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Q&A with Ariel Garfinkel, Program Director
Ariel received her Master’s degree in Human Rights from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in the Politics of Inequality, a self-designed major at Mount Holyoke College. Her background is in women’s advocacy and immigrants’ rights work, including program development and implementation, increasing access to health and social services and facilitating family reunification and resettlement. She has most recently worked with Just Associates (JASS), an international nonprofit that partners with global grassroots groups using popular education to amplify women’s voices and political influence in promoting the compliance of governments with human rights obligations. She is the author of the noted book, SCOFFLAW: International Law and America’s Deadly Weapons in Vietnam.
Please tell us why you think Chances for Children International is special.
I would say we are quite unique in a combination of ways. We are small and focused. We’re not out to save the world but we want to see that marginalized children, particularly girls and young women, have a chance to become educated. Second, we focus on Vietnam and Guatemala, countries that have been severely impacted by colonialism and U.S. policy. And finally, we take no salaries and pay for all CCI operating costs. We pass along 100% of donations to educate children.

Why did you and your parents start CCI?
Ever since I was a child my parents taught me that pursuing social justice is the rent we pay for living on the planet, especially for those of us who are more fortunate. They feel strongly that people their ages have an obligation to give opportunities—meaningful chances—to others rather than simply enjoying retirement. I’m a lot younger, of course, but I fully concur and feel that I, and millennials like me, have a responsibility too.
What has CCI been able to accomplish in its first three years?
We’ve concentrated on two programs each in Guatemala and Vietnam. We have 231 girls attending school in one Vietnam program, and 27 deaf children in a school for hearing-impaired children in the other. In one of our Guatemala programs, we have 10 young women in college, the first of their families ever to attend. In our other program 48 Mayan youth now attend school. We are fulfilled with this progress but hungry to have a greater impact.
What’s next on your agenda?
Between now and the end of 2019 we hope to raise an additional $38,000 so our program partners can put more kids in school. We’ll be sending friends and contributors four program profiles, one every couple of weeks letting them know about the progress and needs of each program we support by passing along 100% of their contributions.

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P.O. Box 5, Lancaster, NH 03584 USA

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Chances for Children International · P.O. Box 5 · Lancaster, NH 03584 · USA

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