Pine Ridge Dream Center Offers Hope
Children and poverty is a heartbreaking reality within the borders of the United States at a level worse than some Third World countries.
Help Pine Ridge tribal members finally break their forsaken spiral of instilled self-deprecation. Treating fellow humans and creatures with no respect is not parallel to the Lakota beliefs, nor God’s.
Le-Hocoka Tawoehanbli Un Waziahanhan
(“The Dream Center on Pine Ridge” in the native Lakota language)
Children and poverty at the Pine Ridge reservation is a sad truth that must be addressed immediately.
The Dream Center provides opportunities for positive behavior, attitudes and actions, where the Lakota youth can dream and mold a better future for themselves.
The youth attempted suicide rate on Pine Ridge reservation is estimated at 7-10 times the national average.
In 2009 and 2015, the Oglala Lakota tribal leadership declared a Suicide State of Emergency on the Pine Ridge reservation, particularly among the youth. Within the first 110 days of 2013, Pine Ridge saw 100 attempted suicides by youth as young as 6 years old. From the end of December 2014 through early February 2015, five young people took their own lives, and many more attempted.
Mental health professionals are not readily available to most children on the Pine Ridge reservation. Only one hospital exists there, and it is pathetically underfunded.
Yet another reason for lost hope…
Help Pine Ridge improve its current failing educational system:
- School dropout rate is over 70%.
- Teacher turnover is 800% that of the U.S. national average.
According to a Bureau of Indian Affairs report, the Pine Ridge Reservation schools are in the bottom 10% of school funding by U.S. Department of Education and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
How Circle of Love Can Help
A virtual high school within the grounds of the Circle of Love will be available to students. We believe a virtual high school PLUS the tribal school will improve student enrollment, hence graduation rates will substantially increase.
With education as a priority, positive change can happen. Knowledge will be the power the Lakota youth need in order to re-grow their roots, to acknowledge their worth as individuals and as a culture.
Children and poverty end with education.
Activities at the Dream Center site will create opportunities for the Pine Ridge youth to make healthier, more positive choices opposing their current unhealthy and dangerous ways to spend time. Success will be measured by participation and noticeable positive changes in the youth. Involvement in a positive way by the youth gives opportunity to assist troubled kids and teens.
The Dream Center will provide a safe zone – alcohol free, drug free, abuse free.
Youth activities will include outdoor basketball, a children’s playground, setup for other sports, and BBQ’s.
We believe community involvement will promote relationships and open doors to receive the Gospel.
Help Pine Ridge to provide these opportunities for their youth by taking action TODAY. (link to Donations page)
Health & Diet
Children and poverty exemplify an unhealthy environment. A focus and priority of the Circle of Love will be to address ongoing health issues currently facing the Lakota children.
The COL will provide medical staff on site, as much as can be funded. We need individuals, businesses, other charities and grants to help generate the necessary capital to fund a children’s health clinic.
Key problems that need to be addressed immediately and ongoing:
- Children may or may not be seen the same day at the Pine Ridge Hospital in an emergency situation
- Preventative health care is nonexistent
Only ONE hospital administers to the 76,000 tribal members living on the Pine Ridge reservation. Furthermore, it is completely underfunded, and mental health professionals are not readily available to most children.
Diets of Pine Ridge residents consist largely of processed foods and snacks with a high sugar content. One supermarket on the reservation and a few scattered small community stores provide the only food options, none of which are healthy.
We believe healthier foods CAN and MUST be made available. One way the Circle of Love plans to address this issue is by adding a green house.
As of now, organically grown vegetables are nonexistent to the Lakota. With these foods more readily available, overall health will improve. Diseases, such as diabetes and malnutrition, would move away from epidemic rates due to increased awareness about proper diet.
Children and poverty exist INSIDE the USA. Help Pine Ridge residents improve their Health & Diet options TODAY.