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Abengourou, Ivory Coast, Child Community

My sponsored child’s community

Ivory Coast is a melting pot of many people groups who come from all over West Africa. Because of the rich soil and frequent rain, subsistence farming in cocoa, coffee, and palm oil fuel the economy. Ivorians are typically very culturally religious and adhere to their family’s religion. The population is about 30 percent Christian, 30 percent Muslim and 40 percent animist. They all, however, typically have some animism mixed in with whatever religion they follow, especially Christianity.

Child sponsorship was added to the CMF ministry in Abengourou in March 2014 and is now expanding out into surrounding villages where the need is critical. Coeur Ouvert (Open Heart) is a child sponsorship program started by nationals who saw that kids were in need in their community and decided to try to find a way to help them physically, emotionally and spiritually. School fees become more expensive every year and, in many families, only the oldest boy can get an education because the cost is prohibitive for the others. There are many other possible challenges that these children face: lack of adequate nutrition, a positive HIV status for either them or their parents, frequent early forced marriage, female genital mutilation and illness due to many preventable diseases. We believe that every child is made in the image of God and are working to provide opportunities for as many children as possible.

The children in the program attend the best available schools as determined by the local leadership team. Sponsorship pays for uniforms, backpacks, books, school supplies, a health screening every three months, a monthly visit from a social worker and a library membership.

Children attend a kids’ club meeting once a month where they play games and learn CHE health lessons and Bible lessons. The parents attend a separate meeting to learn parenting and life skills, CHE training and a Bible lesson. With more sponsorships, the program can be expanded to include needed nutritional and medical support and tutoring.

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