9 Photos That Show What It’s Like to Be Poor in Asia

A woman with a baby in her lap sits inside in front of a small fire with a pot on top of it, with smoke in the air.

Have you ever wondered what daily life is like for a child who lives in extreme poverty? Although the countries where Compassion ministers around the world are wildly diverse, there are a few commonalities, based on the economic status of the families we serve. Day-to-day routines in these communities can be vastly different from what we experience. Here are nine photos that will give you a peek into what many people experience each day in the communities where Compassion works in Asia.

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Dear Sponsors, Kids Share What They Love Most About You

Sponsors give love, joy and so many smiles! We asked Compassion students in Sri Lanka about their sponsors, and they shared how much they really mean to them.

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27 Wonders of the World

Margaret Lutley’s counter above her kitchen sink is framed with photos of more than 30 young people — at least one from each country where Compassion works — who are living better lives today because of her.

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A Home Filled With Love

One family was close to divorce because of the burden of a child. After joining the Child Survival Program, they are now positive examples to other mothers and fathers in their community.

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A Special Needs Child Living in the Developing World

Dhanush would bang his head hard on the ground and pound his fists against the hard cement ground. For our staff and for his mother, Indrani, it was heartache.

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What Do Popsicles, Brooms and Coconut Oil Have in Common?

Guided by an agricultural officer in her country of Sri Lanka, Vasantha started a small gardening project in her front yard. But she didn’t stop there.

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Celebrating Christmas in Sri Lanka

Stage lights were flickering and decorations were sitting proudly on the stage. Inigodawela Child Survival Program staff members were rushing to and fro trying to get things completed in time to start their Christmas program.

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Making a House, or a Cattle Shed, a Home

When 29-year-old Vanitha got married, parents from both sides were not very happy about it. When they didn’t have a place to live, she and her husband were given a cattle shed for their home.

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Ministry Highlight: Sri Lanka

Our work in Sri Lanka began in 2010 with the Child Survival Program. The Child Sponsorship and Leadership Development Programs have not yet been implemented.

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Building Playhouses to Emphasize the Importance of Play for Children

Inigodawela’s Child Survival Program staff suggested that its members build playhouses for their little ones. The Child Survival Program provided toys for the children as part of this effort to promote the importance of play and family togetherness.

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Tsunami Disaster Relief in Indonesia

Four years ago, on December 26, 2004, one of the deadliest natural disasters in history hit Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand. More than 225,000 people were killed in 11 countries.

Banda Aceh was one of those communities devastated by the tsunami. We had no active program in Banda Aceh before the tsunami, and in fact, none of the areas where we worked in Indonesia before the tsunami were affected.

But when the tsunami hit, we initiated temporary relief work under the name ‘ARIEF’ or Aceh Relief for the tsunami victims. This local name was chosen in order to allow a local ministry to take over the relief and do follow-up work for the beneficiaries of the programs after our initial relief work ended. Our relief work was initially planned for one year.

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