Meet Children International's 2014 Inspire Award™ Finalists (1 of 2)

The Inspire Award™ Celebrates Outstanding Contributions of Volunteers Who Live in and Are a Part of the Impoverished Communities Children International Serves
Dec 2, 2014 7:05 AM ET

Children International has named the finalists for the 2014 Inspire Award™. These finalists have each been selected as winners in their region in order to be considered for this honor. The unique Children International Inspire Award™ celebrates outstanding contributions of volunteers who live in and are a part of the impoverished communities Children International serves. More than 8,000 dedicated volunteers help make Children International’s work possible, using their time and energy to enhance the lives of children in their communities. This year’s finalists have:

  • fought to educate their communities on issues like human-trafficking and child marriage
  • led environmental-protection campaigns
  • campaigned and fundraised for community-improvement projects, such as having their streets paved.

Meet six of the finalists for the 2014 Inspire Award™:

Miriam Castilla Lara, Barranquilla, Colombia
Miriam Castilla Lara convinced the city’s mayor to include her neighborhood in the program “Barrios a la Obra,” a project to pave roads in Barranquilla. Thanks to her efforts, the neighborhood now has good access to roads, which has significantly improved the quality of life for local residents. Additionally, Ms. Castilla Lara has been involved in several volunteer activities for Children International, including informing the community about important events, collecting letters to sponsors from the children in the sector of which she is in charge, advising families and assisting with gift distributions. She also teaches life skills to 20 beneficiaries in Children International’s Sports for Development program. She was also honored for her leadership capabilities; in addition to her work with CI, she serves as the “Secretaria de la Comuna” in her neighborhood.

Diana Guerrero, Cartagena, Colombia
Diana Guerrero was a pioneer for Children International’s Community-Feeding program when it began in her community. She volunteers in Sponsorship Relations and also assists with health-related activities. Currently, she is a volunteer in Children International’s Nutrition Rehabilitation program, where she prepares lunch for children who are underweight. Over the last several years, Ms. Guerrero has proven herself to be a leader who takes initiative. For example, she noticed that few organized sports activities were available to local children and youth, so she began organizing indoor soccer tournaments for her community. When she saw local sewage problems going unfixed, she gathered her community, started a petition and solved the ongoing problem. Because of the love and compassion she offers to sponsored children, youth and parents, community residents feel very comfortable around her and say they enjoy participating with her on projects.

Elsa Buch Sik, Guatemala City, Guatemala
Elsa Buch Sik, or Mrs. Elsita as she is known by those in her community, was one of the first volunteers to get youth in her area involved in Children International’s Into Employment program, which prepares youth to enter the job market with valuable skills that help them find employment. She works in Sponsor Relations and supports general Children International program activities. One of her roles as a volunteer is to inform youth of the different opportunities available to them, such as Into Employment. Additionally, she helps with tasks such as updating child records, letter writing, distributing gifts and following up with families after natural disasters.

Alexandra Cirino, Guayaquil, Ecuador
When she saw that youth participation in her area was declining, Alexandra Cirino took initiative and put together an information stand to inform youth about Children International’s youth programs and why they should participate. As a volunteer for Children International, her duties include collecting letters from children to their sponsors, distributing benefits and conducting home visits. In Guayaquil, Children International staff, volunteers, parents, children and youth supported and confirmed Ms. Cirino as a dedicated, hardworking volunteer who has helped better their community. She has also inspired others in her community to get involved and volunteer alongside her.  

Leticia M. Galvez, Legazpi, Philippines
Leticia M. Galvez served as the secretary and chairman of the education program in her community center, where she took the lead in coordinating and disseminating information among sponsored families related to educational assistance. She has been a Children International volunteer since 1990 and is currently involved in helping children write letters to their sponsors, updating family records and helping with gift distributions. Ms. Galvez also shares information related to Children International’s feeding program with families who could benefit from it.

Enrique Antonio Tango, Manila, Philippines
In 2009, Enrique “Ricky” Tango joined a rug-weaving training project funded by a donation from a Children International sponsor. While taking part in the training project, his leadership capabilities became evident, and the group selected him to be their coordinator. Under his leadership, the project went from a fledgling group whose membership fluctuated between 10 and 15 people producing 100 doormats a week to a solid force of 20 regular craft workers, weaving components for high-end bags and fashion accessories. Each member now has a savings account and is covered by insurance. Additionally, Mr. Tango completes a variety of tasks for Children International as a volunteer, including children’s letter writing, disseminating program information, assisting during gift distributions and helping register new children in the sponsorship program.

Learn more about this year’s Inspire Award™ finalists. Learn more about the Inspire Award™.

About Children International
Children International prepares children and youth to escape the traps of poverty by supporting their critical needs, building resilience and engaging them in transformative activities. Children International accomplishes this by providing crucial benefits and compassionate care through easily accessible, modern community centers. Children International’s presence, programs and supporters have a positive impact on children, youth, families and communities; provide protection; encourage self-sufficiency; and serve as catalysts for change.

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