Child development If you find yourself calling Compassion a child sponsorship organization, I have news for you. We are not a child sponsorship organization. We are a child development organization.

And child development isn’t just child sponsorship.

Child development requires involvement. Involvement begins with a commitment and extends beyond dedication to perseverance. Child development is an investment — an investment of time for a lifetime.

All that child sponsorship involves is identifying people to make a pledge on behalf of a child.

Child development is dynamic. It changes as a child’s needs change. It’s personal, individualized and relational. And it’s tailored to ages, gender, health, cultures and family situations.

Child sponsorship is just a tool, and the tool is different from what the tool builds. Child sponsorship allows us to develop children. Child sponsorship allows you to do God’s work — to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Child development equips children today with the skills to succeed tomorrow. It’s long term. It doesn’t occur overnight — because children don’t grow up overnight. However, children do die at night. And they die during the day too.

Children die when they’re in the womb and in their mothers’ arms. Children die when they’re young and when they’re older, which means that child development requires child survival. If a child dies, there is no child to develop.

This is why we have our Child Survival Program, which is different from our Child Sponsorship Program, which is different from our Leadership Development Program, which is different from our Complementary Interventions.

Taken together, those four things are “how we do” what we do. They are how we develop the children we serve, the children you sponsor.

What we do is develop children. Compassion International is not just a child sponsorship organization. We are a child development organization.

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  1. Chuck Guth
    Jun 14, 2010
    at 5:56 am

    Well said!

  2. Amy Wallace
    Jun 14, 2010
    at 6:27 am

    Thanks for this reminder of what Compassion does. I’ll have to start telling people it is a child development organization :)

  3. Jun 14, 2010
    at 8:07 am

    Love this post! Really well said! You are so right (and not a relief organization either). I appreciate your explanation of these truths that make Compassion’s ministry so special. I have also been guilty of saying it’s a “child sponsorship organization” — but will remember this post the next time I speak in a church.

  4. Jun 14, 2010
    at 8:44 am

    “Child development requires involvement. Involvement begins with a commitment and extends beyond dedication to perseverance. Child development is an investment – an investment of time for a life time.

    All that child sponsorship involves is identifying people to make a pledge on behalf of a child.

    Child development is dynamic. It changes as a child’s needs change. It’s personal, individualized and relational. And it’s tailored to ages, gender, health, cultures and family situations.

    Child sponsorship is just a tool, and the tool is different from what the tool builds. Child sponsorship allows us to develop children. Child sponsorship allows you to do God’s work – to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”

    I really like the contrasts, here, and the last of these paragraphs that shows how the “tool” of child sponsorship is used to develop a child for God’s purpose of releasing them from poverty in Jesus’ name.

    Good post!

  5. Jun 14, 2010
    at 9:13 am

    It’s so easy to say “child sponsorship organization”…thanks for the reminder that it’s so much more than tha!

  6. [...] God and how He works in the lives of their own teachers, social workers and older children in the child development center. In other words, they will be given LIFE on many different levels — physically, [...]

  7. Jun 14, 2010
    at 11:54 am

    Great post . . . we linked to it on youthministry360 in a blog post encouraging youth workers to mobilize their youth groups to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

    We’re big fans of Compassion.

    Here’s the post:
    http://blog.youthministry360.com/reaching-the-poor-with-compassion-international/558/

  8. Jun 14, 2010
    at 7:36 pm

    Chris,

    That is so well said! I love it. I´m going to use it myself. It is really true. What we do is develop children over the long term. I´ve had the privilege of working here in Bolivia in the projects and at the country office and I must say that I am blown away by all the details that go into developing these children. Every detail is so well cared for. Each of the letters are handled with such care. And it is all to develop each individual child one child at a time. This is a great blog! I like the title too. I must say, it caught me by suprise and made me want to read what this was all about. Great, great, great blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Jun 14, 2010
    at 9:22 pm

    Great Title! Great Blog!
    But I have often told people that I sponsor children from Compassion. Thereby having people think of Compassion as a sponsorship organization. With this blog I will now be able to say that I help develop children in the Compassion programs. This is all made possible through our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

  10. Emmanuelle Boco
    Jun 15, 2010
    at 2:10 am

    Thanks for this instructive blog, and Praise God cause there is hope for the poorest children thanks to the Ministry of Compassion International.

  11. Jun 15, 2010
    at 7:59 am

    I would add that Compassion is not a ‘relief’ organization, but a ‘belief’ organization.

  12. [...] Compassion International Is Not a Child Sponsorship Organization | Christian Blog on Child Poverty June 15th, 2010 Brian Childers Leave a comment Go to comments via blog.compassion.com [...]

  13. Christine Wildman
    Jun 16, 2010
    at 2:55 pm

    I would add that a sponsorship program just gets money thrown at it, whereas, with compassion, we are encouraged to write to our children, with so many available methods, from the preprinted letters, to the email letters, to sending cards to writing full on letters and sending gifts. There is no reason for anyone NOT to be part of the development of the child they sponsor.

  14. David Entler
    Jun 19, 2010
    at 11:12 pm

    You have articulated this concept well. I found this post to be helpful in formulating my own explanation of what Compassion is…

  15. james ochieng
    Jun 24, 2010
    at 7:52 am

    you are doing a great job on child development.
    with compassion we did a lot of voluntary work for development .
    as a volunteer i work in Dinka communities in south Sudan we faced all challanges to ensure that children in this area will get a proper education and a moral upbringing . thanks now that we will get more inspired by learning from your website.
    i am only worried that such opportunity will take along time in places like south Sudan.

    • AeS
      Mar 12, 2012
      at 10:39 pm

      How much of a connection do you still have in S. Sudan?

  16. Jul 11, 2010
    at 8:56 pm

    I have search this site for faces and pictures of poverty that say their story without words in order to send to some friends and direct them to Compassion International Website. Please we need compelling pictures poverty to pass around to potential sponsors, not just words.

    • Jul 19, 2010
      at 9:59 am

      Isaac,

      Compassion just had a blog about the photos of the children. It may help you understand why we don’t see much poverty in the photos.

      http://blog.compassion.com/your-sponsored-childs-photo-what-does-it-tell-you/

      I see some of sponsor sites advertised on TV and often feel a pang of guilt when they are asking for people to sponsor. I like the fact that Compassion does not exploit the child to get people to sponsor them. Compassion asks us to pray about sponsoring a child and provide them a release from poverty.

      Use the blog and tell potential sponsor about what happens during picture day.

  17. james ochieng
    Jul 20, 2010
    at 11:37 pm

    its good that you are giving clarification about child development and i think you are right. to really work for real child development it needs more than just sponsorship thumbs up for all working for children

  18. hrvoje
    Jul 2, 2011
    at 4:12 am

    Child development instead of child sponsorship.So better.

  19. Aug 25, 2013
    at 2:04 pm

    I can’t put into the words the experience of sprosoning a child and watching them grow up and age-out of the program. Today I found a little girl with the same birthday as my own little girl. I’m so excited to teach this aspect of giving to my daughter. My prayer is that when she’s 18, we can travel to meet her twin. I’m a single mom and things get tough sometimes. But things like this really put it into perspective. Thank you for reminding me that we are still abundantly blessed with more than we need.

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