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Recently, Forbes Magazine recognized Compassion International, a child development organization, as one of America’s Best Midsize Employers in 2017. Established in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Compassion was ranked number 40 on Forbes’ list of 300 employers nationwide, receiving the highest rank among Colorado-based companies within the category.

In partnership with Statista, a database and consumer research firm, Forbes surveyed thousands of employees nationwide. In doing so, Forbes measured employee satisfaction, pay and workplace environment as factors in determining the respective rankings of various U.S. employers. In addition, this survey also evaluated the likeliness of recommendations from employees to family and friends.

Compassion International is a child advocacy ministry that aims to rescue children from four areas of poverty: spiritual, economic, social and physical. In hopes of enlightening struggling children to lead healthy and successful lives, the ministry pairs kindhearted people with those suffering in poverty. Compassion implements their leadership development programs from infancy through young adulthood, establishing a long-term approach indirectly affecting and changing the lives of struggling children and families around the world.

 

Under the leadership of Santiago Mellado, the organization’s CEO, Compassion employs 1,033 employees who strive to provide food, medical assistance, education and training to those who suffer in poverty-stricken regions of the world. Other midsize companies included on Forbes’ list include Lush (1), Georgetown University (8), St. Jude Children’s Hospital (13) and Hasbro (37). Alongside this recognition, Compassion has also been ranked number 15 on Forbes’ ‘100 Largest U.S. Charities.’

In 2016, Compassion’s total revenues, gains and other support totaled over $803 million, with 1.8 million children receiving life-changing care, 29,387 babies and moms receiving lifesaving interventions and 42,336 students enrolling in a university or vocational training. These opportunities have given millions of struggling children and families the tools and resources in leading healthy and successful lives.

In addition to this recognition, Compassion has previously been awarded the Gallup Organization’s Great Workplace Award, an award that recognizes organizations around the world that demonstrate an exceptional workplace culture. Alongside these accolades, Compassion has become reputable for its ability in fully equipping those struggling around the world to become autonomous in pulling themselves out of the poverty, while still maintaining an inspiring and enjoyable workplace environment for its employees.

Brandon Johnson

Photo: Flickr

Compassion International Aims to Educate Children on Global Poverty
In the U.S., a sheltered and privileged lifestyle can reduce potential opportunities of happiness and prosperity for those living in developing countries. But how? As time progresses, younger generations develop a lack of understanding in regards to the devastating living conditions in the developing world, inhibiting the potential for philanthropic efforts from youthful generations.

In aiming to educate children on global poverty, Compassion International has designed an interactive exhibit that gives children the opportunity to learn about the developing world. Compassion International is a child advocacy ministry with the goal to free children in the developing world from various forms of poverty.

This exhibit strives to open a privileged child’s eyes to the barriers that prevent less privileged children from escaping the consequences of devastating inequality.

In working with churches throughout the U.S., the Compassion Experience aims to educate children on global poverty by pushing them to learn about the specific living conditions and daily lives of those who face poverty every day in developing countries.

The exhibit allows children to choose between different variations of a self-guided tour, represented by recreations of actual homes throughout struggling countries, like Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic.

These children will hear other less privileged children describe their own life and living conditions. At the end of the tour, the less privileged discuss how they overcame poverty through education and church sponsorships.

With three operable mobile units in the U.S., featuring five poor children’s stories, the exhibit draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. Compassion International aims to further expand its initiative with the development of more dialogues and tours across the U.S. With about a million and a half children sponsored through their program, Compassion International grossed an annual budget in the 2014 fiscal year of $710 million, continuing to show promising results and increases in their annual budget.

These exhibits aim to open the eyes of many children by demonstrating the difficulties of those growing up in extreme poverty. By showing younger generations these overwhelming differences, Compassion International hopes children will express more gratitude in their own lives and join the fight in alleviating global poverty.

Brandon Johnson

Photo: Flickr

The Compassion Experience
The Compassion Experience is a unique take on raising awareness for global poverty while simultaneously alleviating children out of poverty. Compassion International is providing a first-hand look at the daily lives of the global poor through their interactive Compassion Experience.

The Compassion Experience is an exhibit currently touring the country, hosted by Compassion International, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for child sponsorship to help lift children out of poverty. Operating since 1952, Compassion has grown from aiding 35 children in South Korea to helping millions of children worldwide become healthy adults.

