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Ministry Highlight: El Salvador
Posted By Web Team On August 26, 2011 @ 1:42 am In Country Staff | 12 Comments
Our ministry in El Salvador started in 1977 with the Child Sponsorship Program. In 2009, we implemented both the Child Survival and Leadership Development programs.
In July 2008, the ministry in El Salvador obtained facilities that will enable us to deliver new ministries and more effective services to our Implementing Church Partners.
Guillermo Enmanuel Munoz Campos joined our ministry in El Salvador as a Partnership Facilitator Supervisor in 1998 and was promoted to Country Director in 2004. Prior to Compassion, Guillermo was a project planner for a company that worked with hydraulic networks and sewage systems. He was also an analyst for an organization that administered retirement funds.
In 1979, Guillermo earned an associates degree in plastic engineering from the Technological Institute of San Salvador, and in 1986 he obtained a degree in industrial engineering from the Polytechnic University. He also holds a diploma in “Total Quality Applied to Education” from the Catholic University of Honduras.
Guillermo experienced poverty first-hand in the early years of his childhood. His father passed away when he was just 6 months old and once Guillermo grew old enough to help out, he had to work in the family business.
When he got a little older, Guillermo worked in a local movie theatre and on cotton plantations. The limitations and challenges he had faced as a young boy only strengthened his resolve to help others be released from poverty. He was taught to give his burdens to God and that poverty can be overcome.
When Guillermo meets with church leaders, children and youth, he is able to share from his own experience as he expresses his passion for the poor.
Implementing Church Partners
Implementing Church Partners are local churches in El Salvador with whom we work to deliver child development programs and ministry in the field.
Another challenge we face is high staff turnover at the child development centers. This is often because tutors at the centers look for better opportunities elsewhere.
In addition, we have staff retreats, Christmas celebrations, an annual meeting for pastors, business fairs for Implementing Church Partners, project-cluster meetings, and the annual Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit for church leaders and pastors. We also provide resource books for Implementing Church Partner pastors and committee members.
Child Survival Program
Some clinics will go to implementing church partners to give health screenings to mothers and children free of charge. If they do not provide health screenings, our ministry in El Salvador will pay for checkups given by a medical doctor as well as for medicine and lab tests if needed.
Malnourished children receive food that is even higher in protein and fat. We also provide education on nutrition as well as workshops on how to make nutritious food for children.
In addition, every month fathers are invited to Parents’ School where implementers tell them about all the activities their children and wives/partners are engaged in and where they can learn about various topics.
The Child Survival Program is a year old. In our first year, 10 couples who had been living together are now married and the program has sponsored a couples retreat.
There are also high incidences of teenage pregnancy and many single mothers.
Child Development Through Sponsorship
Your sponsorship of a child in El Salvador provides a variety of benefits.
In El Salvador, 1st- to 9th-grade children go to school five hours per day, either in the morning or the afternoon. High school students attend school 6 to 9 hours per day. Because of this, the younger children are able to come to the child development centers more frequently than the older children:
This can include sandwiches, soup, rice pudding, pupusas (tortilla filled with cheese and beans), or enchiladas (tortillas with fried beans, tomato, hard-boiled eggs and cheese).
Since the food crisis in 2007, our child development centers have switched from serving snacks to full meals. Centers provide these meals because not all of the children receive a meal at school.
For those who are underweight and/or malnourished, additional nutritional supplements rich in vitamins and protein are provided.
That is why vocational activities such as computer training, tailoring, dress making, beauty, baking, poultry production, fish farming, silk screening, rabbit farming, and bean, corn and vegetable farming are all available for our students. They also receive spiritual teaching and, in some centers, they learn English.
Leadership Development Program
Our core Child Sponsorship Program, while comprehensive, does not address all obstacles to a child’s healthy development. Compassion’s Complementary Interventions program was created to work with our holistic child development model to provide additional services, such as our AIDS Initiative, Bibles for all children, disaster relief and safe-water projects.
Here are some of the Complementary Interventions we offer in El Salvador:
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