Child development Another Saturday, another thought half finished.

Holistic child development means . . .

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  1. Melissa Coast
    Aug 23, 2008
    at 7:26 am

    …leaving no need ignored…

  2. Aug 23, 2008
    at 9:08 am

    …providing what is needed for each child personally.

  3. Aug 23, 2008
    at 10:57 am

    Interesting point of view. I’ll consider changing my mind about this but for now I still don’t see things the same way you do.

  4. Aug 23, 2008
    at 2:31 pm

    helping a child blossom spiritually, mentally, and physically.

  5. Aug 23, 2008
    at 4:09 pm

    …preparing a child for a healthy, productive life without poverty.

  6. Aug 23, 2008
    at 10:26 pm

    … an “academic” phrase that means helping a child to grow physically and mentally.

  7. Aug 23, 2008
    at 10:58 pm

    Releasing Children from Poeverty in Jesus’ name.


  8. Aug 24, 2008
    at 8:36 am

    …I have no clue.

  9. Aug 24, 2008
    at 10:42 am

    …I’m thinking toolbox

    When I consider what holistic child development means, I envision each of these kids receiving a tool box, fully equipped with every tool a person could possibly need for any task they may encounter. Omit any one tool and the chance for completing the job is diminished.

    And for those of the world who might suggest we should omit Jesus Christ, I would say that that would be akin to having a tool box without a hammer.

  10. Aug 24, 2008
    at 1:54 pm

    Stephanie, I’m going to take a stab at giving you a clue, although I’m sure others will offer their thoughts, too (I can’t think of everything!).

    “Holistic child development” is what goes on in and through the projects/student centers where children are registered. “Holistic” means that every area of a child’s life is addressed; we usually boil it all down to say that children are enabled to develop physically, spiritually, economically and socially, but that nutshell doesn’t reveal the details.

    A child whose family cannot afford to send her to school is able to go, as a result of her participation in the project, because parents receive help with the tuition, books and supplies and clothes (often a uniform). Thus, she is able to get an education that she would likely not have received, without Compassion’s assistance.

    Each child is monitored once a year for physical (medical and dental) well-being. If a medical problem is discovered, then or anytime, Compassion will be sure the child receives the care needed. If his family can contribute to the cost, they will be asked to do so, no matter how little, but the need will be met.

    The same is true of emotional health; many children come from broken and/or abusive homes and require psychological intervention. On my first sponsors tour, I learned that such a child will also be helped at the project through age-appropriate materials, exercises, etc., to deal with issues like anger, bitterness, fear, trust….

    The project offers a safe place for each child to play and develop social skills. The children also received supplemental academic work, tutoring, and Bible instruction. They have many opportunities to learn about and respond to Jesus Christ. More than 100,000 Compassion-assisted children made first-time decisions for Jesus Christ in FY 2008, FY 2007. I don’t remember the years prior to that, except to say that back in 2003, when I became an advocate, more than 70,000 child had made first-time decisions.

    The children not only receive a meal, each time they are at the center; they also receive instruction in nutrition, disease-prevention (e.g., boiling impure water, brushing teeth after a meal, and other instruction as needed in the child’s area). When needed, supplemental nutrition is also provided for the family. Hint: It’s a critical need, right now, just about everywhere Compassion works.

    That’s all great, but if the work stopped there, we would have a program that feeds, educates and clothes children, cares for them medically, etc. But there’s still the need to break the cycle of poverty, and that’s where the life-skill training comes in. At an appropriate age, each child in the program learns a skill that will enable him or her to earn an income to provide for his or her family. And as Compassion works through..forgot the name…the organization that extends small loans to people for micro-enterprise efforts–helping people to start small businesses–more people get out of poverty.

    Okay…someone tell me what I forgot! :o)

  11. Aug 25, 2008
    at 5:33 am

    Not only developing a child’s thinking skills, but also developing the child’s social, emotional, & physical skills.

  12. Tom Easterday
    Aug 25, 2008
    at 8:21 am

    There is saying, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Holistic child development is teaching children how to break the cycle of poverty rather than just covering up the symptoms of poverty.

  13. Aug 25, 2008
    at 9:59 am


    I think that is very thorough. I think that only one part was not mentioned and maybe because in some sense Compassion itself doesn’t provide it, but the sponsors’ letters become very important to the children to help them see that they matter and it teaches them how to express themselves in writing.


  14. Aug 25, 2008
    at 11:44 am

    You’re absolutely right, Kees. I’ve seen the faces, as you no doubt have, of children whose sponsors do not write. I’ve heard their pleas: “Please tell my sponsor to write to me!” And I’ve listened to a graduate who gradually decided she didn’t have a real sponsor, because other sponsored children received letters and little gifts; not surprisingly, this young woman graduated from the program without Jesus’ having become real to her, either. The letters are the most important part of sponsorship, in terms of what we offer.

  15. Mary
    Aug 26, 2008
    at 5:21 pm

    Hi Vicki,
    I think the organization you are referring to is Opportunity International.

  16. Aug 26, 2008
    at 7:11 pm

    Yep, that’s it, Mary! Thanks!

  17. stephanie joy
    Aug 26, 2008
    at 7:53 pm

    giving them new life on earth (= physical & mental & social needs) and offering them new life with Jesus. hope for today, and hope eternal.

  18. Heather
    Aug 27, 2008
    at 1:44 am

    Holistic child development is something akin to helping a child to eat,read/write,learn in a healthy enviroment,just let them be kids 4 awhile and be somewhere safe and where they are loved..Letting them see Jesus in actions and not only words..On a more amusing note “holistic” usually refers to health food and odd alternative therapies!This post I had to read..

  19. Aug 27, 2008
    at 1:49 am

    love children by action not talk only…live with them

  20. Rebecca Kearney
    May 12, 2009
    at 4:51 am

    @Kees Boer – Just read this and felt really shocked by the narrowmindedness of it. This is old school missionary speak – Christians release you from poverty and you owe them worship of their god. Dear me. Christianity has caused an awful, awful amount of damage to children since it came into being. Not so holistic, then.

  21. Jul 1, 2009
    at 10:47 am

    @Rebecca Kearney

    Hi, Rebecca,

    I just read this myself. I don’t know what old school or new school missionary is all about, but I do know what Christ is about.

    The real deep issue of poverty isn’t so much a lack of food, or a lack of water, or a lack of employment. Those are symptoms of the real poverty, which is a lack of Christ.

    In reality, if someone has Christ they are rich, if someone doesn’t, they are poor. I’ve worked with actors in Hollywood community. Some of them are financially rich beyond compare. They might get lunch in another state with a private plane, because they like the food there. Yet, though they might spend thousands of dollars on a meal, if they don’t have Christ, the little child in the shack, who has Christ is far richer. And there will come a day, when that actor will look at the child with jealousy.


  22. Feb 25, 2013
    at 7:37 am

    love children by action not talk only…live with them

    Love it Elkana! :)

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