Meet Children International's 2014 Inspire Award™ Finalists (2 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™:

Jenny Frutos, Quito, Ecuador
In her sector, Jenny Frutos is in charge of encouraging children and young adults to take advantage of the CI programs available. Thanks to her encouragement, attendance is high for CI’s financial and social education program. Additionally, she became a teacher for health and nutrition education and gives personalized talks to parents on how to better their eating habits. As a side project, she also helped establish a community garden, encouraging other local women to participate. Out of the 14 gardens created as part of the Family Gardens project in Quito, Ms. Frutos’ garden was the best garden in volume of production and had the highest number of participants. Overall, Ms. Frutos is an active volunteer in Children International’s health and education programs, and she also helps the organization facilitate communication with children and their families.

Lea Ventura, Quezon City, Philippines
Lea Ventura is a letter-writing volunteer with Children International. Because of her, sponsored children realize the value of communicating with their sponsors and, as a result, greatly improve their writing skills. Additionally, Ms. Ventura is a volunteer coordinator for one of Quezon City’s councilors, where part of her role is to help conduct free livelihood programs to better the lives of residents in her community. She also serves with her husband as a barangay (neighborhood) peace and security officer to make sure children are in their homes late at night when it can be unsafe for them to be out unsupervised.    

Bappa Biswas, Kolkata, India
Bappa Biswas, nicknamed Bapi, is a former Children International sponsored child who is now inspiring others. Coming from a dalit community (the designation for a group of people traditionally regarded as lower-class outcasts), someone like Mr. Biswas is often to be ignored and ostracized by society, with minimal opportunities for earning a living (typically offered only menial and low-paying jobs) and with little hope for completing an education. But he overcame such obstacles and is currently pursuing a master’s degree. As a volunteer for Children International, Mr. Biswas mentors youth, helps with gift distributions and advises youth council groups on their community projects. Additionally, he is very involved in his community with sharing action-oriented programs with school students and parents’ groups on the issues of child marriage, human trafficking and substance abuse.

Esther López López, San Pedro Sula, Honduras
After being displaced by Hurricane Mitch in 1998, Esther López López learned about Children International’s sponsorship program. She became a volunteer and encouraged others to get involved volunteering with Children International as well. She also takes on leadership roles in her community. She served as the treasurer of the Parents Board at the Renacer de Sula school from 2009-2013, and she currently serves as the Chairman of the Health Committee for the Health Center in the community of Naco.   

Rico Taller Borbe Jr., Tabaco, Philippines
Rico Borbe has been a Children International volunteer since 1987 and is the only Children International programs volunteer in his community on San Miguel Island. He helped facilitate the implementation of the Nutrition Rehabilitation program through feeding programs and educational classes for mothers of malnourished children. It was also through his leadership that several families in his community now have planted home gardens as a way of combating malnutrition and promoting self-reliance. In addition, Mr. Borbe leads an effort called the Clean and Green program, which engages youth in environmental protection activities.   

Eric Miller, Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
As volunteer coach for the University of Arkansas – Little Rock’s CI Warriors football team, Eric Miller has played a vital role in the creation and growth of these young players and the sports program. The program began with a mere 15 youth participants and now serves more than 110 football players and cheerleaders, thanks in large part to Mr. Miller’s volunteering efforts. At a time when youth, especially young men, begin to disconnect from school, family or friends, Coach Eric is there to serve as a mentor and encourage them to stay involved.  

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.

For more information about Children International, visit

Follow Children International on Facebook and Twitter.