Children of the Nations® (COTN®) provides children with holistic care built on a foundation of sustainable practices. Our WARM (Water, Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Microenterprise) practices focus on an integrated approach to sustainability. In each instance, we are looking to transform resources into long-term solutions and not just transact short-term results.
Across the globe, about 840,000 people die each year from water-related diseases.* COTN and its partners provide safe access to clean drinking water for tens of thousands of children and their families. We also provide water for hygiene, sanitation, and agricultural purposes. Our objectives are safer access and shorter distances for retrieving water (especially for women and girls), cleaner water to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea and other illnesses in children, better sanitation disposal, and controlled access of water for agriculture.
COTN also provides a WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) curriculum specific to each country we serve. This curriculum is taught in primary and secondary school, to help children and their families learn healthy practices and prevent the spread of disease.
Agriculture is a significant source of income in developing countries. Yet malnutrition is linked to 45 percent of all deaths in children under age five.**
COTN provides sustainable and thriving farming, husbandry, and fishing systems in the villages we serve. We promote new technologies and collaboration among farmers, which leads to increased and sustainable production. Our farming and husbandry projects allow us to grow cash crops to fund and sustain long-term programs in addition to providing nutritionally balanced meals for the children in our homes and village partnerships. You can give to COTN's Feeding Children Today, Tomorrow, Forever initiative here.
Much of the developing world uses wood and/or charcoal for cooking, heating, and lighting in homes, businesses, and schools. Because of this, more than 4 million people die each year from exposure to polluted indoor air.*** These fuel sources are also time consuming to gather and extremely damaging to the environment, causing deforestation.
COTN and its partners are helping the children and families we serve by providing energy sources that are cheaper, cleaner, and less time-consuming for everyday tasks like cooking. Access to alternative energy sources like solar power allows children more time to study, and helps families spend less money on fuel and inhale fewer toxic fumes. It also lightens the burden placed on local forests and soils that are used for farming.
In the communities COTN serves, economic opportunities are scarce. Many people live on less than $1 per day. COTN’s microenterprise practice invests in young people, helping them find meaningful employment or start small businesses. We focus on training and funding sustainable initiatives in agriculture, aquaculture, construction, and technology. We also invest in holistic community assets like healthcare and education, which are foundational to our sustainable practices. With help from our financial partners, our students learn principles like saving and small business financing.
Many of the women in the villages COTN serves are looking for small business opportunities, so they can better provide for their children. Through the support of generous partners, COTN helps these women become independent income earners through projects like our Widows Initiative in Malawi. These microenterprise practices not only benefit individuals but communities as well.
*World Health Organization (WHO).