Child sponsorship One of the goals for our Child Sponsorship Program is for every child to successfully graduate with faith in Christ and the necessary life skills to become self-sufficient.

Onidis, 20, is one of the many young people who have graduated from our Child Sponsorship Program in the Dominican Republic. He successfully completed the program last year, just after finishing high school. He attended the program from the time he was 7 years old until he was 19.

His development center, Buenas Nuevas Student Center in Pedro Brand, has provided vocational and technical training opportunities for their children since 1982. Hairdressing, acrylic nail styling, English, typing and banking are some of the vocational training classes offered to the students over the years.

At 13 years old, Onidis learned basic English at the Compassion center. After being trained on a computer and learning advanced typing, he had the skills to be a secretary. At the age of 18 he completed the technical courses on computer repair and maintenance.

Eighteen is the age when Dominican youth get their electoral and citizen’s ID card, an age of a lot of uncertainties and challenges. In the case of Onidis, it was a time of opportunity. He got a job in the human resources department for the Dominican Armed Forces Ministry. He is currently in charge of maintaining the staff data and the system itself.

Besides his formal job, Onidis also keeps a small computer repair shop at home. His experience and reputation has become well-known in his community.

With his jobs, Onidis is able to pay to study computer engineering at the O&M University in Santo Domingo.

Today, Onidis is an active member of the Pedro Brand Biblical Temple Church. He and other youth perform plays, poetry and sing specials at the regular church services. Even after leaving the child development center, he continues to demonstrate a commitment to the lordship of Christ.

Onidis has visited the center from time to time to help with the logistics for youth activities. And he installed the wiring in the center’s computer lab and the programs on the computers.

Onidis’ story reflects the importance of the Child Sponsorship Program, even for the youth who don’t move on to our Leadership Development Program. Through his attendance, he was able to develop a relationship with Christ, as well as develop vocational skills that have allowed him to not only become financially self-supporting, but also to serve his community.

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19 Comments Add a Comment
  1. Aug 18, 2010
    at 1:43 am

    Onidis you are a champion. Well done and congratulations for everything that you have achieved and are currently achieving. I pray that you would never forget that it is Jesus that has given you these opportunities, and that you would always have Him as number 1 in your life. You are a perfect example of why my husband and I sponsor children through Compassion. Thank you for allowing your story to be shared- it is very encouraging.

  2. Aug 18, 2010
    at 7:36 am

    I have sponsored a Compassion child through my church women’s group, and commend Compassion for the wonderful work you are doing. I was pleased to learn that the organization I work for, Opportunity International is now collaborating with Opportunity on a pilot program in Colombia, Ghana and Uganda to give Compassion youth a way to explore career options or create income for education expenses. Right now, 400 youths are learning about entrepreneurship, business and technical skills, as well as financial literacy. Those with a viable business plan will receive a small loan, preparing them to apply for larger business loans as adults. In this way, they will be able to become self-sufficient and contribute to the economic development of their communities.

  3. Aug 18, 2010
    at 9:03 am

    This is great! I’d LOVE to hear more stories about what formerly sponsored kids are doing! This is wonderful and could be helpful when Child Advocates speak in churches for Compassion.

  4. Aug 18, 2010
    at 10:01 am

    My understanding is that we can encourage our sponsor kids (who don’t become LDPs) to pursue a certificate or diploma in something like computers or accounting after high school graduation. depending on what is offered in their region.

    An LDP grad from Kenya advised me to encourage my 19-year-old (who is a high school senior) to take a diploma in computers as soon as he graduated high school, while he was waiting to hear whether he’d been accepted into university. If he was accepted, he’d have more skills. If his scores didn’t qualify him for university, he would already be on track to learn a trade or additional set of skills while still in the Compassion program.

