transform hopeless places.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Ecuador, Uganda

Rescue Women and Children in Crisis

Through emergency child rescue services, vocational training, anti-trafficking programs and Bible literacy classes, Cross International is helping vulnerable women and children reclaim their lives. Inspired by Jesus’ love, we work shoulder to shoulder with our in-country partners, empowering them to create change that lasts so that those who need help will eventually be able to stand confidently on their own. Be a part of this good news and make a life-saving gift part of your holidays.

Your gift will help protect victims of gender-based violence and also help save marginalized women and children from harm.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Provide Clean, Safe Water

Our ministry partner, the Kachere Development Center, has an ambitious plan to install 20 wells, providing 5,160 adults and 8,414 children with clean water. Our goal is to finance the drilling and installation of one well – part of an entire community water system, which includes training to maintain the well, and sanitation and hygiene training for improved health.

One borehole can provide 2,800 gallons of safe, life-sustaining water every day. Help us bring clean, safe water to one of these villages today — in a way that will last for generations.

This gift will benefit: Zambia

Give Tools for Sustainable Farming

One of nine people worldwide survive on less than $1.90 a day. Without training and supplies to grow moneymaking crops and breed profitable livestock, poor farmers stay locked in the cycle of poverty.

By supporting this fund, you’ll help families break free of poverty — transforming lives for generations. When families get the training and tools they need, it means bountiful harvests and small animals that produce income for a sustainable business model.

This gift will benefit: Guatemala, Nicaragua

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries.

Your gift will provide meals for ministry partners such as Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti and Hope of Life in Guatemala. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Most Urgent Needs

Inspired by the love of Jesus, we work shoulder to shoulder with local leaders overseas, equipping families with the resources they need to thrive – basics like food, clean water and healthcare, as well as longer-term community transformation projects that will ensure lasting change.

By giving to our Thriving Kids Initiative, you’re not only meeting children’s Most Urgent Needs, you’re also helping lift their families – even entire communities – out of poverty.

This gift will benefit: Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, South America

Feed Hungry Children

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 811 million in the world suffer from under-nourishment. By providing the gift of food, you will save the lives of thousands of hungry children and their families in developing countries like Haiti, Malawi, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Your gift will support the provision of meals and other basic services that are essential for survival. A generous donation during this season of giving will change lives forever.

This gift will benefit: Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Malawi

Recommended Gift
$1,000 will feed 30 children for a month | $5,000 will feed 80 children for a month | $10,000 will feed 92 children for a month | $20,000 will feed 184 children for a month

Donate to Cross International’s Thriving Kids Initiative