How Is Compassion Responding to the New Coronavirus Outbreak?

A girl wears a face mask, standing in front of a table with soap.

We know many of you are concerned and wondering about the effect of the potentially fatal disease COVID-19 on the children Compassion serves.

Most of the countries where we work are striving to slow the spread of the coronavirus through restrictions on public gatherings or quarantines. To find the most up-to-date reports from those countries, and how the new guidelines are affecting Compassion programming, click here.

Protecting and Educating Compassion-Assisted Children

A boy washes his hands while children wait behind him.

Around the world, Compassion staff is working hard to provide support to children and families wherever possible. While many child development centers are temporarily closed to group activities, that does not mean all programmatic activities and expenses have stopped. Your monthly support is still vital in this season. In some cases, partner church staff members are visiting homes to check on the welfare of children and their families. They may be delivering medical supplies, hygiene kits, extra food, water and other resources to help during this time of crisis.

For more information, click here to see Frequently Asked Questions.

We are grateful to report that the staff at Compassion centers around the globe regularly teaches children about hygiene and disease prevention — especially hand-washing! As widely reported in the news, this is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of coronaviruses and COVID-19.

Please be assured that our staff, both at the Global Ministry Center and around the world, is closely monitoring developments. Our top priority is preventing the transmission of the coronavirus among the children we serve.

For further updates on how we are protecting our beneficiaries, sponsors, supporters and artists, please visit this link.

Help Families Affected BY COVID-19

Families in poverty have no safety net in times of crisis. Help provide food, medical care and support during this pandemic.

Join Us in Praying

Viruses of this magnitude can affect all of us, and we ask that you pray with us for the children, families, churches, employees and sponsors already affected by this outbreak. Please join us in praying for:

  • Protection from the virus for all children registered with Compassion and their families.
  • Health and safety for all of our staff in the international and national offices.
  • Children longing for a sponsor to be encouraged, loved and cared for during this long wait.
  • Sponsors and their families who have been impacted by the virus.

God bless you for your care and concern for children living in extreme poverty. And thank you for keeping them in your prayers.

Remember: God Is Our Refuge and Strength

God is my refuge and strength. Psalm 46:1

In all of the worry, let’s remember to turn our eyes to God for strength and comfort. Let’s remember to keep encouraging one another and holding fast to God’s truth.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)


A pandemic like COVID-19 plus the challenges of poverty equals disaster. Our partner church workers around the world are courageously delivering essential items to desperate children and families. You can help provide food, water and medical support by giving toward Compassion’s Disaster Relief Fund. Thank you so much for your willing heart!

32 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Avatar
    Julia June 11, 2020

    Hello,
    So concerned about my sponsored kids & their families and communities in Chiapas, Mexico, and a Ecuador. Haven’t heard anything for months. Do you think we can expect news soon as to their well-being?
    Thank you.

    1. Avatar
      Shannon June 12, 2020

      Hi Julia,

      Thank you so much for the love and concern you have for your precious child, their family and their community! Please know that we are praying for all the families affected by these situations and hope that they will end soon, as well. Regrettably, it is hard for us to know just how long this will all last, and when we may be able to open child centers again. Until we are back open and running, it is not likely you will hear from your child. Please keep in mind that each country is affected differently and will likely reopen at different times due to their own government restrictions. Until then, we thank you so much for your continued prayers!

  2. Avatar
    Elizabeth April 23, 2020

    Awesome. I caught up with writing a letter and sent birthday gift. I felt a tug to give to the family for the first time, so I did. I pray she has a good birthday despite this craziness.

  3. Avatar
    Sandy Janowiec April 22, 2020

    We just started sponsoring a little girl in Nicaragua and her birthday is May 7th. I already sent a monetary gift. I see that no gifts are being delivered at this time. Will she at least be told about our gift so she doesn’t think we didn’t send her one? We did write, but I’m concerned she will think we didn’t care to send a gift.

