Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI)

Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) is a faith-based health and human services organization that has been bringing hope to children who are impoverished and deprived since 1999. CERI strives to break the generational cycle of poverty through a holistic program of nutrition and health services, educational achievement, biblical social values, and spiritual discernment. The goal is to give every child a lifestyle of self-determination and self-reliance that provides hope for the future. CERI is the international arm of BCFS, a system of health and human service non-profit organizations.
Aug 2, 2011

A Woman with a Dream

Mrs. Shanthakumari and her family
Mrs. Shanthakumari and her family

So many people in the world need help that it sometimes feels overwhelming. But when you meet a woman like Mrs. Shanthakumari, you realize that small steps make a huge difference. When CERI’s staff met Mrs. Shanthakumari, we knew she had promise and would use the money we gave her to restart her pottery business wisely. She initially started her business in the 1990’s, but faced major losses of her house and possessions due to the civil war within Sri Lanka. Through all the hardships, she never became discouraged. Mrs. Shanthakumari is very active in the community and, after raising three children of her own, she took in a foster girl who had been abandoned by her family as a result of a physical impairment. These great qualities gave CERI confidence that she was a worthy candidate to help succeed. We gave her a loan of $100 in June of 2010. She profited greatly in that year, repaid her loan, and even made a $200 profit in a single sale. After the destructive flood earlier this year, CERI gave her another loan of $250 to rebuild her business again. Through the profits of her business, Mrs. Shanthakumari plans to repair and improve her home and continue to take care of her 10-year-old foster daughter. These small loans are often the difference between a life of poverty and struggling to make ends meet and meaningful employment which restores dignity and self-sufficiency to families. There are many more worthy candidates like Mrs. Shanthakumari, and your gift can provide them with an opportunity to succeed!

Mrs. Shanthakumari and her pottery
Mrs. Shanthakumari and her pottery

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Jun 9, 2011

Devastation and Recovery

Devastation of the flood in Sri Lanka
Devastation of the flood in Sri Lanka

In January 2011, a massive flood devastated many people in the country of Sri Lanka. The district of Batticaloa was hit especially hard. It was mostly destroyed by the 2005 Tsunami. This time the people of Batticaloa again lost their homes, businesses, and way of living. The devastation was great and the need of the people was evident, so CERI was glad to rise to the task of helping people rebuild their livelihoods and regain their self-reliance. Two of the wonderful people we are helping are Vasantha and Mrs. Manjula.

Vasantha is a sweet, 58-year-old Sri Lankan woman who is a foster mother of a child in CERI’s Foster Care program. She lives and works as a potter in Eravur, which is a very famous town for pottery in the Batticaloa district. After the flood, CERI gave Vasantha a 2nd loan of Rs. 20,000 ($200 USD) for her pottery business. She previously received a loan of Rs. 10,000 ($100 USD), which she had paid back in full before the flood. CERI gladly provided her with another loan due to the hardships the flood had caused. Vasantha expressed, “Now, I’ve started my business with confidence.”

Mrs. Manjula is a 40-year-old Hindu widow who lives in the town of Morakottanchenai. She has two children of her own plus three foster children who are all school aged. She has a small boutique and prepares snacks, as well. Because of the flood, she lost her business. After deciding to open her boutique again, CERI gave her a loan of Rs. 5,000 ($50 USD) to restart her boutique. Mrs. Manjula shared, “I am really happy to know that CERI considered our needs and is ready to support us to restart our livelihood program again. We are very thankful.” 

Pottery made by local Sri Lankans
Pottery made by local Sri Lankans
Apr 11, 2011

Beginning Again - Winter Boots for Orphans

Orphan Boy
Orphan Boy's New Boots

It is a new year and the need of orphans is still great. This year CERI volunteers will distribute new boots and thick socks, along with knit caps, gloves, and scarves on the feet of approximately 3,000 orphans to prevent them from developing frostbite that's common during harsh winters throughout Transnistria. Transnistria is a rogue republic and is unrecognized as a legitimate government and nation. It has a communist-style government and is situated between the Ukraine and Moldova in Eastern Europe. Each orphan will be personally fit with new boots and made to feel truly special in the eyes of the Lord who loves them.

As of now, the estimated cost of the project is $75,000. CERI is now in the process of ordering 3566 pairs of boots and approximately 6000 pairs of socks. The boots are our own brand, custom made to our specifications with increased insulation and reinforcement. It is still early in the year but we must order the boots no later than mid-April in order to insure a timely arrival in preparation for distribution by some 40 volunteers from across the United States in December.

CERI hopes and prays that our donors will take compassion on these little ones of God by an act of love through the small gift of warmth to each Transnistrian orphan child.

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