Being a good global neighbour means responding to the most urgent needs of a community. You can make a life-changing impact with Gifts of Compassion.
03 Nov, 2021
In Indonesia, eight-year-old Filia dashes along the edge of the salt pond, playing with her friends in the dwindling sunlight. Her father, Bagus, oversees the 7.5-kilometre expanse of ponds, harvesting the salt and the fish. He voluntarily supervises 10 others who all work the land together, sharing the profits equally. This work gives them hope—a new opportunity after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Bagus' community, many people lost their jobs when the pandemic hit. Some who are now salt farmers used to be construction workers or truck drivers. They began with limited skills and experience in fishing and salt farming, but thanks to Gifts of Compassion and the local Compassion centre, they received the training and resources they needed to begin their new line of work. Now, they can support their families once more.
Besides sharing technical insights about land cultivation skills, Bagus also leads regular prayer meetings with his fellow workers, all of whom have children attending the local Compassion centre. "I just hope I can be a blessing to the others around this village," he says.
Bagus understands that to be a good neighbour in his community he must respond to the needs of others. In the same way, when you purchase a Gift of Compassion, your gift will fund the activity described in the card or other similar initiatives. If there isn’t a need for that gift at the time of purchase, the funds will go towards a comparable, more urgent initiative.
Good development work means responding to the changing needs of children and families registered with Compassion’s program around the world.
This was exactly the case for Bagus. In 2019, both the local Compassion centre in Bagus' community and another one nearby received funding to help families with income generation, all through Gifts of Compassion. While the other community received goats and training on how to take care of them, Bagus' coastal community was more suited to salt farming and fishing.
As a result, the gifts could be used to serve our global neighbours in the way that was most helpful for them. Responding to their most relevant needs made a life-changing difference. The salt pond farmers are now producing a great harvest every dry season, giving them all extra income to navigate the lasting impact of the pandemic.
“I see that many households are helped by the salt farm program, it's wonderful,” says Bagus.
Filia loves her father and is proud of him. She always prays for him in her daily prayer. "I pray my father has success in his work. May God give him a long and healthy life," says Filia earnestly.
As a parent, Bagus sees how the local Compassion centre has been a blessing to his community for over 20 years. “I can see the difference between the children who were registered in the project and who weren’t. They have better attitudes and academic success."
Bagus' story is just one among hundreds of thousands of others who have benefited from Gifts of Compassion. In El Salvador, 1,230 children and their families have been given the resources to start small businesses and earn reliable income. In Togo, 214 children, as well as their communities, now have access to safe drinking water, protecting them from waterborne disease. In Burkina Faso, 2,100 children now have improved toilet facilities, ensuring they are child-friendly and hygienic. These are just a few examples of the impact you can have through Gifts of Compassion.
Children living in poverty are the most vulnerable members of their communities—but those same children can also bring about transformation.
Gifts of Compassion are about more than helping just one child. They are the catalyst that can equip neighbours to help neighbours, just as Bagus did. When one child benefits, he or she learns lifelong skills to help others and is filled with hope for the future. Through one child or gift, a whole family can be blessed, then they share what they have learnt or received with others. Through one family, a community can be transformed. New resources, infrastructure, skills and determination spread, changing lives.
When we come together as global neighbours, real change can happen.
Words by Andrew Barker with field reporting by Hutama Limarta.
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