Learn about the holiday coming up Monday, October 2nd, and about how we can all come together to improve the lives of children across the country
By: Maria Aguila
On National Child Health Day, we celebrate the commitment of working to enhance the lives of children and families around the world. Every child and family is deserving of a chance to live the best life they can live. National Child Health Day is a United States Federal Observance Day held each year on the first Monday in October. This day serves its purpose of spreading awareness of how one can protect and develop a child’s health. Numerous health professionals and organizations participate in this special day through different activities such as how the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) provides educational resources for parents, children, and schools in regards to issues such as healthy choices and a fit lifestyle.
Former president Barack Obama believes that today’s youth will shape our nation’s story - and CBOB does too. President Obama’s proclamation on September 29, 2016 spoke on how his administration’s top priority was to improve children’s health throughout his 8-year term. Communities gathered together and worked as a team to reduce childhood obesity by giving available access to those in need of affordable and nutritious food as well as encouraging physical activity to become an early habit throughout daily life.
Unfortunately, obesity across the U.S. in children is rapidly increasing. Children with a body mass index equal to/higher than 95 percent of their peers are said to be obese. Children who are obese face many different serious health risks such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. These physical health issues aren’t the only risks though, children fighting obesity may also become depressed and develop low self-esteem.
Many things can cause obesity such as family history, psychological factors, and lifestyle. A diet with high levels or fat or sugar, and minimal nutrients assist in gaining weight rapidly. Common foods are fast food such as McDonald’s, as well as candy and soda. Did you know that more than half of children in the U.S. drink 24 ounces of soda at minimum per day? Not enough exercise or activity is another leading cause of obesity as well as feeling stressed or depressed.
Luckily, there are ways to prevent AND combat obesity. Changing eating habits is essential in order to be and feel healthy, limiting sweets, fast foods and soft drinks is a must. Physical activity is also a must. Most children don’t like exercising so playing games, such as tag, instead is a good alternative. Television and social media entertainment should also be limited; the time spent during these activities could be spent performing physical activities.
Here are some tips on how to stay healthy:
At CBOB, we stand for bettering the lives of our children. That is why we hold a mobile health clinic where health care is provided to children. We aim to teach children about proper nutrition and health habits so that they can live the best life they can and achieve all the success in the world. Let’s all make a difference in a child’s life, and in our own life, by promoting healthy habits today!
CBOB’s Student Chapter Presidents open up about what they do and how working with CBOB has impacted their lives.
By Micayla Kinder
Every school year Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. student chapter members work to raise awareness on campus and throughout their communities about where child poverty, social injustice and internal displacement is found. Members participate in educational workshops, fundraisers for special projects and also help organize Bound For Peace service trips.
Sofia Camara is the president of FSU’s student chapter. This is her first year serving as president and she spoke briefly about her experience.
Sofia found out about the Student Chapter through NoleCentral: a website where students can learn about the different clubs on campus.
“My favorite part of being involved in CBOB is seeing the difference we make first hand,” Sofia said. “After going to Colombia last year for CBOB, I fell even more in love with this club.”
Sofia believes that joining the CBOB team is the best decision someone can make and that it’s a learning experience that no one should pass up.
“It is not too time consuming so you can focus on school work and other activities. You can also get a lot of hands-on experience with volunteering with kids in Tallahassee, as well as general fundraising around our campus. Of course the best opportunity is to go on a trip to help children in underprivileged areas beyond the United States.”
Yanelis Diaz is the President of UCF’s student chapter. Yanelis had a lot to say about how her time working with CBOB has impacted her life.
"I have been involved with UCF’s student chapter since April 2016 and CBOB in general since January 2016,” Yanelis said. “My journey with CBOB started when I went to volunteer for a CWOB event that my friend heard in an announcement in her class. I would have never foreseen, after attending that one event, that I would be sitting here in my second year as President of the UCF Chapter, have completed a Bound for Peace Trip to Colombia as a Trip Leader, continued to be a Lead Tutor for CWOB’s Weekly Tutoring and helped kickoff a Summer Science Camp for children in our community with the help of CWOB. As president, I help connect others to all the amazing service opportunities CBOB has given me access to and ensure that all members truly understand our mission.