  5. Stephanie Green
    Aug 18, 2010
    at 11:51 am

    What an encouraging story. This WILL be helpful to me as an advocate, as Juli mentioned, because I find that people are so curious about what becomes of our children after their time in the CDSP. Sometimes, even as advocates, we don’t always have specific answers but this story will be a wonderful example of success outside of LDP.

    One of the greatest things I saw last month in Tanzania was the way the teenagers are being given vocational training and life skills..and the confidence and hope they have for their futures because of this preparation. I love what Compassion does for our children!!!!!

  6. Bob
    Aug 18, 2010
    at 12:48 pm

    This story is long overdue. Usually we hear only of the select LDP students, but nearly never of the 99.9+ percent of the students that complete their project program.

    Please more stories like this.

  7. Ken M.
    Aug 18, 2010
    at 2:14 pm

    PLEASE give us more stories of formerly sponsored children!!!

  8. Aug 18, 2010
    at 2:57 pm

    This post is a result of your suggestions. And Bob is right, it’s long overdue. I’m definitely trying to get more for you.

    “I’m also interested in reading more about folks who had attended Compassion projects and what sorts of things they are doing now.” – Sherry

    “The one thing I would like more information on is the vocational training that the older children receive. Two of my children are 15 years old now, and I have become more concerned about what type of job they will be able to find when they graduate from the Compassion program.” – Roma Lea Short

  9. Aug 18, 2010
    at 7:21 pm

    Compassion has a huge impact on the lives of these children. Not too long ago, I heard of a set of twins. One of them got registered in the Compassion program, the other did not. The one that got registered is now a University student (Not sure if she in the LDP program or not), the other one is on the streets as a prostitute. This is probably pretty extreme, but it does show Compassion’s impact. BTW, I met quite a few students, who were not LDP students, but were formerly Compassion children and are now in the University. I think this happens because they tend to have very good grades and thus qualify for scholarships. Of course, the LDP is far more than just a University scholarship, though it does include that.

  10. Isaiah Masiga
    Aug 18, 2010
    at 10:46 pm

    WOW, Onidis is a great champion, i was a sponsored child as well but i think Onidis has many outstanding stories than me. We can however encourage all our sponsored children, even though they dont make it to LDP, to still be self sustaining. I am current working the the projects as a project Director and a staff team leader for 4 projects. Soon i will be staying near my LDP sponsor in Seoul korea. I love this ministry.

  11. Aug 19, 2010
    at 9:19 am

    Great story! Thank you for sharing it with us, and I echo the request for more like this.

  12. Carol Hallifax
    Aug 19, 2010
    at 3:12 pm

    This is a great success story. This young man has a good foundation. It seems that he is already living a purposeful life.

  13. Aug 21, 2010
    at 6:58 pm

    This is great! I’d LOVE to hear more stories about what formerly sponsored kids are doing! This is wonderful and could be helpful when Child Advocates speak in churches for Compassion.

    What Juli said…!

  14. Aug 21, 2010
    at 8:04 pm

    I have often wondered whether the children in the development centers had the opportunity to learn more than one skill, and it seems that they do. That’s wonderful! The combined learning that Onidis went through has put him in a very good position. Thanks so much for this story.

  15. James
    Aug 24, 2010
    at 10:14 pm

    Great post, I sponsored a young child in India, her first letter was letting me know that she had to take a test just to stay in school. That to me was gut wrenching, thankfully the next letter let me know that she passed the test. The brief profile that was posted listed her as a marginal student, and as she is 14 I just prayed for the best. Keep posting about life beyond the centers, LDP is so limited, hearing that a difference was made, is so encouraging.

    Aug 28, 2010
    at 5:48 am

    anyway u got job as u laboured hard.

  17. Jan 1, 2011
    at 5:34 pm

    Awesome story! I love how entrepreneurial he is.

  18. Carol Hallifax
    Jan 3, 2011
    at 12:07 pm

    We need to hear more stories about Compassion Graduates who are not LDP Students. Most sponsored children will need skills training. Let’s hear about success stories for these graduates.

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