There are over a billion bicycles in the world. Used for sport and exercise and regular old transportation. In the developing countries in which we work, a bicycle can mean so much more than just that thing that gets you from point A to point B. It’s sometimes a child’s only toy. A teen’s only way to get to class. A means to attend the only church in a hundred mile radius. An opportunity for a street business to provide for your family.
Families who lost everything in the 2010 Haiti earthquake needed help starting over. That’s why we initiated a low-interest micro loan program to qualified recipients to help them start new businesses in their communities. The results have been spectacular!
In the months and years following the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, generous sponsors and donors around the world gave more than $31 million toward our Disaster Relief Fund for recovery efforts. It was the largest sum ever raised for one of our disaster relief campaigns. This fund enabled us not only to deliver provisions immediately following the disaster – such as food, water and temporary shelter – but also to establish long-term recovery efforts such as post-traumatic camps and counseling services, entrepreneurial training, low-interest loans for businesses, and the construction of new school buildings.
In the Philippines, tropical cyclones come and go frequently. The country is battered by an average of 9 typhoons a year; some don’t make international news, and those that do will have caused devastating destruction. Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) hit the islands on December 6. And currently, it has affected 70 of our church partners and over 4,000 Compassion assisted children and their families. Damage is still being assessed and we will provide updates as news from our staff there becomes available. But a typhoon like this isn’t new to them.
When I was a teenager, my mom and I used to go shopping on Black Friday. Well … she would shop. I would usually end up sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the mall, reading a book and waiting for her to finish buying gifts for our family. It should be noted, though, that my mom didn’t necessarily enjoy these dawn excursions with a whiny teen. She did it because she loved us, and she wanted Christmas to be special. Our family wasn’t wealthy, and she saved all year to buy those gifts — to demonstrate in a tangible way that she knew us, knew what we liked. And that she loved us. And even the malls couldn’t interfere with that mother’s heart.
I love awkward situations. What makes most people squirm makes me break out in a fit of laughter. I enjoy watching people react in uncomfortable situations and don’t mind entering awkward situations myself. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself two questions. How does this woman have any friends? Is she about to ask us something awkward?!? Both valid questions. And sure, now that you brought it up, here’s a potentially awkward question: How do you feel about toilets? That’s right. Toilets.
I’m a big reader. As a child, I had books hidden away everywhere — in the cushions of the couch, tucked under my brother’s car seat and stuffed into my pillowcase. So when I was about 10 years old, I decided I would buy every person in my family a book for Christmas. I pored over the Scholastic Books order form and found books for my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. I wrapped them and carefully placed them under the tree. On Christmas Eve, when we exchange gifts with my extended family, I was so excited to watch everyone open their gifts. There was one problem, though. Not everybody likes to read.
Drink water and suffer diarrhea, don’t drink water and develop bladder stones. It’s a Catch-22 in desperate need of a solution.
Our partnership with the local churches helps stand in the gap for community needs that government programs have not been able to meet.
For centuries, large gatherings and special celebrations across Africa have called for goat meat. In rural Ngaamba, Kenya, this is especially true. That’s why introducing a new breed of goat to this community brought about such remarkable change.