    1. Sierra
      Sierra April 22, 2020

      Hi Sandy! I’m so sorry for any miscommunication you received about gifts. The gift that you sent actually will still be given to Vanessa! Compassion’s normal process with gifts is to have a staff member consult with the family and then travel, purchase and deliver your gift. During this time, however, that process creates additional burdens and dangers for our field staff.

      Because of that, we are now encouraging field staff to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. This rule will apply to the birthday gift you sent Vanessa. She and her family may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet their needs, and her caregiver will be notified that your a gift has been designated as a birthday gift specifically for Vanessa. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognizing that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

      Thank-you letters will be delayed until children can safely return to their centers; however, photos will not be required to be fulfilled during the crisis. Thank you so much for sending Vanessa a generous birthday gift, and please let us know if you have any other questions!

  4. Avatar
    NANNETTE LAPORTE April 18, 2020

    Should I wait to send my kiddo the monetary Birthday gift I usually send her or wait until everything opens back up again?

    1. Avatar
      Shannon April 20, 2020

      Hi Nannette,

      Thank you so much for wanting to bless your sweet kiddo with a birthday gift! Please know with the temporary closure of most of our national offices and the temporary stoppage of group activities in most of our child development centers, the delivery of gifts to children and their families have been delayed at this time. You may send your birthday or other monetary gifts at this time, but please know that delivery of your gift will be delayed until our offices and child development centers are once again fully operational.

  5. Avatar
    Nannette April 18, 2020

    My kiddos Birthday is coming up but I’m not sure if I should send her the monetary gift I usually send her or wait until everything opens back up again???

    Please advise if you can..thanks

    1. Avatar
      Shannon April 20, 2020

      Hi Nannette,

      Thank you so much for wanting to bless your sweet kiddo with a birthday gift! Please know with the temporary closure of most of our national offices and the temporary stoppage of group activities in most of our child development centers, the delivery of gifts to children and their families have been delayed at this time. You may send your birthday or other monetary gifts at this time, but please know that delivery of your gift will be delayed until our offices and child development centers are once again fully operational.

  6. Avatar
    John Davis April 17, 2020

    I was wondering about letters and gifts and how to best write to our child at this time. By reading the dialogue I found out that once a month writing is best, outreach by center staff could and may happen on an individual level, gifts may be held for a more appropriate time, and when you write continue to write encouragement and try not to write about all the issues in the world that may make them worry.

    Great job compassion staff for the explanation.
    Will keep you guys in prayer
    God bless
    John

    1. Avatar
      Shannon April 20, 2020

      John,

      Thank you so much for your kind words of support! We are so glad to know you were able to find the help and answers to your questions! If you have any other questions, please know you can always email our team directly at socialmedia@compassion.com.

  7. Avatar
    Amy Rutland April 17, 2020

    This communication was very welcomed and appreciated. It answered some questions that I’ve had from time to time. I am praying for Compassion as well as my child and his family. God’s peace and protection for you . Always Praying, Amy Rutland

  8. Avatar
    Traci Williams April 17, 2020

    Thank you ALL for what you do, I will definitely continue praying for Compassion and the children and their families. My child is in Ethiopia and I have been concerned of how things there were amid this pandemic and if Eyerusalem would receive any of my gifts. I am also wondering if I can send her actual physical gifts? Also, if my child did happen to fall ill will Compassion notify me?
    Thank you again. In Jesus, Traci Williams

    1. Avatar
      Shannon April 20, 2020

      Hi Traci,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! We truly appreciate your support and prayers for these sweet children! These are all great questions. With the temporary closure of most of our national offices and the temporary stoppage of group activities in most of our child development centers, the delivery of gifts to children and their families have been delayed at this time. You may send your birthday or other monetary gifts at this time but please know that delivery of your gift will be delayed until our offices and child development centers are once again fully operational. In addition, I am so sorry, but there is no way to send a physical gift. Please know that the only physical items that are able to be sent are musical and pop-up cards, bookmarks and stickers. All of these items must be 100% paper other than the stickers which may include plastic stickers also. Lastly, I am so sorry but we will not be able to let our supporters know if their kiddos do contract the virus. Compassion’s policy has always been to not disclose health information of children in our program. To learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting your sponsored child’s country, you can go to compassion.com and click on the COVID-19 banner. Thank you so much for your understanding!

