Yesterday, Emily shared how God revealed His call on her life and what makes our Child Survival Program (CSP) unique among programs that work with infants and mothers. Today, Emily shares her vision for CSP.
6. In addition to the countries where CSP is already in place (Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and Uganda) what are some countries where you would like to see the program expand to?
Compassion works in developing countries, most of which have high child mortality rates. As I look into the 2006 international statistics on infant mortality, the countries I would hope to see us in are Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Togo* and Tanzania. However, it is very important for us to have reports on infant mortality in all the countries where we work. This will give us direction regarding which countries need priority.
7. Child mortality is a huge problem in developing countries. Do you think the Child Survival Program is having a real impact on this crisis?
Definitely. The CSP beneficiaries are mothers and babies, who are vulnerable in various ways as families live in varying difficult circumstances. If it were not for the Child Survival Program, many children who were malnourished would be either dead or still underdeveloped. Some would be dead from measles infection, but the Child Survival Program helped them receive the vaccine from the nearest medical facility. Some babies would be dead of AIDS, but the CSP supported their mothers by providing them with the right medicine so their children could be born without the virus. Some mothers and children would be dead from malaria, but CSP came in and gave them life by providing mosquito nets. When the Child Survival Program taught a mother the importance of hospital delivery and the mother practiced what she was taught, a healthy baby was delivered in a healthy and clean environment. CSP is making a difference.
8. Tell me your favorite success story from the Child Survival Program. A story that you truly feel CSP made possible.
CSP stories are so many, I do not know which one to choose. But I would like to mention one child who was recruited into the program at 3 months. His mother had just passed away, and he was left under the care of his weak father and a grandmother who was the sole provider in the family. When a Child Survival Program started in their church, the grandmother was notified, so she brought in the baby. As time went by, the child started getting sick. Soon we found the child to be HIV positive. Then and there, the Child Survival Program staff started taking special care of this baby. Through the program, the baby received nutritional supplements, antiretroviral treatment, vaccinations against preventable childhood illnesses, as well as a treated mosquito net. The grandmother was taught how to provide the baby with proper nutrition, and slowly, the baby regained health, was up and about.
9. What is going on with this child and his family now?
The baby boy grew up to be a strong and admirable and gorgeous child. On the child’s fourth birthday the boy had to leave the program — thank God he then went to the Child Sponsorship Program. The boy now has a loving sponsor. Today he is a strong, healthy boy with a future and hope. He is well nourished, receiving education, getting medical care, and has hope for tomorrow.
If it were not for the Child Survival Program, who knows where this precious saint would be today? Maybe dead due to opportunistic infections, maybe malnourished, in and out of a hospital — but CSP saved him. God bless the Child Survival Program.
10. Why should someone become a CSP partner? What is the benefit to the partner?
Everybody should become a partner with the Child Survival Program! Supporting the program means being a part of changing a generation. Supporting CSP is giving children life, hope, a bright future, a chance in life and an opportunity to become all they would like to be when they grow up. The mothers or caregivers receive support and education, which raises their self-esteem and assures their families of an improved standard of living.
*Compassion Togo will begin enrolling children later this year.