What Does a Compassion Center Director Do?

In this message, Sidney Muisyo shares the importance of center directors in Compassion’s mission of releasing children from poverty. Sidney, originally from Kenya, serves as Senior Vice President of Global Program, leading Compassion’s program efforts worldwide.

A man in a green button-up shirt and khaki pants sits on a stool, arms crossed, in front of a corrugated metal background.

Warm greetings! And thank you for this opportunity to share my heart with you about an essential part of Compassion’s ministry.

During the 17 years I have been in this organization, I have spoken with many people about what makes me confident in our approach to fighting poverty and developing children. As much as I believe in Compassion’s programs, I am often reminded that we cannot accomplish our mission alone.

First, we rely on God’s grace and favor over everything we do. But also, we look to the people He has given us to help in this work at our church partners. It takes many people to make Compassion’s program at the child development center successful, including volunteers, teachers, cooks and cleaning staff. But at the forefront are center directors. I would like to tell you more about them today.

Who Are the Center Directors?

a woman in a blue shirt hugs a young girl in a white shirt outside.

A center director serves as the senior staff person at each and every church Compassion partners with. Their main task is to oversee the church’s ministry to children in their local community. They use resources from Compassion, their church and their community to create a center that ministers to the most impoverished children in their areas. They also choose and coach the staff and tutors who personally interact with children regularly. And they make sure the center is following the standards and guidelines proven to create the most successful outcomes in children.

As Compassion staff, we want to deeply understand the individual cultures, contexts and realities of the neighborhoods we work in. But from a distance, that can be almost impossible. That’s why we are so thankful for our center directors. Each center director serves as a liaison not only to church leadership but to the heart of the community where they serve. They alone are able to tell us about real, everyday challenges and advise us on the best ways to address them.

Today, I want to introduce you to three center directors and show you some of the strategic, innovative and caring ways they make such amazing partners with Compassion.

Andres – Champion for Child Protection

A man in a short sleeved orange shirt clasps hands in front of him, sitting at a desk.

The center director works to make sure the center is a place where each child and youth can be known, loved and protected. Andres, a Center Director in Bolivia, saw the rates of child abuse rising in his community. So he began a fight against this trend using help from experts, resources from the church and support from Compassion.

In some communities where physical and sexual violence is common, victims are less likely to report their abuse or talk about it with an adult or close friend. Andres works to make the Compassion center a safe place where both children and caregivers feel they can open up and talk about their situations.

“I always say that if at home they are not protected and at school, they are not protected, they will find that protection is here at the Compassion Center and church,” Andres says.

A man in an orange shirt kneels next to a boy in a yellow shirt, talking to him in.

Andres and the other center staff work with Compassion and trusted legal organizations to seek justice for specific cases. They also provide psychologists to meet with victims and help begin the healing process.

The pastor of the church is another crucial ally for Andres. He addresses abuse from a biblical perspective with the congregation through workshops, education and discussion. Thanks to these efforts, many parents have committed to stopping the cycle of abuse in their homes. Some have even come to Christ through the experience.

Andres is a champion for the 500-plus children that come to the center – and his entire community.

Praxie – A Vision for Education

A group of people stand outside a concrete church building, wearing jeans and T-shirts.

Praxie lives in the Philippines with a people group known as the Badjao. Traditionally, the Badjao were expert divers and fishers. But in modern times, the Badjao struggle with illiteracy and are considered by others as “uneducated beggars.” Families often move place to place, and children are expected to work and find money daily. This means they rarely attend school or often drop out after short amounts of time.

One church in the area called Hosanna Ministries is working to break this trend and bring education to Badjao children. As Center Director, Praxie has a heart and vision for the children and families in her community.

“My vision as director is to see the children get good education and graduate from college. We have entered this tribal community and given them a literacy program. We encourage the children to study, and now there are more Badjao children in the public elementary school than before.”

A group of five young boys stand, smiling, in front of a chalk board.
A group of Badjao boys are some of the first in their community to attend school.

With Compassion’s help, the children receive uniforms, books and school supplies to help them attend school. Praxie and the other center staff also work with mothers, giving them hope and vision for what an education could do for their children.

Praxie is an example of how the center director can reach out to the neediest children in their communities and boldly lead initiatives to create positive change.

Jacky – Creative Solutions Impact the Whole Community

A group of four women stand behind a table, working with green pieces of fabric. They are outside with a palm tree in the background.