  9. Avatar
    Jennifer Marshall April 1, 2020

    are the bangladesh projects closed down?

    1. Christina
      Christina April 1, 2020

      Jennifer, the Bangladesh government has instructed all schools, colleges and educational institutions to close. Because of this, all Compassion programming in Bangladesh is on hold until at least April 4. Compassion Bangladesh staff and partner churches are maintaining phone contact as much as possible. As of now, sponsorship funds are still being channeled and distributed as usual. The only notable change is that, in most of our countries, the children aren’t meeting at their Compassion projects right now (just like many children here in the US aren’t attending school). In spite of this, that does not mean that all programmatic activities and expenses have stopped. In some cases, our church partner staff are conducting home visits to check on the welfare of children and their families and they may be delivering medical supplies, hygiene kits, extra food, water and other resources to help during this time of national crisis in their countries. For more information, please visit http://www.compassion.com/crisis/covid-19.htm. Thank you for your faithful support and prayers.

  10. Avatar
    Nicholas Schepis March 30, 2020

    When writing letters to my children I never know if they are sent or not. Does compassion at least notify Sponcers if there letter isn’t sent for whatever reason? I ask this because I Sponser multiple children and to my best to write many letters to all of them and since it could take weeks or even months it can get very confusing on both ends. Sometimes when my child sends me a letter it seems as if they never received my previous letter based on some of there questions and statements. Also I wish there was a way for Compassion to confirm when children receive there letters and gifts. Hope this question isn’t to confusing but any insight on this is greatly appreciated. I want to continue to write as much as possible to my children but sometimes I’m tempted not to write so many because of the confusion and uncertainty. Thanks!!

    1. Mackenzie
      Mackenzie March 30, 2020

      Hi Nicholas, this is a great question, and I am really sorry if there has been a lack of communication regarding your letters. We really appreciate your faithful dedication to writing letters to your sponsor child. They are such a treasure and encouragement for the children, and we certainly want you to feel connected to each other through letter writing.

      You can see if your letter has not gone through on your online account. It will show that there has been a problem or that the letter was canceled. This is located in the “Write My Child” section under “Conversations.”

      Sadly, we do not have a way to send you a notification when your child receives your letter, since the letters are all sent by physical mail from our national office in your child’s country to their specific child center. At the moment, our church partners do not have the capability to confirm when a letter arrives at their center, since there may be hundreds of letters arriving all at once.

      Many of our children struggle with the concept of writing a letter.You are probably the only person your child will ever write a letter to, and sometimes children have trouble grasping the concept of having a “conversation” by mail. When children receive their letters, they often take them home and put them in a special place. When it is letter writing day at their project, they may forget to bring your letter back and may not have any references to your letter’s content. Sometimes the staff will write a list of suggestions or letter samples on the board to help the children in their letter writing. This is one reason letters can sound scripted or unoriginal; out of a deep desire to communicate with their sponsors, children will copy the samples or follow the list word for word.

      I hope this helps clarify a little more about the letter process, but please let us know if you have any questions. Feel free to send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com. We would be happy to help you with any questions you may have!

  11. Avatar
    Linda Sessoms March 24, 2020

    I know how hard the tutors and translators work to ensure the children get their letters and I have a question. In my last letter, it occurred to me that I could translate my letter using an online translation site, which I did thinking that if it did not translate accurately someone would let me know. My child is in Honduras. What do you think?

    Thank you for all you do–this is the most wonderful organization I’ve ever been connected with!

    1. Christina
      Christina March 24, 2020

      Hi Linda! We truly appreciate your heart for your kiddo in Honduras and your desire to help our translators. Regrettably, sending your letters already translated can cause some issues sometimes due to the many regions, cultures, dialects and idioms. Therefore, if you would like to send your letters in your child’s language, we do ask you to include an English version along with it. Also, we cannot guarantee that your letter will be processed and delivered any quicker than if you only include an English letter. I hope this helps!

