This Christmas, you could give a gift that can help release children from poverty.
15 Dec, 2021
Finding the perfect Christmas gifts for your friends and family can be hard. But it doesn't need to be! Through Gifts of Compassion, you can give meaningful, ethical Christmas gifts that have a positive impact in the lives of children living in poverty. Whether you're looking for gifts under $5, $10, $50 or $200, there's a range of gifts that are perfect for mums, dads, grandparents, teachers and more.
Ordering Gifts of Compassion is easy, and you can even choose to receive the cards in print or via email—an easy last-minute Christmas present option! Each gift includes a beautiful card you can give to a loved one that explains the impact you have made through your order.
Every gift has a real, tangible impact in the lives of children and their families living in poverty. Below are just a few stories of how giving a Gift of Compassion this Christmas can have a life-changing impact.
The Gift of a Goat
In the hills of rural Imaroro, a predominantly Maasai tribe town in Kenya, nine-year-old Kayiao is often found happily running after her goats. She can identify each animal at a glance, for she was present at their births and has cared for them ever since. Kayiao has been part of Compassion's program at her local church partner since she was registered in the Mums and Babies program at just four months old.
Her mother was unable to provide for her and so Kayiao’s grandmother and uncle became her caregivers. Seeing their need for extra support, Compassion’s local church partner decided to support the family by buying them a goat, funded through Gifts of Compassion.
"We thought it would be good for them to have an animal that could provide milk and reproduce," says Gladys, a church staff member.
The family’s goat went on to give birth to several sets of twins. Their herd continued to grow over the years and there are now 20 goats in their care.
"We can tell that Kayiao is happy to have her animals," says Kayiao's uncle. "Some animals can be sold if we need to raise money for her school fees or improve the house."
Her Compassion centre isn't only providing her family with a method of income generation. Kayiao has a speech delay, so centre staff are encouraging her progress and ensuring she has plenty of opportunities to interact with other children. When she gets home after school, Kayiao loves to watch over her goats as they graze in the hills of Imaroro. When evening comes, they return to the family homestead, tired, happy and secure.
The Gift of Vocational Training
Education is essential in helping children break the cycle of poverty.
As a young boy in the Philippines, Jeamar would wait for his father to come home from the fields, hoping he would bring food. At times, his father arrived without anything to eat. Jeamar and his four siblings experienced the pain of hunger, sometime going for days without food.
“It was difficult growing up, and the pain and hunger instilled in me a desire to work hard and experience a better life,” says Jeamar. “I decided not to pursue farming, like my father.”
But Jeamar had no idea what jobs would become available to him. All he saw around the community were farmers, carpenters and water deliverers. These were all jobs that his father took on regularly to feed their family. At 7 years old, Jeamar was registered into Compassion’s sponsorship program at his local church in the Philippines.
“It was here where I first learned about God and the possibility of being released from poverty in Jesus’ name,” says Jeamar, referring to Compassion’s mission. As he grew older, Jeamar discovered where his talents lay. “In senior high school I took welding classes and discovered I was good at welding."
After school, he enrolled in the only vocational school in his province. With support from Compassion's local church partner, he entered the government-accredited community school and began his journey to becoming a trained and licensed welder and electrician.
“Compassion paid for all the [course] fees and my church supported me with prayer, encouragement and tutorials,” Jeamar recalls.
Today, 20-year-old Jeamar has moved to the big city and has begun working at a shop with a relative. If not for the pandemic, he would be working in Korea now, earning more than a regular welder and electrician could earn in the Philippines. Although he was contracted by a Korean firm before the global health crisis, the deal wasn’t closed due to the pandemic. Now he has hope for other similar opportunities in the future.
“All I really want is to be released from poverty, so I can help my family live a better life.”
The Gift of Clean Water
Access to safe water is one of the most urgent needs in the developing world. The Clean Water Gift of Compassion helps to provide access to live-saving water for children like Katheryn. Katheryn and her mother live in a remote area of El Salvador on the top of a hill. For the first 14 years of Katheryn’s life their house didn’t have running water. Instead, they had to haul their clothes and dirty dishes down to the local well to wash them, or cart heavy buckets of water back to their home for their daily needs.
“Every day when my mother came home tired from her job, we had to walk many blocks downhill with all the dirty pots or clothes on our heads so we could wash them," says Katheryn. “Some nights we would go to sleep thirsty because we didn’t have water to drink.”
With her mother earning the equivalent of US$100 a month, a water connection seemed out of reach.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, access to water became even more urgent. Katheryn’s local child development centre took action. They paid for water to be connected in her home and centre staff and church members helped to install the pipes.
“We are delighted having water at home. I thought having running water was something impossible,” says Katheryn.
With the support of their local church partner, Katheryn and her mother also received virtual videos on handwashing techniques and hygiene routines to keep their home clean. They were taught how to read and control their water metre—a brand new experience for them. Importantly, these women can now take a bath with dignity in their own home.
Katheryn and her mother Rosa feel blessed to have immediate access to clean water. They give glory to God for having been supported with this basic resource that seemed out of reach.
"I encourage all the families to hold onto their dreams and ask God with patience because He blesses and fulfills our dreams,” says Katheryn.
“We thought that we were never going to have water. Now we do.”
This is the impact you can have when you purchase Gifts of Compassion.
To explore all available gifts, visit our Gifts of Compassion page today. You can order cards in the mail or as digital downloads to print at home.
Words by Andrew Barker, Alejandra Zuniga and Edwin Estioko.
Answer Hunger With Hope
345 million people are facing acute food insecurity. You can answer hunger with hope.