Compassion’s Accomplishments

The organization also accepts one-time donations to do things such as build a well, provide literacy classes, and cover the neonatal care of a pregnant woman. The Experience is meant to build upon these goals by allowing for a better understanding of the daily difficulties imposed by poverty.

To Lynnelle, an Ohio-based volunteer who has worked with the organization for over 20-years, the work Compassion is doing through their interactive experience is invaluable.

In an interview, she explained, “We talk about [global poverty] all the time, but we don’t have any idea what people in the rest of the world go through.” Raising awareness for global poverty needs to be more than just words, and Compassion knows how to do just that.

A Day in a Compassion Exhibit

The exhibit itself operates out of a large, climate-controlled tent and series of trailers. An audio tour chronicles the lives of three children whose lives have been changed by Compassion, highlighting the positive effects sponsorship has had for them. In the Compassion Experience’s Mentor, Ohio location, these children were Olive, from Uganda; Carlos, from Guatemala; and Kiwi, from the Philippines.

In Olive’s case, Compassion provided for treatment for her tuberculosis and then, once healthy, helped her return to school. She eventually received a volleyball scholarship in the United States, where she went on to earn a master’s degree in social work. She now works for the same organization that changed her life.

The Compassion Experience provides human faces and compelling narratives that demonstrate the daily realities of those living in poverty. Lynnelle described her visit to Rwanda, where she saw those living conditions first hand: a small, closet sized room and no running water.

However, thanks to the efficacy of foreign aid and organizations such as Compassion International, things are changing. The Gates Foundation cites that the percentage of poor people around the world has dropped by more than half since 1980, with countries such as Brazil and India more than quadrupling their real income per person.

According to Bill Gates in his 2014 Annual Letter, children who have been lifted up out of poverty “do more than merely survive. They go to school and eventually work, and over time they make their countries more self-sufficient.” Raising awareness for global poverty and increasing levels of activism is a necessity for all countries, not an option.

Lynnelle put it much more simply.

“This to me,” she said, “is changing the world.”

Sabrina Santos

Photo: The Compassion Experience

charitable_christmas_gift
Compassion International is a Christian organization dedicated to helping children who are living in poverty. Below are some charitable Christmas gift options from the organization’s “Gift Catalog” that allows people to give to families living in poverty.

1. HIV/AIDS Care. A $25 donation can go a long way to providing much needed medical care to those suffering from HIV/AIDs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), HIV/AIDS was responsible for an estimated 1.1 million deaths in 2013 and children are the most susceptible.

Compassion International estimates that 1,000 children are infected with HIV every day. Medical breakthroughs have helped curb the global killer, but the disease continues to rage on. This charitable Christmas gift donation would help…

  • Educate families on prevention techniques
  • Treat children and families infected through antiretroviral means
  • Provide care for those indirectly affected

2. Water Wells. According to Water.org, 663 million people do not have access to potable water, one in every ten people. A $34 donation can help provide clean and safe access to water for those that need it by allowing them to have:

  • A borehole well construction
  • The ability to install a water store unit, including a pump and other hardware
  • Reduced cases of waterborne diseases and illnesses

3. Goats or Other Animals. What many people may think of as pets, people in developing countries think of as a life source. Having a goat, cow or chicken can mean milk, eggs, wool or food for people living in developing countries. A $100 donation for livestock would help those living in poverty to:

  • Generate a source of income by selling eggs, wool, or milk from the animal
  • Become self-sufficient and less reliant on others
  • Establish a business by rendering services

charitable_Christmas_gift

4. Mosquito Nets. According to WHO, 438,000 deaths were linked to malaria in 2015. Most of those were deaths of children under the age of five. However, nearly half of the world’s population, 3.2 million people, are at risk for the disease. An $18 charitable Christmas gift donation for a malaria net would help in the following ways:

  • A bed net treated with insecticide to eliminate malaria transmission
  • Training on how to use the net
  • Education on ways to prevent mosquito breeding areas

5. Food for a Baby and a Mother. Malnutrition is something that is all too real for families living in developing countries. According to The Hunger Project, 98 percent of the world’s undernourished people inhabit developing nations.

