what would you like to know What would you like to know about the country where your sponsored child lives?

what would you like to know

When considering this question, please focus on the country rather than specific information about your child or his or her development center and immediate community.

We will use your answers to help guide some of the stories, photos and videos we produce for you. Thanks.

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  1. Holly S.
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 8:41 am

    What is the religious demographic and climate? (i.e., % of people that observe/practice the main religions and Christianity and government/cultural attitudes)

    How does the education system work? Is it government funded and compulsory? What are the levels, expectations and norms?

    What percentage of immigrants to the U.S. come from this country?

  2. Beth Ann
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 11:39 am

    What is the level of persecution for Christians in their country?
    How are women treated in their country?
    How are relationships handled between young men and women- in pursuit of marriage?
    Thanks for asking us this?

  3. Lisa
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 4:18 pm

    What does a typical diet consist of? Possibly with recipes so that we can recreate some of the dishes at home.

    Are there certain unique holidays that are celebrated by the people in this country?

  4. Feb 23, 2013
    at 6:38 pm

    I concur with liking the above suggestions! Thanks for asking us!!

    How does healthcare work in their country? For example what care is provided by the government? Some of the prior blogs about each country touched upon if vaccinations were provided by the government as well as other healthcare. Certainly, we know that how things are supposed to happen does not always work out in practice.

    How common is it for kids to fall behind in school and what does CI do as a national or international strategy for combating kids keeping up with schoolwork or catching up if they were years behind?

    Along with the question about how the education system works above, what subjects are taught, what requirements are there to graduate high school/technical school? I think understanding more specifics about what the children encounter in school to pray for and encourage them would be useful. One of my 13 year olds in Brazil recently wrote ‘I am okay at school and on my third bimonthly and I have good grades and I hope to be approved. . . . I want to finish my stay years with the right age for me’ I don’t know what a third bimonthly or stay years are. I know that some of it might be translation, some my kid needing some better grammar, and some of it I could search for online, but anything CI could provide about school structure would be useful.

  5. Katie Ostermeier
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 7:36 pm

    What are the popular tourist attractions in this country? When is the best time to visit? What should you be aware of when visiting? I also second the question about the education system. Also, how many children go to college? How much does it cost? What are the biggest concerns for this country?

    Thanks so much for all you do!!!

    Blessings,
    Katie

  6. Sarah
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 9:28 pm

    I would definitely like to know about life in general. I am a new sponsor to a child in Kenya, and I am realizing how little I really know about other cultures. I would like to know what they eat, what holidays they celebrate, how they celebrate, their traditions, what their region looks like, what their educational system is like, what their government is like, etc. Like Beth Ann, I would also be interested in how their culture treats gender roles, marriage, and other things that we in the US take for granted and hardly think about!

  7. Stephanie T. Green
    Feb 23, 2013
    at 11:41 pm

    I would like to know about access to the internet and social media. For example, I’ve been told that Thailand provides internet access for free. So how likely is that our child or our child’s family is present in the cyber world in other countries? Are cell phones as expensive there as they are here? What is the most likely device they would be using to access the internet and social media?

  8. Toni Carmon
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 4:14 am

    My sponsored child lives in the highlands of Guatemala, near the border with Mexico. I would like to know about some of the holidays and cultural celebrations that they celebrate ( and the way they celebrate them). I would also like to learn more about the public/private schools that they attend (not the centers, but the schools) – what they are like, some of the challenges, something about the teachers, and some of the mile markers ( when they start, any years of special testing, reasons that many children succeed or fail, etc.)

  9. Toni Carmon
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 4:40 am

    I just thought of something else! I recently visited several of the Compassipn centers on a Sponsor Tour. I realized that I really didn’t know much about what they did at the centers and especially how unique each center is. They all had such amazing stories, too. Even of I can’t read specifically about my child’s center, it is so neat to hear about what they are doing at the other centers in his country.

  10. Jan
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 6:17 am

    What do the houses look like? When I went to Bangladesh, I was amazed by the appearances of the village houses. (Actually I was amazed by everything…) It would definitely help if there could be info about the educational system (the terminology and expectations to stay in the schools, etc.) included in those beautiful mailings about the country, because each country is different and many are very different from us. What is the likelihood that our children may go to university, even if they finish high school? Could you tell more about the indigenous peoples and a brief history – a disproportionate number of our sponsored children fall into that realm. How about brief videos of the “cultural programs” that the children write about?

