Have you ever wondered what the child you sponsor experiences at the Compassion-assisted child development center? We wanted you to experience it for yourself — through their eyes! That’s why we gave kids at a center in Bocachica, Colombia, GoPro cameras, so they could record their day and share it with you.
Watch the children at this center as they learn, play, eat and pray.
Learn more about child development centers.
Each child in our program might have different play and programming opportunities, depending on what center they attend. Here’s another example of a day at the child development center from a boy in Sri Lanka. These seven photos of Pathum will show you what a typical Saturday attending the center is like for him.
Pathum in Sri Lanka
Pathum lives at home with his mom and dad. His dad is a brick maker and his mom doesn’t work, as she suffers from regular headaches. Neither of his parents is educated, so they aren’t able to get jobs that would allow them to provide better for Pathum. That’s why they are so thankful he is getting opportunities, thanks to his sponsor.
Pathum is always excited for Saturday — center day!
Around the world, children attend the child development center at different times and on different days. In Sri Lanka, Saturday is center day. Pathum has a spring in his step as he walks the 30 minutes from his home to his center, which takes place at the local church. He can’t wait to get there and do what 10-year-old boys enjoy more than anything: playing hard and having fun with his friends.
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First, the children have their lessons.
The classes reinforce the children’s schooling and teach them other lessons important to healthy development. The children gather by age group on the center’s front lawn, in classrooms and in the auditorium for these lessons. On this Saturday, Pathum’s class is learning the English alphabet. One by one they take turns sounding out the letters to form words.
The center’s Director, Rukman, makes sure the children are taught the right curriculum for their age and have an environment conducive to learning. Before each Saturday, the hardworking director goes over the lessons with his staff and often practices the activities with them. He believes that serving children in poverty and giving them hope for a better future is his life’s calling.
Next, the kids enjoy lunch.
Because food supply is a concern at home, Pathum loves the lunches served each Saturday at the center. Today at lunch, the children will have spicy chicken curry and rice, just the way Pathum likes it.
Next, it’s time to play!
At home, there is little space to play for Pathum. The center, on the other hand, has a wide, open front lawn where Pathum and his buddies can engage in a vigorous game of soccer, volleyball or basketball. They often end up hot and sweaty, but the church has ample cold, safe water to drink, something Pathum also lacks at home.
Even though the official center time is over, Pathum and his friends stay into the afternoon, as it’s their favorite place to be.
“I have found my best friends here,” Pathum says, “and we enjoy just being with each other, playing and having fun.”
Director Rukman encourages the children to stay and play. “Play is important for children’s development,” says Rukman. “It is important for them to feel that they can be themselves and be safe while doing so.”
Back at home, Pathum helps his mom with chores.
The impact of sponsorship has reached Pathum’s home, too. With gifts from his sponsor, they have been able to fix their home’s leaky roof, build a latrine, and fortify their home with cement walls. These strong walls make a huge difference, as the family lives in an area prone to typhoons and flooding.
Pathum has hopes he will graduate and have a good job in the future. He wants to be a photographer or businessman when he grows up. In the meantime, he is enjoying all the opportunities he is getting, thanks to his sponsor and the hardworking center staff.
“Although of course I love spending time at home, I can’t wait until the next time I go back to the center,” says Pathum. “I am happy when I am there.”
Thank you for bringing opportunities, fun and hope into the lives of children living in poverty!
Video by Kyle Jaster. Photos by Edwin Estioko. Words by Amber Van Schooneveld and Edwin Estioko.