20 years ChildsLife – an amazing journey!
As ChildsLife celebrates its 20th birthday, it can proudly reflect upon the organization’s evolvement, achievements and the great impact it has had on the lives of so many children and their communities.
The first 10 years…
The ChildsLife journey started back in October 1996, when Patricia Korver-Kicak founded the organization.
After many years in management positions within large international non-profits, Patricia made the decision to bundle her experience and expertise and set up a new non-profit. A non-profit different from the others around. A non-profit that truly listens to what people need. A non-profit that sees its work through. A non-profit that works together with local communities to achieve sustainable results and has genuine impact. A non-profit that builds futures for people who believed they could not get one.
‘Voedselhulp voor Kinderen’ (VVK)
In its early days the organization operated under the Dutch name of ‘Voedselhulp voor Kinderen’ (VVK).
VVK started its mission with transports of emergency food to impoverished families in Eastern Europe. Within a year VVK expanded its work into Africa with several programs, including micro loans for women in slum communities, a school project for orphans and a HIV mothers program. By 1999 the organization expanded and realized projects in 11 countries. In the year 2004 the organization changed its name to ChildsLife ensuring a better recognition of its work both nationally and internationally.
By the time ChildsLife reached its 10th anniversary, it mobilized over $ 45 million in public and private funding and expanded its work in 30 countries.
ChildsLife operated a range of programs mainly focusing on feeding and care to improve the lives of women and children around the world.
The next 10 years…
The second decade of its existence the organization grows, develops and matures.
ChildsLife now runs offices in The Netherlands, Kenia, Romania and a volunteer office in the US. The focus of the programs evolves. From providing emergency feeding and care, a strategic shift takes place towards community support and sustainable development with larger scale infrastructural projects. Also addressing the problems around gender inequality is moved up high on ChildsLife’s agenda. A range of projects for women and girls is set up, such as ChildsLife’s unique HIV mother program Live, Learn Earn that to date has given a self-sustainable future to over 1200 women.
Over the past 10 years, ChildsLife has run a successful program in Africa and Eastern Europe.
The program consists of 4 integrated and interlinked components: Infrastructure, Food, Education and Care. It ranges from small scale projects to large scale community support programs. For example, ChildsLife strengthened Esiloyia Maasai community by installing water and irrigation systems and building primary and secondary schools. ChildsLife also built a girls’ dormitory at the secondary school to ensure girls are safe and are given the maximum opportunity to learn. This Maasai community is now thriving and fully self-sustainable.
Even though the scale of the projects has grown over the years and the focus has changed, ChildsLife sticks to the principle that programs need to be tailor-made and fully suited to local needs, however, programs do not need a lot of frills to be effective, as often a relatively simple solution can have the most impact.
In the year 2016, ChildsLife supports over 16.000 children every month and prides itself in running an extensive and diverse development aid program. ChildsLife is a catalyst for change and strengthens people and communities with sustainable solutions for a better future, without the support of ChildsLife.
While we know we can never eradicate poverty in our lifetimes, we look forward to the future and the next 20 years. Not because we aren’t sure that we truly impact people’s lives and build futures, but because we cannot escape the thought that we would rather live in a world where charity is no longer needed…
But until then, together with your help, ChildsLife will work hard to improve the lives of as many as possible!