Important Updates from the One Child Matters team, partners, and supporters.

Haiti Update: Social Unrest

Please pray for the staff and children of One Child Matters in Haiti, as the country experiences widespread social unrest. Our staff in Haiti are carefully monitoring the situation, and we are happy to report that our Hope Centers are currently operating.

One Child Matters has 24 Hope Centers in Haiti where more than 2,400 children are enrolled.

Demonstrations began on February 7 in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and have now spread to other parts of Haiti. The disruptions have also led to an increase in crime.

The people of Haiti have weathered several periods of unrest in recent decades. They have also been battered by natural disasters, including the devastating earthquake in 2010 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

When disasters or unrest erupt anywhere, it’s easy for children, the most vulnerable members of society, to get lost in the turmoil. But every child registered with One Child Matters is part of a loving community where Child Champions are looking out for their well-being. These relationships are an important part of keeping children safe during times of trouble. Through sponsorship, each child also has the special advantage of being prayed for by name.

We are grateful for your prayers and for your care for children in hard places… and hard situations.

All Hope Centers Operating Normally

Thank you for your love and care for vulnerable children around the world!

We do not currently have any major crises affecting our children at this time. Rest assured we will provide timely updates when children are affected by crises.

Please continue to pray for the safety of our kids and the Child Champions who tirelessly care for them in communities that can be dangerous.

Nicaragua Update: Hope Centers Reopened

Even as social instability and violence continues into a sixth month in Nicaragua, One Child Matters has reopened the doors of its Hope Centers throughout the country.

More than 500 people have been killed amid anti-government protests that began in mid-April, and Nicaraguan families are struggling as this crisis continues. The national economy has greatly weakened. An estimated 40 percent of the parents of our enrolled children have lost their jobs, and the cost of food has increased, making daily life even more difficult to survive. Additionally, more than 70 percent of the children have been emotionally affected, dealing with fear and trauma due to the conflict.

As we welcome children back into the Hope Centers, our Child Champions are focusing on psychosocial care – meeting their spiritual, emotional, and mental needs, in addition to the physical and social aspects. These caring counselors are working to instill a sense of resiliency within these children and bring much-needed normalcy back into their lives even as conflict continues around them. Child Champions and volunteer staff are also given space to reflect and renew as they strengthen the bonds of their teams in order to assist the children in their care.

Despite the violence and instability, God continues to work for good in Nicaragua, and One Child Matters is implementing its plan for growth there in order to serve more young people living in poverty.

Please continue to pray for our children, their families, our Hope Center staff, and the country of Nicaragua, and that peace and stability will be restored.

Nicaragua Update: Political Crisis

Thank you for your commitment to the children in Nicaragua through child sponsorship. Being a part of a Hope Center and connected to a sponsor like you makes such a difference for these children. In an effort to keep you informed and prayerful, we want to alert you of the current situation in Nicaragua.

In recent weeks, civil unrest and protests broke out in cities across the country. The demonstrations have escalated in violence, making it unsafe for many to leave their homes. The overall turmoil has kept children from schools and adults from their jobs.

More than 1,000 children in our program have been affected by this upheaval with limited access to food and loss of income for their parents. Unfortunately, it looks as though the unrest will continue for some time.

Blockades on main access roads throughout major cities inhibit the purchase of food and drinking water, and widely used products such as gasoline and chicken are scarce. Eight weeks of conflict have resulted in more than 200 deaths with 1,700 wounded and over 100 people still missing, including the son of a tutor from one of our Hope Centers.

In response to the ongoing conflict, the national One Child Matters office convened and formed the OCM National Emergency Committee which is made up of four pastors, two Hope Center Directors, and OCM National staff. It was determined for the physical safety as well as the emotional well-being of the children enrolled in the affected Hope Centers that all One Child Matters program activities be suspended until further notice as the Emergency Committee assess the situation on ground. This team of committed individuals is doing all that they can to prioritize the most urgent needs of these children and their loved ones.

As food stocks in the region are steadily decreasing with local suppliers unable to meet demands, and the loss of work opportunities for area adults (the majority of whom are without permanent jobs), the OCM National Emergency Committee has been in constant contact with our office in the event that requests for additional funding become necessary.

For the safety of our national and Hope Center staff, child and sponsor correspondence will continue but delays are expected. Also, letters will be done electronically, so you may receive a scanned copy of your child letter rather than the original.

We are confident that your sponsored child would find great comfort in extra communication from you during this stressful time. Please take this opportunity to send letters, reminding them that they are cared for and not alone. You can also write to your child online through My Account.

If you would like to offer monetary support, there are avenues in place to ensure that your funds are directed to our Hope Centers in Nicaragua. You can give online to our Crisis Fund or call 800-864-0200 to make a contribution.

Though we are saddened to bring such news, it is our hope that this is awareness will gain your much-needed thoughts, prayers, and assistance.

A Day Through Their Eyes

8 children from the same community have shown their unique perspectives of their daily life with us. We are so thankful for this opportunity to hear directly from these children who are working hard toward a better future.

One of the most enlightening insights that we saw when talking with each of these children is that they all have similar values in their lives. They have a deep love for their families; they work hard in school; and they attend the church within their community. Such simple values, but are they really much different from our own?

When we see these pictures, our eyes may first be drawn to their run down houses, simple meals, or poor road conditions on their walk to school. But it is truly not what they see. They see their home and the potential for a full and happy life. And maybe they have found the key to true contentment, because they do not have so much else cluttering their lives. They have what they need – family, opportunity, and the love of God.

Sponsorship helps to give these children what they need to be content and filled with joy, even in the midst of tough circumstances. Thank you to all of you that are helping a child who is seeking a better life, just like these children. We hope that these photos will serve us all in the future as a reminder of what we truly need in life to succeed.