|Children are fleeing Central America and going to the United States because of violence and poverty.|
World Vision is preparing to respond to the crisis. (©2012 Heidi Isaza/World Vision)
As the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border intensifies, World Vision is providing essential supplies through partner organizations to help unaccompanied minors in transition centers across the United States.
By Lauren Fisher, World Vision U.S.
Updated July 10, 2014 at 08:30am PDT
More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors — most from Central America — have entered the United States since last October seeking refuge from violence and oppressive poverty in their nations.
That’s twice the number from the previous 12 months.
A desperate escape from violence
Heedless to the dangers involved, these unaccompanied children crossed vast distances with little protection or resources, arriving in the United States with the clothes on their backs and little else.
Nearly 60 percent of young people cite gang warfare and escalating violence in their homelands as the primary reasons for their exodus, according to a U.N. studyExternal Link (pdf).
Providing necessities for unaccompanied children
The plight of children at the border is causing an escalating humanitarian crisis.
As this emergency intensifies, World Vision is poised to provide essential supplies through partner organizations to help unaccompanied children being sheltered in locations across the United States.
World Vision is working with the churches and community partners at 13 locations throughout the country, including California, Texas, Florida, and New York, to supply unaccompanied children with items such as:
- School supplies
- Activity kits
We are also furnishing cleaning supplies, paper products, and other materials to equip the local centers that are hosting children.
Addressing the root causes
In Central America, World Vision has worked in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras for decades to address the crisis’ root causes like poverty and the threat of exploitation that cause children to flee.
In El Salvador, programs like urban and rural children’s clubs give kids positive role models and a place to escape the violence. Throughout Central America, projects address the lack of economic opportunities — another factor that causes children to flee — by providing savings groups, vocational training, and other livelihood assistance.
Groups of parents and community leaders are trained to spot child protection issues and advocate for reforms to benefit children on a local and national level.
- Read more about the conditions children face in Central American countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as World Vision’s work in the region.
How you can help
- Pray for unaccompanied children. During the arduous journey north, they are separated from their parents, far from home, and vulnerable to violence, abuse, and other dangers.Use our prayer pointsExternal Link to help guide your prayers.
- Make a one-time donation to help care for unaccompanied children in shelters across the United States. Your gift will multiply 8 times in impact to help provide interventions like clothing, shoes, hygiene kits, school supplies, activity kits, and other essentials, as well as cleaning supplies, paper products, and other materials to equip local centers that are hosting children.
- Create your own fundraising page and share it with your network of friends and family to help children who are being affected by this crisis.
- Advocate.External Link Join us in calling on the governments in Central America and the United States to do more to protect children from violence.