I recently spoke with a sponsor about gift giving. I explained that he could send a monetary gift for his child, and one of the program staff would take his child to the market and help them purchase what they would like.
The sponsor replied, “So you actually have staff in her community? Someone close by that can take her to the market?”
You may laugh, but this is a common question. Our purpose and mission may be well understood (to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name), but new and veteran sponsors alike have trouble understanding what our program looks like once implemented in a community.
When your sponsored child attends the child development center, or CDC, he or she is actually visiting a local church with whom we have partnered. This partnership is what sets us apart from other sponsorship organizations. Our desire is to support the church to complete its God-given mission (Matthew 16:18). We believe that this partnership is a strategic catalyst for community change – starting with changing one child’s life.
We depend on the church in your sponsored child’s community to carry out our program. We, with the help of sponsors and donors, provide them with finances, guidance and accountability in order to make the program a success. According to the needs in their community, church leaders establish guidelines for what they will provide to the children registered at their center.
These guidelines are established according to our standards of holistic child development, individual child attention, use of a national or Compassion-approved curriculum to meet our desired outcomes, a commitment to a one-to-one sponsorship (one child to one sponsor), meeting a time requirement for engagement with the children, and adhering to an attendance standard.
To ensure that the program is effective and funds are used wisely, the church is audited, at minimum, once every 30 months. Each CDC is visited by a Compassion staff member from the field office a minimum of three times per year.
Currently we partner with more than 5,000 churches worldwide, serving about 1.2 million children through our Child Sponsorship Program, and more than 21,000 mothers and babies through our Child Survival Program.