  12. Avatar
    Nasir Yimer March 24, 2020

    I am from Ethiopia, child development project. Please compassion international support our children and their families in food and hygienic materials. I know our small budget do not purchase this all material in this needy time. intervening in this critical and crucial time is obliged.

    1. Christina
      Christina March 24, 2020

      Nasir, please know that we take complaints like this very seriously. Please send us an email at socialmedia@compassion.com so we can help you further. Thank you.

  13. Avatar
    Elizabeth March 19, 2020

    Like Auma Deborah, I am praying for everyone associated with Compassion Internation during this difficult time- staff, volunteers, participants, sponsors, correspondents and all their families. We are laborers together in the work of the Lord. He is our refuge and our strength. God bless you all.

    1. Christina
      Christina March 19, 2020

      Elizabeth, thank you so much for your prayers. They are very much appreciated!

  14. Avatar
    Terri P. March 18, 2020

    Thank you, Shannon, for the helpful info…praying for the staff, volunteers, sponsored children (and their families) of Compassion International around the world. May God keep everyone safe through these difficult days and months!

  15. Avatar
    Terri P. March 18, 2020

    We sponsor children in the Philippines and eastern Indonesia and have been notified that their project activities are being canceled for a time due to COVID-19 concerns. Will letters we write to our children be delivered to them during this time? What about birthday and family gifts we might give? Some of our children have birthdays in April and May-will they receive the monetary gifts or will there be a hold on dispersing these funds?

    1. Avatar
      Shannon March 18, 2020

      Hi Terri,

      Compassion is continuing to operate in most of our field countries. However, some of our countries have suspended child development center operations in accordance with their government’s recommendations and regulations regarding group gatherings during the Coronoavirus pandemic. Compassion volunteers and staff in these countries are continuing to work through how to best support children registered with Compassion during this time.
      At this time, we don’t have a full answer to this question, but we will try to keep our supporters updated as we can. We do strongly suggest and ask during this time that you keep your letter writing to no more than once per month, as we do not know how this situation will continue to evolve worldwide, and we want to make sure we don’t overwhelm our translators at any time in the coming weeks if at all possible. In addition, we would assume, that any money given would be delivered, if the center is still open and running. However, if the center activities aren’t running, a tutor will most likely continue to check on children as often as possible with home visits. If they are able to, they may help the child purchase a gift during this time. Again, this is all our assumption and depending on the country, region, and local restrictions, they may be forced to hold the gift funds until it is safer.
      Please be praying for your children, their church staff, and all of Compassion’s employees around the world as their daily work and lives have changed for the foreseeable future. Above all, we know that the Lord is in control in the midst of what feels like chaos, and we are resting in Him as the body of Christ. 💙🙏💕

  16. Avatar
    Ernest Ato Bentil March 17, 2020

    Thanks for this post. As a compassion staff we are regularly educating our beneficiaries on proper hygiene practices. We are also praying fervently for God to intervene and rescue us from this pandemic.

  17. Avatar
    Susan Althouse March 14, 2020

    Thank you for this update. We are concerned for our sponsored child and his family as well as for the Compassion workers. Our prayers are with all.

  18. Avatar
    Auma Deborah March 14, 2020

    We will continue to pray for the all the registered beneficiaries, their families and the sponsors at large for God’s protection and safety during this era of corona virus. I believe God is going to rescue us.

    God’s mercy.

  19. Avatar
    Silke March 13, 2020

    Thank you for this post.
    May I ask the community: Would you talk about the virus in your letters to your sponsored chidren or would you avoid this subject?
    I’m not sure what to do.
    Thanks for your advice.

    1. Avatar
      Shannon March 13, 2020

      Hi Silke,

      This is a great question! We would encourage you to stick to nothing more than encouragement when writing your kiddos. This will hopefully avoid causing any concern or panic for them. You can tell them you are praying for them and their community during this time. We think that would be great! 💙 Thank you so much!

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