  11. Carolyn
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 7:45 am

    Great question! I’d love to see more that explains the differences between their culture and ours. What’s a typical weekly schedule for my child? Do they celebrate holidays/birthdays? How? I really struggle to grasp what their day-to-day lives are like.

  12. Chris Landers
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 9:15 am

    I have sponsored children through Compassion UK and Compassion Int, both are in Africa. I would like more ongoing information about how the family are doing, if siblings are able to access education and healthcare at the project centres. Is education compulsory in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. What is healthcare like for non project families.

  13. Nicole
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 9:22 am

    What is the outlook for a young boy and/or girl in these countries once they reach adulthood and venture out to obtain a career? Is there opportunity to gain a higher education (college), and if so, are there any significant road blocks to that achievement?

  14. Alyssa
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 10:58 am

    I have a child in Rwanda and one in Uganda. I would like to know some of the political history of their countries. I have read several books about Rwanda, but still don’t know how the genocide of 1994 is affecting things today. I know almost nothing about Uganda’s political history. We recently met a man from the Congo who told us about their history with Rwanda, and how it played into the genocide, which was entirely new to me. I would love to hear more about this sort of thing.

  15. Stephanie
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 12:12 pm

    I would love to know about the different issues that my sponsored child’s country faces. I would like to know how their country is struggling as a whole, such as political problems, economic issues, etc. As well as problems that affect certain areas of communities such as clean water and sanitation, schools, etc.

    I would also like to see some progress the countries are making. I know the difference is often evident in the lives of the children as individuals-which is what Compassion does-but how does that help communities? I know many countries are continuing to struggle-but I would love to hear some success stories on how communities are growing stronger.

    I also always love seeing any pictures from my sponsored children’s countries that show daily life.

  16. Beatty
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 12:30 pm

    What do they like most about their country, what are they proud of? What do they like least and would love to see changed? What would they like to know about the U.S.?

    Since some (many?) of the children live in a country or an area that is considered dangerous, how do they cope with this in their day-to-day life?

  17. Feb 24, 2013
    at 2:26 pm

    I just thought of another question: how does banking work (relative to what a sponsored kid’s family would use it for) and how dependent is it upon mobile phones? I have heard in some African countries that cell phones are the most common way for banking and they open up lots of opportunities in places that most banks do not have local branches. I know here in the US some people consider cell phones and extravagance (I personally want one for safety). A better understanding of how and why cell phones are important for certain places in Africa (and maybe other countries) may help sponsors realize that a family gift for a cell phone is something that improves their ability to buy and sell in the market for the best price (among other things) rather than a gift that indicates the family isn’t very financially poor.

  18. Stephanie Green
    Feb 24, 2013
    at 4:18 pm

    I, too, would love more background on the education systems. What grades/forms/levels does a child progress through at school and at what ages (typically or ideally) so i can better understand how my children fit into that pattern. I would also love to know the range of costs for schooling…primary, secondary and university level.
    Also an explanation of social customs would be really informative. Thanks for asking!

  19. Feb 24, 2013
    at 8:13 pm

    I would love to know how best to pray. Not just for crisises but in general e.g. I know gangs are a big concern in El Salvador but what do India and Ghana need prayer for?

    How realistic are their Plan’s for Tomorrow e.g. is my boy’s dream of becoming a doctor in El Salvador actually a possibility or would it take a huge miracle? If my child in India had the same dream is it more or less likely?

    I would also love to hear how Compassion has influenced families and communities for good. Individual “success” stories are always encouraging but I’m suspicious the local churches and Compassion have a bigger impact than just individuals.

    • Kirk Turner
      Feb 28, 2013
      at 10:52 am

      Gail, that is a great idea. Let us know how to best pray. Sending this to my girlfriend. She sponsors two children. She will love this.

  20. Feb 25, 2013
    at 5:08 am

    I agree with all the ideas already put forward and I would also like to know about the physical geography of the country- is it mountainous or flat, desert or forested, probably a mixture I would guess. I sponsor in Indonesia and I know each island is different so its a big ask! The island I sponsor a child on on is fairly remote, so pictures of different areas would be great.

  21. Sarah
    Feb 25, 2013
    at 8:05 am

    What are the local crafts and styles of artistic representation?

  22. Sarah
    Feb 25, 2013
    at 10:18 am

    Will there be a Compassion trip to Bangladesh? I’ve not seen that on the listing. And…is there a way to find out what my child’s name is? I’m wondering if the name I was given is a western version of her real name.

