Have you ever celebrated with someone turning 18? Watching a transition into adulthood here in the U.S, provides a stark reminder of the importance of a birth certificate and social security card. A young adult needs documentation to prove her age and get her first job and driver’s license, to reconcile her health records for insurance, to travel, to pursue higher education, and eventually to obtain a lease.
A legal identity for each child is so basic that we often take it for granted. Yet, over 200 million children around the world lack even the most basic identity through birth registration. Millions more find themselves separated from their families, without documentation. In a dangerous world, Each Inc.’s mission to improve care and protection for the most vulnerable has never been more needed.
At Each Inc. we look forward to the opportunities to celebrate the work of our network. As a small non-profit, we are grateful to partner with fellow organizations working to protect and care for children globally.
International Social Service (ISS) is one of these partners. Last week, we were honored to participate as a network sharing sponsor at the fifth annual ISS-USA conference held at the University of Maryland at Baltimore.
As we grow as an organization, we are blessed to discover and celebrate the work of innovative groups and individuals also working on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children around the world. Recently we have been privileged to connect with Ben Schumaker and The Memory Project.
A Wisconsin-based non-profit, The Memory Project is a unique initiative in which art students create and donate portraits of orphaned and vulnerable children. As children in adversity often have few personal items, The Memory Project aims to provide a one-of-a-kind portrait to capture their identity and a sense of their history.
At Each Inc. we strongly believe in the value of children’s stories.
One story we recently discovered, Querido Panamá (or Dear Panama), powerfully documents the impact of institutionalization on the 1200 children living in 34 Panamanian orphanages. For the 2%* of these children who are eventually placed in foster or adoptive care, most wait between three and 18 years to find their forever home.
Promoting legislative reform, reunification of families, foster care and adoption, the film examines the (then) proposed amendment to Law 61 by SENNIAF, which supports the rights of every child in Panama to a family. Since the making of Dear Panama, the amendment has evolved to become an entirely new law. Passed in July 2013, Law 46 shortens the time of family investigations, creates a nationwide foster care program, and streamlines the adoption process.
As we set out to tackle a very busy and exciting 2014, we wanted to pause and give thanks and gratitude to two of our wonderful board members.
Cora Passis (former Chair) and Dr. Kenneth Hall (former Director) served in critical ways as part of our board since we started out two short years ago. While they have moved on to other adventures, we will always be grateful for the expertise and guidance they provided to our organization, especially in the early days of this amazing journey.