It is also estimated that 795 million people in the world do not have enough to eat. Of those 795 million, 214 million live in Africa and 525.6 million live in Asia according to The Hunger Project. A $15 monthly donation can help mothers and children receive the nutrition they need to retain their strength. It can also:

  • Ensure health for mothers and children by eating recommended food
  • Put on and keep weight for better health and development
  • Help mothers and children eat appropriately by providing “fortified nutritional supplements”

The suggestions provided are only a handful of options. There are, of course, many other charitable options that can help people in need. For other charitable Christmas gift giving ideas, visit Compassion International.

– Alyson Atondo

Sources: WHO 1, Water.org, THP, WHO 2, WHO 3, Compassion 1, Compassion 2
Photo: Flickr, Pixabay

compassion_international
Compassion International, a Christian ministry organization, is highlighting the reality of global poverty through an interactive event hosted in the United States.

The exhibits are free to the public and seek to display true stories of children living in challenged developing countries such as Kenya, Uganda and the Dominican Republic. Through this forum, the organization gives visitors the opportunity to step into the lives of people living in developing countries without getting on a plane.

Visitors are guided through exhibits laid out over 2,000 square feet. Throughout the tour, people have the opportunity to experience the lives of three children who are sponsored by Compassion International. Each of the children featured narrates their own story.

“The tour took us through his life in the streets and eventually to the point where he became involved with Compassion International,” Joseph Hughes, who resonated with the story of Rueben, a child from the Dominican Republic, said. “It was a moving experience. I’ll admit, when Reuben finally became stable, had food and access to an education, I teared up a little.”

According to UNICEF, 1.9 million children are living in poverty today. The interactive tour started when Compassion International teamed up with local churches to provide child development programs and assist children living in poverty.

James Hays, a pastor who helps lead the event, said he wanted to give others the opportunity to experience life in different regions of the world that are impacted by global poverty.

“We thought it would be something not only our church would benefit from, but the community could as well,” he said.

Overall, the response from visitors has been positive. Jillian Kissell, a participant of one event in Searcy, Arkansas described the event as “enlightening”.

“I think it’s important to see how others are living and what their daily lives look like,” she said. “I like experiences that will get me out of my comfort zone and learn something new.”

Hays said this is the first time Compassion International has put on the event. According to information found on Compassion International’s website, the tour will visit 35 cities this year.

Alyson Atondo

Sources: UNICEF, Harding, Access Atlanta, TCPalm, The Connection
Photo: Flickr

 child-sponsorship-works-borgen-project-compassion-international_opt
When people ask how to help the poor, child sponsorship often is suggested. Indeed, for a small amount of money each month, organizations allow individuals to sponsor a child and help to provide education, food, and clothing for them. In return, the sponsors get a picture of the child and quarterly or annual updates from the organization regarding their child.  It has long seemed like an easy way to make an impact. The question many people ask, however, is does it really work? One development economist decided he was going to find out.

It seemed no one had ever been interested in finding the answer despite the fact that 9 million children are sponsored worldwide and more than $5 billion dollars per year is invested in child sponsorship programs. For organizations, obviously the stakes were high. If they allowed researchers to study the effectiveness of their programs, what would they do if they came back ineffective? After several years, one organization decided to allow themselves to be studied under one condition: anonymity.

The study initially looked at individuals in Uganda, studying 809 individuals including 188 who were sponsored as children. The results from the first study were any economist’s dream. The data clearly showed large and statistically significant impacts on the educational outcomes of sponsored children. It appeared the program was actually working! To solidify the results, the study was conducted in six other countries: Uganda, Guatemala, the Philippines, India, Kenya and Bolivia. Data was obtained on 10,144 individuals and the results were consistent with the first study. 27 to 40% more sponsored children complete secondary school and 50 to 80% more complete a college education. In addition to effects on education, the study found that sponsored children were also more likely to gain meaningful employment.

As a result of the study, the sponsorship organization removed the anonymity clause. Compassion International was the organization that allowed its program to be scrutinized; the results were clear that child sponsorship works. It helps lift kids and families out of poverty and provides them with hope. For more information about child sponsorship, visit Compassion International at www.compassion.com.

– Amanda Kloeppel
Sources: Christianity Today, Compassion International