Jacky, a Center Director in Mulatsi, Uganda, discovered a serious issue in her community: Expensive feminine hygiene products made it difficult for young women to attend school and participate in everyday activities during their menstrual cycles. Many girls were forced to use alternatives that were not effective or sanitary.

“One woman said, we use newspapers; another, rugs; another, cloth from old blankets; and still another said they cut off part of an old mattress,” Jacky says.

Jacky had an idea. With Compassion’s help, she started a creative, sustainable activity to bring the community together and solve the problem. Jacky, along with other staff, learned to make reusable, inexpensive sanitary towels. Then they trained girls and their parents. But why stop there? Jacky wanted to share this knowledge with the whole community.

They visited schools and taught both boys and girls the techniques. Local leaders in the village and all churches in the parish learned to make the pads as well. Jacky and her team started a ripple effect that brought many men and women together to solve a common problem.

Will You Pray for Center Directors?

A woman in a coral colored sweater hugs a little girl in a red shirt.

As you know, poverty is very complex. It’s easy to get discouraged or intimidated by the challenges it creates. But God has called us all to work together as one body, and Compassion knows we are stronger together. As Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

Please join us in praying for the center directors across the world working every day to minister to children in some of the most challenging circumstances. Pray for your own sponsored child’s center director. Pray God would give them wisdom, strength and endurance as they work in your child’s community. And please pray for Compassion. May we learn to be better and better partners to the center directors and center staff who are on the front lines, serving people in poverty in Jesus’ name.

Reporting and photos by Junieth Dinarte, Edwin Estioko, Caroline Mwinemwesigwa and Galia Oropeza.

24 Comments |Add a comment

  1. NABAASA OLIVIA November 3, 2020

    hay am Olivia from Uganda , may God richly bless you for doing the great work but i desire doing voluntary work with you kindly help me to know the qualifications thank you

    1. Shannon November 3, 2020

      Hi Olivia,
      Thank you for your comment! We appreciate your support so much! We would love to speak with you further about volunteering. Please email us directly at [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you!

  2. Honey Louise Lobdell November 20, 2019

    Sorry to hear about your loss. My family I live on a farm. We recently helped one of are pigs give birth to one of a litter of of piglets!

  3. Brad Pemberton November 7, 2019

    I am concerned seeing that a resource provided to the mother of the boy I sponsor is receiving family planning services from your organization. Is this your idea of compassion? To eliminate the need by eliminating the children?

    1. Christina November 7, 2019

      Brad, I am deeply sorry for the concerns you have that have caused you to doubt the integrity of Compassion. We appreciate the love and concern you have for your child, David, and his family. I can tell that this issue is very close to your heart, and we thank you for asking this question. I hear your concerns about family planning being provided to David’s mother. Family planning is one of the major components of the formula for child survival. However, I feel as though there may be some confusion or misunderstand regarding Compassion’s description of family planning and what our program provides. Compassion permits the churches to teach as they believe. They do teach natural forms of family planning, which includes basic education on human reproduction that they do not typically know. Compassion does not provide money to purchase any form of temporary or permanent birth control, nor do we condone or facilitate abortions. I am going to send you an email with additional information which will hopefully address all your concerns. Thank you for the love you have for sweet David. God bless you!

  4. Kathy Hollis October 11, 2019

    How can I email Center Director Wensly Jean Baptiste of the Dubedou Child Development
    Center in Haiti? Our child will be aging out at age 22 on his birthday in March. We would like advice on a practical gift for him. Thanks

    1. Sierra October 11, 2019

      Hi Kathy! Thank you so much for your desire to bless your child with a meaningful graduation gift. Sadly, we don’t have the ability for you to be able to contact your child’s center director; however, like with other gifts, you are welcome to send a monetary gift to your child upon graduation, and he is then able to use those funds to purchase whatever he most wants or needs. 🙂

  5. James maina October 1, 2019

    We really appreciate the work the compassion is doing in transforming the life of youth in the community and specific in my country Kenya. may lord bless you all and our sponsors
    Staff from compassion

  6. Ronald and Ellen LaVoie September 30, 2019

    Dear Eliseo Hernandez Cruz,

    I would like to thank you for your service and your compassion for the children at Mi Primer Amor, Mexico. I can only imagine the work and the responsibilities that you bear, in that position. I am sponsoring one of your children, Zuleyka at the center, a very special child to my wife and I. We pray for her and family daly. As of today we will keep you in prayer as well. Continue the great work that you are doing and may God richley bless you and your family. Thank you for the recent photos you sent. Say hi to Zuleyka and tell her we love her. We would like to know if her sister Fernanda has a sponsor?

