Compassion Australia CEO Tim Hanna explains this difficult decision.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the more than 147,000 children and 589 local partners in India who will no longer receive the support of their sponsors—and with our loyal Compassion sponsors and supporters who have prayed and given their support even in such a difficult time.

We continue to trust God and His plan, even though we don’t fully understand it now.

What happens now?

We will contact every India sponsor directly, to talk through the details of the decision, update you with next steps and discuss the sponsorship funds that we are holding on your behalf. This may take some time but we are committed to keeping you, our supporters and sponsors, up to date—and giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

Compassion has accounted for every dollar you have given, and we will contact you personally to discuss your options for these undistributed funds.

What does this decision mean?

For Compassion sponsors and supporters of India: Sadly, it means that your sponsored children formally departed from the program on 15 March 2017. If you haven’t already, you will soon receive a letter from us that will give you more details. A letter template is included and you will have the opportunity to write a final letter to say goodbye to your sponsored child. Although our translation and delivery processes have stopped in India, we are committed to doing everything we can to deliver those letters, so please take a few minutes to write—your words of hope mean so much.

We want to thank you and honour you for the life-changing difference you have made in your sponsored child’s life, and in impoverished neighbourhoods across India. Your support has been enormously effective and greatly appreciated.

For Compassion assisted children in India:  Despite the end of Compassion’s work in India, we know that God’s work continues in children’s lives. We serve a faithful, mighty God who will continue to nurture, develop and lead His precious children. The local churches remain committed to their communities. And the investment you made in your sponsored child’s life will not be forgotten.

For local church partners in India: We are no longer able to support our local church partners in their work of developing children, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped serving the children and their families. Compassion’s model has always been to lift up the local church so it can better serve its community. We trust the local churches grew stronger through years of partnership with Compassion, and they will take that strength and grow it to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.

For Compassion staff in India: In the video above, Compassion Australia CEO Tim Hanna explains that since we could no longer distribute funds, and had depleted all resources, we took the decision to formally close our field offices in India on 15 March 2017. This ensured we treated our staff in India with the utmost integrity. Please continue to pray for them as they look to the future.

Why did this happen?

We were not given a definitive response from the Indian authorities as to why they chose to restrict our funding and limit our operations—or why they refused to lift their restrictions. We believe there were two primary reasons.

  1. The India government placed increased scrutiny specifically against NGOs. Some of their concerns were that foreign aid comes with expectations, so they wanted to reduce their dependency on foreign funding. Many NGOs, big and small, faith-based and secular, were affected by the government’s restrictions.
  2. We also believe their decision not to lift the restrictions was, at least in part, religiously motivated. We are a Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based organisation that seeks to serve children living in poverty as a response to our faith and Jesus’ call to care for the poor.

But it’s important to note that Compassion accepts and serves children and communities of all faith backgrounds (or no faith background), and categorically does not require or force conversion to Christianity at any time. Our support for children and their families is in no way linked to their religious affiliation or beliefs.

Compassion’s primary mission is to release children from poverty, not convert them.

Hope for the future

This outcome was not what we prayed for over so many months. Yet we know and accept that working in India, and all countries where poverty is so extreme, comes with many different challenges. We’re so grateful for your continued partnership in all seasons, but especially during times like these.

We will continue to pray for India and celebrate almost five decades of work there. While our programs have closed t, we recognise God’s goodness in the 49 years of partnership Compassion had with local Indian churches. As a result of those partnerships, and your support, hundreds of thousands of children have been released from poverty. Thank you!

Thank you for standing with us to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the more than 147,000 children and 589 local partners in India who will no longer receive the support of their sponsors—and with our loyal Compassion sponsors and supporters who have prayed and given their support even in such a difficult time.

We continue to trust God and His plan, even though we don’t fully understand it now.

What happens now?

We will contact every India sponsor directly, to talk through the details of the decision, update you with next steps and discuss the sponsorship funds that we are holding on your behalf. This may take some time but we are committed to keeping you, our supporters and sponsors, up to date—and giving you the opportunity to ask any questions you might have. We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.

Compassion has accounted for every dollar you have given, and we will contact you personally to discuss your options for these undistributed funds.

What does this decision mean?

For Compassion sponsors and supporters of India: Sadly, it means that your sponsored children formally departed from the program on 15 March 2017. If you haven’t already, you will soon receive a letter from us that will give you more details. A letter template is included and you will have the opportunity to write a final letter to say goodbye to your sponsored child. Although our translation and delivery processes have stopped in India, we are committed to doing everything we can to deliver those letters, so please take a few minutes to write—your words of hope mean so much.

We want to thank you and honour you for the life-changing difference you have made in your sponsored child’s life, and in impoverished neighbourhoods across India. Your support has been enormously effective and greatly appreciated.

For Compassion assisted children in India:  Despite the end of Compassion’s work in India, we know that God’s work continues in children’s lives. We serve a faithful, mighty God who will continue to nurture, develop and lead His precious children. The local churches remain committed to their communities. And the investment you made in your sponsored child’s life will not be forgotten.

For local church partners in India: We are no longer able to support our local church partners in their work of developing children, but that doesn’t mean they have stopped serving the children and their families. Compassion’s model has always been to lift up the local church so it can better serve its community. We trust the local churches grew stronger through years of partnership with Compassion, and they will take that strength and grow it to meet the unique needs of the communities they serve.

For Compassion staff in India: In the video above, Compassion Australia CEO Tim Hanna explains that since we could no longer distribute funds, and had depleted all resources, we took the decision to formally close our field offices in India on 15 March 2017. This ensured we treated our staff in India with the utmost integrity. Please continue to pray for them as they look to the future.

Why did this happen?

We were not given a definitive response from the Indian authorities as to why they chose to restrict our funding and limit our operations—or why they refused to lift their restrictions. We believe there were two primary reasons.

  1. The India government placed increased scrutiny specifically against NGOs. Some of their concerns were that foreign aid comes with expectations, so they wanted to reduce their dependency on foreign funding. Many NGOs, big and small, faith-based and secular, were affected by the government’s restrictions.
  2. We also believe their decision not to lift the restrictions was, at least in part, religiously motivated. We are a Christ-centred, child-focused and church-based organisation that seeks to serve children living in poverty as a response to our faith and Jesus’ call to care for the poor.

But it’s important to note that Compassion accepts and serves children and communities of all faith backgrounds (or no faith background), and categorically does not require or force conversion to Christianity at any time. Our support for children and their families is in no way linked to their religious affiliation or beliefs.

Compassion’s primary mission is to release children from poverty, not convert them.

Hope for the future

This outcome was not what we prayed for over so many months. Yet we know and accept that working in India, and all countries where poverty is so extreme, comes with many different challenges. We’re so grateful for your continued partnership in all seasons, but especially during times like these.

We will continue to pray for India and celebrate almost five decades of work there. While our programs have closed t, we recognise God’s goodness in the 49 years of partnership Compassion had with local Indian churches. As a result of those partnerships, and your support, hundreds of thousands of children have been released from poverty. Thank you!

Thank you for standing with us to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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