What Distinguishes a Child as Highly Vulnerable?

Meet Christian and his mom Nicolasa.

young man standing next to his mother

home on a hillsideTheir home, Nicolasa explained, was the proof she needed that there is a God.

Her home is how she first knew she was not alone.

Then Nicolasa’s eyes glazed, no, not glazed – danced, with tears and she repeated, “Gracias. Gracias. Gracias. Muchas gracias,” and I knew her heart had not been hardened by her circumstances. I knew her heart was softened by gratitude.

Gratitude. It’s mysterious, isn’t it? Like hot water that melts away the hopelessness and the loneliness and the, “why am I here” resistance.

Gratitude that forged a deeper truth in Nicolasa, deeper than what her story could.

Nicolasa’s husband was abusive. In fact, one night he tried to murder her and her children. So Nicolasa fled. With her children and nothing else.

Shortly after they fled Christian, her son, was registered at the local Compassion center, El Buen Pastor Student Center.

The church that is partnered with this center became aware of Christian’s situation and intervened. They were able to intervene through our Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund.

What is the Highly Vulnerable Children’s (HVC) fund?

First of all, “highly vulnerable children” is another name for children who are considered more vulnerable compared to their peers in our Child Sponsorship Program. The HVC fund steps in when there is a need that cannot be covered by monthly sponsorship funds.

Children who have been orphaned by AIDS, war and disasters, and children who are disabled or have extra special needs, are children often identified through the local development centers as highly vulnerable.

When a child is sponsored through Compassion, the local church enters the life of his family. They become well acquainted with him and his needs. They are able to notice if the child is in danger or if there is an issue at home.

If they identify that there is an issue, then they are able to respond through the HVC fund.

young man walking up hillside between homesThe Highly Vulnerable Children’s fund provides interventions that can include:

  • emergency care and support for newly orphaned babies, children and students.
  • legal support in the case of human rights violations.
  • family-based or foster care and a nurturing home environment.
  • food and nutritional supplements.
  • trauma counseling and psychological support.
  • skills training and income-generating projects for older orphans and caregivers.

When Christian was registered through Compassion he had nothing. Neither did his mom. Not even a permanent place to live. Now, they have a home that was built through the HVC fund.

The walk to her home was rough but the fact was, we had a home to walk to. Nicolasa has a home.

What gift has been given to you that strengthened your faith, or as Nicolasa said, that helped you realize you are not alone?

What has gratitude melted in your heart?

1 Comment |Add a comment

  1. Ugochi November 17, 2012

    Well for me, it was the day God found me and won’t let me go, you see I was a terrible sinner doomed for destruction but He gave me the gift of salvation, the best gift I have ever received.
    About “things”, I believe the day we got a better house than the shack we were living in after my father passed many years ago.

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