    Our love to you and your family and all the children at the center!!

    Ron and Ellen LaVoie

    1. Sierra October 1, 2019

      Hello, Ron and Ellen! Thank you so much for this kind note, and for your appreciation for Zuleyka’s center director! We certainly appreciate all the amazing work they do. 🙂 Sadly, this note won’t reach Eliseo, as this is just a comment on our blog post; however, you are welcome to write to Zuleyka in a letter and express your thanks for her director there!

      I can also tell you that Fernanda, Zuleyka’s sister, does have a sponsor! Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you!

  7. Francesca Moir September 21, 2019

    I received an email today that said if I clicked on the area, I would be able to see a letter from my sponsored child in Ethiopia. However, I’ve tried twice and
    all I see is loads of other (really long things) that I don’t have time to even read so I’m really disappointed by the email and the website. For an 82 year old extremely busy Christian, I can’t be bothered with so much other ‘stuff’ to read and never even find where my child’s director wrote anything.

    So disappointed, indeed.

    1. Sierra September 23, 2019

      Hello, Francesca! Thank you so much for reaching out to us with this concern. I am so sorry that the email you received notifying you of your child’s director letter was not efficient or helpful for you. Would you kindly forward the email you received to [email protected]? We value your feedback, and want to make things as streamlined as possible for our supporters. I would love to see the email and pass your feedback along. In the meantime, you should be able to view your child’s director letter from your main Account Summary page on https://www.compassion.com. Thank you so much!

  8. Betty Harlan September 21, 2019

    I pray that the word of God is being taught in these Compassion Centers. I am specifically referring to the commands in the book of Acts about how to become a Christian: repent and be baptized (immersed). Almost the final words Jesus spoke before ascending into heaven were
    “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28

  9. David Gamusi September 21, 2019

    Great change takes place when selfless workers focus on finding solutions to community problems
    proud to read about what project Directors and project staff do to change the lives of children and community
    I once worked in this ministry for along time and together caused a positive impact on children and mothers in that community.
    God bless project Directors and all ministry workers across the world and particularly in Mulatsi Child development center.

  10. Mike Deeb September 20, 2019

    Praying for all the Center Directors and volunteers. Thank you Compassion International for all you do for the children and God’s glory thru His Son Jesus Christ.

    Mike Deeb

  11. Sharon September 20, 2019

    Excellent article! So important to focus on the church partner staff – the people that are building relationships with the beneficiaries, their families, and their communities. This is the love of God in action. Thank you1 SL

  12. Annette September 20, 2019

    My heart goes out to you and all compassion center directors. It is clear your job is not easy but also rewarding. I am praying for you all and will continue to sponsor my child. God is and will continue to bless your ministry.

  13. Kathy Crouse September 20, 2019

    This is so enlightening, to hear & see what loving staff members are doing all over the world. I had no idea. Let’s all continue to pray for their work, their caring, their success.

  14. David Robinson September 19, 2019

    Great blog post. I have seen first hand the heavy loads these staff directors and workers carry. They care for our kids like they are their own and love them with the love of Jesus. However, they like anyone get weary with all the troubles they see and deal with. They do need our prayers.

  15. Monica Flesher September 19, 2019

    I am lifting you in prayer. Peace and Grace be
    Be with all of you.

  16. calistus Odeny September 19, 2019

    Thank you compassion for helping millions of children reach their dreams.
    In my center in kenya, our children talented in playing trumpets can now get jobs with the disciplined forces all thanks to the instruments bought with the funds from compassion.

  17. Manoj Jacob September 18, 2019

    Please pray for my ministry. We have not proper place for Sunday worship, we are conducting Sunday worship in one of Believer house and that place is not good also but anyhow we are conducting Sunday worship in that house so please pray for us that Lord may help us or Lord may speak to someone who can help us to buy land for church. [email protected]

    1. Shannon September 19, 2019

      Hi Manoj,
      I am so sorry to hear that your ministry does not have an adequate place to meet. Please know that we will keep you in our prayers!

  18. Cristina Cuerdo September 18, 2019

    This is really touching and encouraging. Thumbs up and salute to these God’s good and Faithful servants.

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