Take a peek at Compassion’s impact in the 25 countries we work and see how your support is reaching children in some of the furthest corners of the globe.
13 Jul, 2017
Ramngaih watches as her grandma sorts a stack of green leaves from the jungle to sell in the marketplace. The family rely on the income to buy daily essentials. Since Compassion’s program begun operating in their rural village, families can send their children to school, receive medical treatment and have access to a boat for transportation in times of emergencies.
Bolivia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world: women have a 1 in 160 risk of maternal death in their lifetime. (In Australia, the same figure is 1 in 8700.) Our Child Survival Program operates around the country, supporting mums from pregnancy to help give their babies a bright future.
Children line up for lunch outside the building of a local church partner. In Brazil, one-quarter of the population lives below the poverty line—but the number jumps to more than 50 per cent in the rural north-east. In the last few years, Compassion has moved our focus from the urban cities to these areas of extreme need.
4. Burkina Faso
Children sing in a choir as part of program activities at a Compassion centre. As one of the poorest countries on earth—almost half the population lives below the poverty line— the West African nation faces big challenges. But through our Child Sponsorship Program, more than 19,000 children in Burkina Faso are being supported to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.
Since 2014, the number of people affected by mosquito-borne disease including dengue, Chikungunya and the Zika virus has increased. Compassion Colombia has provided more than 8000 mosquito nets and 8700 mosquito-repellent soaps to help combat the diseases, plus fumigating several project centres and families’ homes. More than 50,000 children and their families have learned about eliminating mosquito breeding areas.
6. Dominican Republic
There is a stark divide between the rich and the poor in this popular tourist destination. According to the BBC, the richest 10 per cent of the population own most of the land and benefit from 40 per cent of the national income. Through local churches, Compassion is assisting more than 40,000 Dominican children, helping to provide them with the opportunity to rise about their circumstances.
The Huaroni tribe have lived in the remote Ecuadorean rainforest for years, and still survive as hunters and gatherers. Your support means children also have access to modern education and healthcare, plus the life-changing message of God’s love.
8. El Salvador
While gang violence still dominates news headlines, over 30,000 children participate in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program. The Compassion centres are a place of safety, giving children a safe place to play off the streets and helping to protect them from the lure of gang culture.
A young boy leans on a walking stick in Lalibela, Ethiopia. The photo was taken three years ago. Today, the country is in the grips of extreme drought. Many Compassion-assisted families are without reliable access to sufficient affordable, nutritious food. As part of our holistic child development program, staff are providing extra food to families in need. Importantly, they’re instituting long-term measures including educating families on improved farming methods and using micro-enterprises to diversify and increase their income sources.
This floor of babies have bright futures! Over 10 per cent of primary school-aged children don’t attend school, but the support of our sponsors and donors means these little ones will receive an education.
Guatemala has a strong indigenous culture; the Maya make up almost half of the population. Our local church partners know their communities and are able to adapt our Child Sponsorship Program to meet their specific needs.
Chronic natural disasters and instability has put a halt on Haiti’s development: over half of the population lives below the poverty line. More than 60,000 children will have a hopeful future, though: they are part of Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program which is helping to release them from poverty in Jesus’ name.
The illegal drug trade has fuelled gang violence in the country, particularly in urban areas. Some of the children in our program have experienced the violence firsthand. The Compassion centres at our local church partners are places of safety and hope. Staff members regularly visit the children at home and counsel them about the dangers of gang culture.
Spread across thousands of islands and with more than 300 languages, Indonesia is highly diverse. Fast urban growth has put strain on the capacity of the major cities to provide housing and social services. Almost 70,000 children receive health check-ups, nutritious meals and more as part of our Child Sponsorship Program.
The Maasai are a patriarchal tribe but through the local church, Compassion is changing mindsets and providing opportunities for young women and girls to pursue their dreams. Boys are also encouraged to pursue their education to provide them with greater opportunities in the future.
Cosmer shows off the coffee beans his family helps pick. Child labour is common in the remote farms of Mexico, but Compassion staff are educating parents about the importance of children attending school. Cosmer’s father is determined that his son will finish high school.
While primary school is free in this Central American country, according to UNICEF only 56 per cent of students are still attending in grade six. This is partly due to a lack of school facilities in remote areas, children having to drop out of school to help support their families, and a lack of school resources. Receiving school supplies and uniforms is helping to keep Wilmer in school. His mum always wanted her boys to attend school, but she didn’t have the resources. “Now that they are at the project, my three boys have school supplies and uniforms. They don´t miss school, except if they are sick,” she says.
The Badjao are a tribal group who traditionally were born and raised at sea. Over-fishing by groups using trawlers or dynamite has threatened the tribe’s traditional existence. Back on land, many families are illiterate and have turned to professional begging. Lorna is believing for a different future for her son, Zhaijan. Through our program, he has access to education and extra tutoring. “I am determined to take my son to the centre every Saturday, even if we have to walk all the way,” Lorna says. “I won’t let go of this opportunity for my son. [This] is his only chance of ever getting education.”
Children enjoy Christmas celebrations at the Compassion centre at their local church. Your support means every child in our program receives a special gift at Christmas time.
Almost one-third of the country lacks access to safe water, so waterborne disease is common. As part of our holistic child development program, Compassion helps provide children and families with access to safe water and sanitation. Baby Josephine approves!
21. Sri Lanka
Compassion began working in Sri Lanka in 2010, one year after the decades-long civil war ended. Staff at Compassion centres in the war-affected north and east focus on making children feel safe, loved and so they can enjoy being kids again.
A boy grins from the doorway of his traditional Maasai home. Maasai usually live in Bomas, a large compound with several huts, each belonging to different relatives of the same family. Through the local church, Compassion is helping to meet the needs of this unique community, helping children to pursue their education – something many Maasai are unable to do.
Hundreds of thousands of families living in Thailand are stateless, having fled violence in neighbouring countries. Without citizenship, they are unable vote, travel, own property, or access government education and healthcare. Our local church partners are reaching out to these families, helping children to gain their citizenship and education, and teaching them vital language classes to open up opportunities in the future.
Togo may have been the birthplace of voodoo, but more than 3500 children are hearing the life-changing message of God’s love as part of our holistic child development program.
Clean water changes lives, and your support is giving children and families access to safe water. This means less time spent sick from preventable disease and more time spent playing and learning.
By sponsoring a child, you will join more than 80,000 Australians who believe children should be released from poverty in Jesus’ name. Start your sponsorship story today.
Words by Zoe Noakes
Share the Joy this Christmas!
You can help give children living in poverty their own gift by donating to the Christmas Gift Fund. Learn more.