Ask the Field: Uganda and the Philippines

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in the country where your sponsored child lives? What it’s like to work for Compassion? What gets the people going who do this work each day? If so, now’s your chance to “Ask the Field!”

Ask your burning questions of our staff from around the world about their country, their work — whatever you want to know. I’ll choose 10 of your questions for them to answer. (Being the protective mother bear that I am, I’ll make sure to choose culturally appropriate questions. What’s polite dinner conversation in the U.S. may not be appropriate in their country, so keep this in mind as you ask.)

I’d like to introduce to you Dennis Tumusiime and Edwin Estioko.

Dennis TumusiimeDennis is a native of Uganda and works as a tours and visits specialist for Compassion International Uganda. (Did you know that Compassion doesn’t send a bunch of Americans over to other countries to minister to the children, but works through natives of that country so they can culturally contextualize the ministry? That’s pretty cool.) Anyway, Dennis has been working for two years with Compassion to coordinate and plan visits from sponsors and donors to Uganda. (So, if you visit Uganda, you’ll probably get to see that smiling face!) Coordinating all these trips means he’s quite an adventurous man.

Edwin EstiokoEdwin Estioko began working for Compassion six years ago and is originally from Quezon City, Philippines. He is Compassion’s Field Communication Specialist in the Philippines and writes stories about and takes pictures of the ministry that is happening through Compassion International Philippines. He is married with no kids, so he and his wife can easily consider all the Compassion children as their own.

Dennis and Edwin are excited to answer your questions, so ask away!

14 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Norman June 20, 2008

    Being that you frequently interact with sponsored children, I would like to know if the children are truly discouraged when their sponsor discontinues supporting them? What would you suggest to a sponsor who is struggling financially and is wondering if he should cancel the sponsorship and risk hurting the child, or take up his cross and continue the sponsorship despite financial difficulties.

    Thank you for your time.

  2. Amanda June 20, 2008

    This question is for both gentlemen. I sponsor both an older and younger child. I find it very easy to send small items along with the letters for the youngest (stickers, bookmarks, etc.) But I find it harder to figure out what small gifts to send for the older children. What do they like (that will fit in the right sized envelope)? Any suggestions?

    I have also wondered about the $300 gift. As mentioned by Prairie Rose…is it best to send smaller amounts (so as not to overwhelm them) or larger more useful amounts all at once???

    May God richly bless you both!

  3. Sumana June 20, 2008

    Hi Edwin,

    Good to see you profiled here. Way to go brother. Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to reading your answers to the questions you were asked.


  4. Kayla June 18, 2008

    For either person: How does Compassion deal with the jealousy of children who receive no extra money/letters towards the more fortunate ones that frequently receive gifts from their sponsors?

  5. Catherine June 18, 2008

    Dennis and Edwin,

    Can you tell about the time when you first decided to become a compassion child sponsor or work for Compassion?

  6. Mary June 18, 2008

    I sponsor two children in the Philippines and my questions are for Edwin.

    Can you share what the prices of some common items are. I send family gifts in small amounts and if I knew what some items cost I can send more. I realize prices vary, but I would like to have a general idea.

    What is the average price for:
    -a sack of rice?
    -sandals, dress(for a 12 year old girl).
    -Fruit, such as mangoes

    Thank you.

  7. Kalaya G. June 18, 2008

    What a great idea! I sponsor children from both countries. My question for Edwin:
    What is the general opinion of Compassion’s work among people in the Philippines? Is it an organization that is well-respected? How about child registration into the programs? Are there income guidelines? Or do you look at other areas of need in their lives?
    Also, what percentage of the children in the Philippines that go through Compassion’s programs are truly released from poverty? Thanks!

    My questions for Dennis:
    What is the most memorable moment you can think of during a sponsor tour?
    Do the children whose sponsors do not visit feel left out?
    Do the families that Compassion works with have a pretty good understanding about what the program entails, and are they open to their children being evangelized? Is there a balance between being so desperate that they feel they must enroll their children and thus expose them to the gospel in order for them to be educated and fed?
    Another question: What kinds of things can I say in my letters to best encourage my child? Thank you!

  8. Kayla June 18, 2008

    What are the qualifications for the project workers to work at the child development centers?

  9. Prairie Rose June 17, 2008

    After seeing the conditions in Uganda as reported by the Compassion bloggers, I want to send my Ugandan children the full $300 each year permitted as a family gift. My question is, in general is it better to give $300 in one gift, or is it better to give smaller amounts periodically, such as $100 every 4 months? On the one hand, I’ve thought the larger sum is better because if there was a more expensive project or job-starter that needed done, it could be, but on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to overwhelm them with such a large gift all at once and then absolutely nothing more for a year. Advice on this from the field would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Compassion dave June 17, 2008

    There is a misconception among some who believe that Compassion force-feeds children a Christian doctrine. While I know that this is false, I do know that not all children accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. My question is, “How is the child who has not come into the faith typically treated?”

    Please elaborate.

    May God continue to bless the work of your hands


  11. Juli Jarvis June 17, 2008

    What have been the toughest times of your lives, and what have you learned from these trials?

  12. jason June 17, 2008

    My question would be for both people, I am wondering how they each got started with Compassion and what they hope to accomplish in their areas as far as goals.

  13. Melissa Coast June 17, 2008

    This is brilliant! I currently am not sponsoring children from these two countries, but if this is a ongoing series, “Ask the field”, I will be SO excited to hear about each country, including the ones we sponsor from! (which is Rwanda, Honduras, and Ethiopia).

  14. Shelly Quigg June 17, 2008

    My question is for Dennis-
    Is the benefit to the child and sponsor worth the cost of the visit? I would love to visit my three sponsored girls, but I hesitate to spend a considerable amount of money for “my dream” when the money could be used to sponsor additional children or ministries. I think I would feel guilty. What are your thoughts?

Add a Comment

Read the ground rules for comments.