5 Children in South America Share What They’re Thankful For

It’s always so touching to hear what children in poverty feel thankful for. They live with less than most people, but their gratitude overflows. It helps put things in perspective and reminds us to give praise in all circumstances!

These five children in Compassion’s program live in poverty in South America. Learn what they’re thankful for … and be blessed!

Brittany: Thankful for Clean Water

Brittany in Colombia is thankful for clean water. She is wearing a white shirt and an orange skirt. She is standing outside and is holding a glass of clean water in front of her face.

“I am grateful to God, to the church and to the sponsors for clean water that I can drink every day without getting sick.”

In 8-year-old Brittany’s community, she and all of her friends had no choice but to drink contaminated water, which caused severe stomach problems. “We realized that the children drank the water from the same pond that the animals drank from,” says Samuel, director of Brittany’s Compassion center in Colombia. Thanks to donors, the center was equipped to provide safe drinking water for the children and their families, and Brittany no longer gets sick.

Iarley: Thankful for God

Iarley is wearing a green shirt and blue shorts. He is standing outside and is holding a Bible close to his chest. There is a windmill in the background.

“Without God, I wouldn’t be so happy. I’m grateful to him because he’s my friend, but he also gave me my family.”

Nine-year-old Iarley’s dream is to become a shepherd when he grows up — whether of people or sheep! This aspiring pastor in Brazil loves spending time thinking about God and reading his Bible. “In fact, God created the entire universe,” says Iarley. “He made the sun, the moon, all the stars and this planet. With him, anything we see can exist. I’m grateful for that.”

Maira: Thankful for My Farm

Maira is wearing an orange shirt with jeans. She is laying down at her home and is surrounded by vegetables from her garden.

“My favorite vegetables are green beans. I thank God for having food at home.”

When the pandemic hit, 8-year-old Maira and her family received help from a Compassion center in Colombia to start a food farm at home. Now Maira’s favorite place is the farm — and her family is grateful that they can grow vegetables and fruits to eat and sell.

Anllelo: Thankful for Letters

Anllelo is thankful for letters from his sponsor. He wearing a gray shirt. He is laying down in the grass with his hands behind his head. On one side of him are some of his sponsor's letters. On the other side are colored pencils.

“I really like receiving letters from my sponsor. I’m thankful, and I’m happy when she writes me.”

Anllelo finds joy and encouragement in reading letters from his sponsor. “She wished me a happy birthday in January, and I also like drawing for her. If she comes to see us, we’ll make her a yummy meal,” says the 8-year-old in Peru. His mother, Orieta, is also thankful for the letters. “Reading my son’s sponsor letters encourages our family to draw closer to God and to trust him. It’s a joy for us, and we feel excited,” she says.

Sheyla: Thankful for Good Food

Sheyla is holding a food basket with bread, eggs, and other nutritious food she receives in the food basket the church gives her. She is wearing traditional clothing.

“I say thank you for this help.”

Sheyla, 7, and her family in Bolivia began growing their own food when the pandemic struck and they could not work. But they struggled to grow enough food and to meet their other needs. So when staff from Sheyla’s Compassion center knocked on her door with a food basket, the family was incredibly thankful. Each month, they began receiving new supplies, which always helps them when they don’t have anything to eat. “My mom makes food with what the center brings,” Sheyla says. “My favorite food is peanut soup or squash soup. I like the milk. It’s delicious. I like strawberry yogurt and cookies.”

Happy Thanksgiving from your Compassion family!


You can give a family in poverty even more to be grateful for! Shop Compassion’s Gift Catalog to provide life-changing gifts like vegetable seeds, safe water and Bibles.


Photography and reporting by Nico Benalcazar, Lina Marcela Alarcón Molina, Galia Oropeza, Sara Navarro and Fernando Sinacay.

2 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Odong Gilbert November 29, 2021

    You made me feel so at home that I forgot I wasn’t! Thank you for having me.
    I thank Compassion family at large.I was a compassion child sponsored child from Atutur CDC,kumi Uganda.
    Wished to volunteer and give back to compassion international in service tho still at campus.
    I love compassion with all my 💓 heart.
    And i want to work with compassion.

    1. Kaye-Lin November 29, 2021

      Hi Odong! Thank you so much for your kind words! It is wonderful to hear that you are an alumni of the Compassion program. If you have any questions for us regarding volunteering or working with Compassion, please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com. We are happy to help!

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