Colonias/Rio Grande Valley
More than one third of families on the U.S. side of the border in the Rio Grande Valley have incomes at or below the federal poverty levels. Families in the colonias, unincorporated communities where houses often do not have running water, sewage or electricity, often have no family or anywhere to turn to for help. Buckner has been working to help families in this poverty-stricken area since 1989.
The Dominican Republic is a small island in the Caribbean where more than 42% of the population lives in poverty and more than 15% are unemployed. Buckner has been working to develop community programs and foster care in this country since 2010.
An estimated 370,000 children are orphaned in Guatemala and about 75 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. Buckner works to support children living in government orphanages and owns several homes for babies, single mothers and teenagers transitioning into adulthood.
There are more than 2.3 million orphans in Kenya with 1.1 million orphaned due to HIV/AIDS. Nearly a quarter of the population in Kenya lives on less than $1 a day. Buckner supports children in Nairobi, Busia and Kitale through residential programs, child development centers, medical clinics, humanitarian aid support, foster care and more.
In 2007 Buckner began exploratory work in Honduras, where approximately 180,000 orphans live. The first Shoes for Orphan Souls shoe delivery trip took place in 2008 and three mission teams traveled to San Pedro Sula to work with orphans there in the capital city.
Mexico borders the United States on the South. The country, particularly in Mexico City, has high numbers of working children living on the streets. The country is home to several indigenous groups such as the Aztecs, Zapotecs and the Mayans. The indigenous groups are often ignored by the government and sometimes lack access to education and clean water. More than 35.5 percent of Mexico lives below the poverty line. Buckner has been working in Mexico since 2007 providing community and empowerment programs, feeding programs and foster group homes for children.
There are almost 50,000 children orphaned in Peru. More than 10,000 children are considered “street children” in Lima where they are at risk of child labor and sexual exploitation. Buckner works to support several private and government orphanages in Peru, provides social services in a community center in Lima and helps the government provide foster care.
An estimated 1 million children live on the streets in Russia, and nearly 800,000 are orphans. Buckner supports government orphanages in Russia with orphanage renovations and improvements, follow-up teams and humanitarian aid. Buckner also operates a transitional program for boys and supports orphan graduates.