    • Susan Sayler
      Feb 25, 2013
      at 12:00 pm

      Hi Sarah! We are planning to take another group trip to Bangladesh in February 2014. More information will be uploaded to our website about this trip 8 months prior to the trip so please check back! http://www.compassion.com/get-involved/group-trips-list.htm
      The name on your child’s information packet is the same name that her guardians registered her under. The name is not changed for western use.

  23. Kathy
    Feb 25, 2013
    at 10:26 am

    I love all of these suggestions. I have a couple of additional thoughts:

    Educational System: Is it possible to develop or discuss primary learning goals by grade level within countries? (e.e., in p-3 math we stress division), etc. I would love to be able to send educational things to support what is happening in the classroom, but I don’t know and despite quite a bit of effort, this is difficult to figure out. I would also love if the normal educational system was clearly evident for each country (e.g., what month is the start of school? how many terms are there? are there breaks between terms? do students normally progress on schedule or are there exams to progress? what does scoring on exams or term reports mean?) What are the opportunities and barriers to education and higher education? What days of the week do students attend classes? How long are school days? How many students are in a classroom? What is the teaching style like?

    Vocational: What type of jobs are common in this country? I assume the same as us in cities – but are they accessible to our children? What role does “contacts” and family influence play in progressing vocationally? Are there unique vocational opportunities that we might be able to encourage our children to explore?

    Geographic: This request is US centric, but is it possible to give us information about the country size and population, etc. in terms of something we might know? Such as “Uganda is approximately the size of ____state, but with a population of NYC” or something similar. Receiving information in this forms makes it easier for me to remember and relate.

    Progress: What are “normal” steps out of poverty in this country? Is it through land ownership? Education (and if so, why or how?)? I know that poverty is a really complex problem, but I’m hoping to understand more about poverty in each country where I sponsor so that I can figure out how to encourage my child.

    Thanks so much!

  24. Penelope
    Feb 26, 2013
    at 7:20 pm

    1. I would like to know who are the literary, entertainment, sports, business or spiritual heroes of the country?
    2. what are some of the most common wise and interesting sayings of the country?
    3. what are the most popular children/teen books that might be read by the young people in the country?

  25. Tommie
    Feb 27, 2013
    at 4:34 am

    I am considering sponsoring. How do I find out what major city the child stays near before I sponsor? i.e Brazil? Not easy to find these small communities on a map

    • Susan Sayler
      Feb 27, 2013
      at 12:13 pm

      Hi Tommie! I’m glad to hear you are considering becoming a sponsor. I know you won’t regret it! You may not be able to look up specific cities on our website for a child to sponsor but you are welcome to email us at ciinfo@us.ci.org or call us at 800-336-7676. We would be happy to find projects in a particular city for you to search for on the website or we can set you up to sponsor a child from a particular city over email or phone.

    • Kirk Turner
      Feb 28, 2013
      at 10:54 am

      Tommie, you will never regret sponsoring a child. The joy they bring to your life is not measurable. My girlfriend sponsors two children and we love reading their letters.

    • Mar 2, 2013
      at 1:06 pm

      These CI created maps were uploaded in 2009, so some newer projects may not be on them:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/compassioninternational/3483404006/in/set-72157617338810841

      CI does not have all the kids on the website (some are in other locations for sponsorship), so please realize even if a child is not available at a particular project on the website, calling or sending an email as Susan mentioned may yield a child from that area).

      I sponsor 2 boys through CI near Fortaleza right now. I’ve been a sponsor of kids from Brazil for the past 12 years. There are lots of blog entries about Brazil and sponsorship that you can learn more about. While sponsorship is a financial commitment, it also is a much more important relationship commitment to pray for your child and write letters to him or her.

  26. Lisa Miles
    Feb 27, 2013
    at 10:13 am

    I would like to know how each government approaches the issue of poverty and what steps they are taking to address it.

    I’d like to know what some of the issues are, that are country-specific, that created these problems in the first place, (war?, political unrest?, natural disasters?)

    I’d like to know how each country provides or does not provide social services and social safety nets and what they are doing to improve delivery of these services.

  27. Feb 28, 2013
    at 11:15 pm

    What months are they in school. What holidays do they celebrate, and how. Do they have access to TV, Telephones, Computers?

  28. Mar 2, 2013
    at 12:57 am

    My sponsored child is in India. It is a very large country and extraordinarily diverse. For such a large country, would it be possible to have information broken down into regions? While I am always hungry for any information about Compassion in India, I know the centers in cities have very different issues than those in rural areas like my child’s, and the culture in the north is different than in the south. To be able to identify more what life for my sponsored child is like, compared to urban children, would be very helpful in praying for her.

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