About Community for Children, Inc.
Community for Children, Inc. is dedicated to the relief of poor, distressed, and underserved children. We are committed to advancing the cause of social justice and promoting the well-being of all children and their families.
Community for Children began in 2007 as a month-long elective in social justice, advocacy, and leadership. Situated in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, the poorest region in the US as well as the most common point of entry for migrant families, Community for Children employed the social and political realities of the border as a classroom. Enrolling physicians-in-training and community leaders from 52 US and international medical schools, the elective offered community engagement opportunities with the impoverished populations on the Texas/Mexico border. This collaboration with community-based organizations sharpened the future medical practioners’ skills in identifying social determinants of health, and in developing strategies for advocating for urgently needed changes within challenged communities.
Over 130 residents and medical school students participated in the program, working with non-profit organizations in resource-poor border communities (colonias), as well as with children being held in immigrant detention facilities. Substantive gaps in services as well as systemic barriers to social justice were identified and creative and sustainable interventions were implemented.
The elective came to an end during the COVID pandemic. However, the decade of authentic community engagement on the border by a cohort of dedicated physicians and community educators led to the present iteration of Community for Children, an organization designed to address the gaps, barriers, and urgent needs of marginalized populations, including immigrant families.
Operating on the US southern border, and recognized as an effective instrument of advocacy for migrant families, Community for Children brought attention to the appalling conditions suffered by detained migrant children. On several occasions, Community for Children brought the presidents of the American Academy of Pediatrics to the border to witness, firsthand, the plight of migrant families seeking asylum in the US. Community for Children also organized and facilitated volunteer medical practitioners to lend their skills in service to the newly arrived migrants, and, importantly, brought back to their own homes the knowledge of the harsh reality that migrants are facing as they arrive in the US.
The leadership of Community for Children has been successful in creating working relationships with Congressional staff, Customs and Border Protection officials, medical schools, and non-profit groups serving migrant families. Members of Community for Children have published articles in professional journals, submitted significant opinion pieces to mainstream media, and intervened of behalf of migrant children in Border Patrol detention.