ChildFund History

ChildFund was founded on October 6, 1938 as Christian Children's Fund and China's Children's Fund. Presbyterian minister Dr. J. Calvitt Clarke was the person responsible for founding the fund. The motive behind the organization was to help Chinese children who were uprooted by the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. Their meager beginnings were with a sum of $2000, following which they received a $13,000 contribution to support a school and an orphanage.

By 1946 CCF was helping children in China, Philippines and Burma and from there on other contingents went ahead to help children in Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo and India too. Europe was the next location with programs being started in Belgium, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland along with other European countries.

As the organization expanded to help children in other countries, the name was changed to Christian Children's Fund. A revolutionary shift was made in the programs that the organization took up in the 1960's. There was a concern that parents were abandoning their kids in order to ensure that the CCF took care of them since the CCF was able to provide better nutrition, clothing and care for the young ones. "Family Helper projects" were created where community advisors were asked to handle specific cases.

In 1967 the organization realized that they needed to allow local people to spearhead local initiatives. The focus was also changed towards a 'whole child' leading to a holistic view rather than a narrow one. In the 1970's and 1980's the organization moved towards Africa and the first office was opened in Nairobi, Kenya. In the 1990's a "ChildAlert" fund was created to help children in emergencies. Immediate relief and preventing a long term psychological injury were some aspects that the fund aimed at ensuring.

In an email that was sent to most donors and members of the Christian Children's Fund, the Wall Watchers mentioned to everyone donating to the organization that the charity was not Christian in nature and that it did not preach or practice the faith as they saw it. Wall Watchers, a Christian charity watch dog sent this donor alert to mention that the organization does not bring to gospel to the people it helps. Following this alert, the Christian Children's Fund changed its name to ChildFund International in 2009.

ChildFund international has joined hands with 11 other child sponsorship organizations to create a network called the ChildFund Alliance. This alliance operates in more than 55 countries and aims at improving the lives of children. There are also fundraising, governance and administrative aspects that the alliance shares.


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