Kaya Children International

The mission of Kaya Children International is to address the unique needs of street children in Bolivia and around the world through direct service, research and advocacy.
Apr 28, 2014

New Life, New Hope

On Christmas Eve 2009, an 8-year-old boy walked into the Kaya Center, his arm wrapped firmly around the shoulders of one of his little brothers. Gerardo hadn’t seen his parents in years and didn’t know where his other little brother was. Hungry and hurting, his face was lined with concerns that no child his age should know: where will we sleep, when will we eat, how will I protect us tonight? He came with no possessions, yet he carried a heavy burden: the pain of years of abuse and abandonment, the unique wounds inflicted by life on the streets.
 
As I think about this time in the church year when we celebrate resurrection, restoration, and rebirth, I can’t help but think of Gerardo, that boy we met over 4 years ago. Because much like the story of Easter, Gerardo’s story is filled with new hope and new life.
 
That Christmas Eve, Gerardo was welcomed to Kaya with loving arms, and found a place where healing and transformation could begin. Today, Gerardo is an incredible kid. He is funny and smart. He makes me laugh when he talks endlessly about his pet snails. He has big plans for his life and dreams of travelling the world. He still has hard days. Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and other holidays bring back the pain of the past, but he doesn’t have to face these days alone. He has people in his life that love him, care about him, pray for him, and help bear his burdens.
 
Earlier this year Gerardo went to our church youth camp. There, Gerardo walked through another new door, as he committed his life to Christ, one of four Kaya boys who asked to be baptized. Now that’s new life!
 
Kaya exists to live out the love and hope of the Resurrection in this world, and to love each child in our care as our own. Next week, we will be sharing with you by mail a new look at how Kaya loves and serves boys, girls, and mothers in Bolivia. Please take a moment to reacquaint yourself with our ministry and consider how you can support our work. We are in deep need for your financial partnership so our work here can continue. Through your support, Gerardo has found a new home and new life in a true family who loves him unconditionally. I want to be sure Kaya continues to provide a home for Gerardo. Would you consider making a gift to Kaya Children through GlobalGiving today?
 
Apr 25, 2014

Expanding Our Impact

  • Kaya currently has 30 boys living in 4 residential homes
  • Kaya currently serves 73 children daily in a full-day program that works with children who are at high risk of ending up on the streets

Most children served at the Kaya Center were spending much of their time working and hanging out in the streets and were not attending school. Children served in the full-day program come from very unstable, poor homes, many with a history of abuse and neglect in their families. At the Kaya Center, children receive a meal, emotional and educational support, clothing and educational materials, and a safe a stable environment to learn and play.

Over the past 5 years, we’ve served many young girls through our programs at the Kaya Center and are grateful for that. It’s been great to help children who are entering street life but still have stable enough homes that we can support their families and prevent high-risk children from entering the streets. While this has enabled us to serve girls, who we previously did not serve, it’s also made the need for a girls' residential home painfully obvious to us. Without the possibility of a residential home we keep encountering the same problem: we cannot help some girls. It’s not because we don’t have the skills or desire, it’s because we don’t have the resources. Just like boys, there are girls in our program living in unstable or abusive homes or simply not in a home at all. These girls would be best served by entering a residential program. Kaya has the experience, partnerships and desire necessary to serve these children, but we need the facilities to do so. 

Thank you for partnering together with us to transform lives in Bolivia. Please consider a donation in any amount to Kaya to help us continue this vital ministry.

Dec 18, 2013

Angel's Wish at Kaya

The Children. They are the common thread that runs through our stories... about why we support Kaya; why we feel drawn to this cause. Children on the streets may feel invisible to most, but when we hear their stories and look into their eyes, we truly "see" them. By listening and caring, we've decided that these children, and their life stories, are important. And by taking action, we're doing something about it. Through our decision to give, we are changing their lives for the better, letting them know that they are not forgotten. 

One of our earliest promises was to "tell the stories" of the children whom Kaya is privileged to serve. So this Christmas season, we share with you the story of one boy, Angel, who -- abandoned by his mother -- spent his earliest childhood years living on the streets with an alcoholic father. The one wish he held onto was that he would, one day, be reunited with his brothers again. With your help, this wish came true. Please remember the many other children like Angel, living on the streets of Bolivia in severe poverty, beyond what most of us can imagine, holding onto nothing more than the hope that their lives might change.

Consider Jonathan. His mother, with whom he lived on the streets for years, was involved in the sex trade and contracted AIDS. When Jonathan's mother died, our friends asked Kaya to welcome Jonathan into our home because Kaya was the only organization they trusted to care for him. Or little Hector, whose mother died when he was just five. To help his father suppport the family, he left school at age 8 to earn money, watching cars. With Kaya's help, Hector now attends school in the mornings, and returns to the Kaya Center for lunch and academic support in the afternoons. 

When we hear their stories, we are reminded, too, of how our own lives sit in stark contrast to the lives of these young, struggling children. How blessed we are to have the means to help. So, please consider a gift in the amount that is right for you. It is your caring that makes a difference in the lives of the children!

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