We are more than an organization looking to check hours off service hours, we strive to engage with the children we work with so they can continue to empower themselves when CBOB is not around. The UCF chapter is always working together with CWOB to make sure the children we have been working with for two years now are always given the best quality program to participate in, from monthly events to weekly tutoring. Furthermore we provide socials for our like-minded members, that want to make this world a better place so they can socialize and bond in a non-academic setting. Something new we are trying this semester is using half of the time of our hour-long biweekly meetings to make activities/gifts for the children we work with; by doing so we even get to use our meeting time to give back to our community. Since being a part of CBOB I value the power of building relationships and support more- that’s really all that children want from us when we are with them. To anyone out there thinking about joining the UCF Chapter: I encourage you to do so to not only help empower a child, but yourself."
Last but not least, UF’s Student Chapter President is Kiki Dowell. Kiki served as the vice president of the organization last year and began serving as the president last summer.
“As President, I work hand and hand with UF student government and the CBOB executive board to plan fundraisers, socials, awareness events, and community service events,” Kiki said
The Student Chapters hold a number of events throughout the year. Kiki stated that the event that has impacted her most is the CBOB mobile outreach clinic.
“My favorite events are the mobile outreach clinics,” Kiki said. “We come together to provide free healthcare to the children we work with. Through these experiences, I have been able to see first-hand the barriers for health care in our community. It has been a life changing experience. In the future, I hope to carry the mission to help vulnerable populations as I aspire to become a doctor.”
Kiki along with the rest of the UF Student Chapter members are strong advocators of the mission that Children Beyond Our Borders, Inc. strives to uphold: the mission of using education as a tool to empower children across the globe.
“I believe education is the pathway to success,” Kiki said. “The UF Student Chapter strives to help children in Alachua succeed in school. We encourage them to reach for their dreams. We support them through offering free tutoring services.”
If you are a student interested in social justice including peace initiatives, youth empowerment, community service, youth education, Latin American studies, sustainability studies, family and social wellness, science and technology, public relations, nonprofit management, or any other field related to CBOB’s mission, consider coming to a chapter meeting and find out how to get more involved!
For more information on the Student Chapters visit www.chbob.org/student-chapters
by Christina Mouttet
The only way to ensure a child’s future is through education. Education is the key to open all doors, to allow both individuals and societies as a whole to advance. This is why Children Beyond Our Borders Inc. has made it one of our top priorities to do our best in helping the education systems in Latin America, particularly in Colombia.
However, many top Colombian universities are making noticeable progress in access and quality and are on par with international standards. So, why is it that such a large number of Colombians are still not going to college?
Colombia’s education system by the numbers:
· Only 37.2% of Colombians continue education after high school.
· 45.4% of students dropped out of tertiary education as of 2010.
· By the time children reach age 17, 75% drop out of the education system.
· About 37% of students start school late and about 41% repeat at least one grade by age 15.
· There are only 7.1 Masters of PhD degree holders per 1,000,000 inhabitants.
The issue with the Colombian education is that while the students have good universities available to them, the educational system is not preparing the youth well enough for the universities. Inadequate facilities, lack of internet access, location of schools, and insufficient salaries for teachers are all factors that, combined, have created an extremely flawed system. While Colombia has put forth increasing effort in expanding the access of education across the country, they are not able to keep up financially with the rising number of students enrolled. Therefore, while more students may have access to a public school in their area, the quality of education they will be receiving is extremely low.
Furthermore, access to schools is still a problem in rural areas. 2 out of 10 children living in rural areas will not attend school. 4.6% of annual GDP has been invested in education, but only .5% of this expenditure has gone towards rural areas. Because of this, there is a huge disparity between children in urban and rural areas.
“In my experience, what can be improved about the system is the equality. Everyone deserves the right to the same education. When it comes to university, it is much harder for students who came from the public education system to be able to keep up with the students who received a paid, private education,” said Camilo Marrugo, a CBOB volunteer in Colombia.
These issues have culminated into a poor education system that is one of the most massive problems facing Colombia today. Lack of education leads to a cycle of unemployment, violence, and poverty. If the people are not empowered, they are less likely to be successful. And as we say at CBOB: education equals empowerment.
Meet the team that will be helping CBOB grow this fall!