In 1952, Reverend Everett Swanson felt the need to travel to South Korea and come to the aid of children who were orphaned by the Korean War. At the start, 35 children were reached by the efforts of Swanson and his team. Today, more than 60 years later, 1.3 million children in 26 different countries are receiving care through the organization founded on Matthew 15:32, "I have compassion on the crowd...And I am unwilling to send them away hungry..."
Click here to read more about Compassion International's history.
What They Do
Typically, when we think about "poverty" we think solely in economic terms, but Compassion unpacks this problem and works to meet the physical, spiritual, social and educational needs of a child. When in poverty, a child is more susceptible to malnutrition, disease and abuse. They are vulnerable to the lies that they are worthless because of their poverty. They may even feel hopeless. These needs are met through four programs - Child Sponsorship Program, Child Survival Program, Leadership Development Program and Complementary Interventions - giving hope to each child sponsored. When you sign up to sponsor a child, you take on the role of advocate for that child. You give a voice to the child and defend his or her rights. And when that child grows older, because of your assistance, support and love, he will be a responsible and fulfilled Christian adult.
Click here to read more about the mission of Compassion.
How Does it Work?
One child from each family is registered through Compassion at a local child development center in the town or village. The reason only one child is selected is to ensure that all families in a particular village have an equal chance of receiving nutritional and educational help. Once registered, the child's information is added to Compassion's website where potential sponsors can search for a child based on age, location, gender and date of birth. When a child has been sponsored, he will begin receiving care at the local child development center which is often a church already established in the community. The children Compassion serves receive a number of blessings including: the opportunity to hear the gospel and learn about Jesus, regular Christian training, educational help, health care and supplementary food for their whole family if necessary. The children that attend classes at the center are able to take their new knowledge back to their communities to educate friends and family there. Through these services, Compassion hopes to develop responsible, hopeful Christian adults. The parents of sponsored children also receive care by participating in training activities and classes that help them develop parenting skills, literacy and income generation.
Click here to read more about the selection process and benefits of the program.
Does it Actually Work?
Yes! In its 62 years of serving God's children, Compassion has seen some miraculous changes in the lives of the sponsored children and in their communities. Here are some interesting facts given in the summer issue of Compassion Magazine that show the impact of Compassion's work:
- In 1981, 52% of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. Today, that is down to 21%. That is 1.2 billion people instead of 3.5 billion!
- Former Compassion sponsored children were 27-40% more likely to finish secondary education than those who were not enrolled in the child sponsorship program.
- Former Compassion sponsored children were 50-80% more likely to complete a university education than non-sponsored children.
You can also watch this video to hear the Wilde family's incredible story of impact.
Our hope is that, with this information, you are encouraged in your decision to sponsor and inspired to share this knowledge with friends and family so that they too can release a child from poverty in Jesus' name.
For more information about Compassion International, visit the website here.