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.
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.

Links:

Mar 4, 2011

Resilience in the Face of Disaster

CERI National Director visits Selvam
CERI National Director visits Selvam's farm

Selvam (59) is a Sri Lankan farmer and fisherman.  He has six adult children of his own and is also the foster parent of a 14-year-old girl in CERI’s foster care program. 

With just a few acres of land and a small amount of capital, Selvam started his farm at the age of 30.  His enthusiastic and hard-working nature helped him to prosper in farming, add animal rearing to his venture, use his income to build himself a house near the coast, and from there to engage in fishing. 

 Unfortunately, despite his ambition and hard labor, Selvam has suffered several setbacks to his efforts.  In the 1990s he lost his home, property, and 20 goats as a result of the harrowing Sri Lankan civil war.  After rebuilding from one catastrophe, he was again dealt a blow by another—the tsunami of 2004.  “Tsunami totally washed out my animals (40 goats and hens), vegetable farm, and dry fishes.  My house was flattened.  When I saw my destroyed farm, I almost lost my hope,” Selvam recounts. 

 Rather than give up, though, Selvam mustered the resolve to begin farming again, raising goats and cows.  His business improved, and he was eventually able to save enough earnings to build two small houses, one for his daughter and another for himself. 

 Last year, Selvam incurred significant expenses associated with the marriages of his children.  He spent his hard-earned savings to do what he could to ensure stable futures for them.  Having proven his diligence and efficiency in his past self-employment ventures, CERI provided Selvam with a microenterprise loan of $100 in 2010.  The loan gave him the extra motivation and confidence to once again build up his farming business, and he was able to fulfill the obligations of the loan. 

 Again, Selvam excelled, and again he was struck by disaster.  The recent flooding in January of this year destroyed his crops and swept away his livestock.  In this face of this disappointment, he was grateful that his life was spared and began rebuilding again.  He started by selling dry fish to recover lost income.  After the flood, Selvam requested a second, larger loan of $500 from CERI to further expand his farm.  His resolve and refusal to give up inspire others in his village who lack the confidence to constantly pursue success.  He is grateful to CERI for the opportunity to participate in the loan program and credits his earnest effort and confidence as driving forces behind his success.

Selvam
Selvam's livestock
Selvam working on his farm
Selvam working on his farm

Links:

Jan 11, 2011

CERI's Winter 2010 Boot Mission to Moldova Complete

Volunteer student puts boots on orphan
Volunteer student puts boots on orphan's feet

The wife of the British Ambassador to Moldova, Kate Shannon, responded to CERI-USA’s GlobalGiving fundraising appeal sent to the expatriate women’s club in Chisinau, of which Mrs. Shannon is a member. The expatriate women’s club donated $500 towards CERI's winter 2010 boot drive!

Mrs. Shannon also visited a facility housing the disabled children during CERI's December 2010 shoe distribution mission and, afterwards, spoke favorably about CERI’s work in Moldova.  She promised further help to CERI office in Moldova.

CERI's dearest friends and child sponsors, Marilyn and Joe Swing, have shared their inspirational experience from visiting Moldova last month as part of CERI's volunteer teams:

"The teams over this 2-week period have now finished the distribution of over 7,200 pairs of winter socks and snow boots, so there are now many, many more warm feet on orphans around this country, thanks to the great support and many donations of people from across America and in other countries. The children are very appreciative and always excited to receive these gifts."

CERI hopes you will continue to be part of our work around the world, as we touch new lives and achieve new successes in 2011. Happy New Year!


Children help carry boxes with boots
Children help carry boxes with boots
An orphan
An orphan's old shoes
Boot-fitting session
Boot-fitting session
Happy recipients of new CERI boots
Happy recipients of new CERI boots
Kate Shannon (second to right) visiting orphans
Kate Shannon (second to right) visiting orphans
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