Cherish Our Children International: A Landmark Forum Graduate Project That Has Been Making A Difference since 1993
A Charity started by a Landmark Education Graduate in 1993 is still going strong nearly 15 years later
Cherish Our Children International http://www.cherishourchildren.org/ is dedicated to making a difference for the worlds most needy and vulnerable children. Around the world natural disasters, civil strife, war, and genocide have had a devastating impact on millions of children. The very people who face the greatest impact of these events are also the ones that are the most often forgotten. With a need so great, the goal of Cherish Our Children International is to fund, develop, pilot, and replicate local initiatives to serve these children.
In 1993, Juli Kamin (now Juli Hall) of Houston, Texas was moved to ease the plight of Romanian orphans abandoned after the fall of the brutal Ceausescu regime. She established Cherish Our Children International (COCI) as a non-profit organization to sponsor and implement model programs that now benefit thousands of children around the world., Cherish Our Children International has been working for children in Romania, Serbia, Kenya, Israel, Mexico and the United States.
Because of COCI’s support and initiatives; HIV positive children in Romania receive job training, health education, food and medicine; abandoned children in Serbian orphanages are tutored, allowing them to be mainstreamed in public school classes where they have all received passing grades, some excelling with honors. In Kenya, COCI supports a day care/residential center servicing 70 children from the Kisumu slums, and ten resident children. In Israel, Cherish Our Children supports a soccer program that acts as a bridge between Jewish and Arab children. In Mexico COCI providing healthy water and in the United States, COCI is supporting a program to support the education of children with incarcerated parents.
Some of the past accomplishments of COCI include:
* Working with Hurricane Katrina child survivors in Houston to coordinate housing, education, and the location of relatives through a specially COCI designed web site, and providing formula to babies;
* Funding a mother/child shelter to prevent the abandonment of more than 100 babies in Bucharest Romania;
* Funding temporary pre-adoptive foster homes to help children make the transition from institutions to family life;
* Funding model family style group homes in Romania for abandoned children with HIV disease;
* Funding an HIV testing/counseling center in Constanta, Romania to prevent the vertical transmission of the disease from mother to child;
* Establishing a medical/nutritional care model for HIV+ children with limited resources;
* Teaching post-institutionalized “handicapped” teens the skills necessary for self-sufficiency in a residential environment in Turnu Severin, Romania;
* Training pre-school teachers in Montessori methodologies and providing materials to open Montessori classrooms for disadvantaged children in Turnu Severin, Romania;
* Supporting art therapy for over 1,000 abandoned children in Romanian orphanages;
* Developing a model community-service child development center and providing caregiver training for children with special needs in Iasi, Romania;
* Bringing physical therapy techniques to over 300 child caregivers in Eastern Europe;
* Providing emergency relief to an orphanage with 100 children in Iasi after government funds were exhausted and there was no money left for caregiver salaries or food for the children;
* Re-building kindergartens in Sarajevo so that more than 1,250 children could attend school;
* Establishing a Children’s Resource Center in Belgrade, Serbia that provides social intervention and transportation services to over 1,400 children from institutions and outlying low income areas.
Juli Hall is a graduate of The Landmark Forum and Cherish Our Children International, like many other projects was created and developed through Juli’s participation with Landmark Education’s Team Management and Leadership Program.