“I have found my calling,” reflects Mark Anthony, a talented Compassion graduate from the Philippines. After passing his Bachelor’s degree with flying colours and receiving job offers from across the country, you may be surprised to see where Mark now works.
You may not expect to find this remarkable man standing in front of a class in a far-flung community on top of a mountain, a two hour ride away from Kabankalan city, followed by a 30 minute motorcycle on unpaved roads (some parts of which are inclined at almost 40 degrees).
“My calling,” he explains, “is to educate these children and see them grow, and if given the chance, lead them to the Lord.” His words echo the words of so many Compassion staff across the world: our love for children is never limited by geographical distance.
Mark’s project is just one of many projects around the globe which sit at the end of a long, and sometimes, treacherous journey:
Boys play outside their project in the highlands of Chota, Peru. The area is renowned for its dairy products and a gold mining site sits 45 kilometres away which has helped boost the city’s economy since the 1990s.
Victoria, Anastasia and Belinda dressed in their project uniform are hanging out in their neighbourhood, Sakumono, on the south coast of Ghana – where the Gulf of Guinea meets the West Coast of Africa, and stretches across Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. Although a high number of the local population work in the fishing industry, many earn less than £6 per month.
This picturesque project sits in a humid and mountainous area of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Most people in the community are plantation workers and the primary diet is pork, bananas, chicken and fish.
The Compassion project these boys attend is in the Keekonyokie Masaai community in Kenya. Although the project sits 80 kilometres away from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, the nearest medical help is two and a half hours drive away.
These children are part of a community of 3,000 people nestled in the hills of Nombe in western Uganda. The average income of caregivers in this area is £6 per month.
These children in the Philippines can only get to their Compassion project via canoe; a single trunk of a hollowed out coconut tree! The boatman is a father of one of the children at the project. The children often take turns in operating and managing the boat since it has also become a source of income for their community.
Children sit outside their project in the Amazonian region of Peru. Due to lack of opportunities in the region many adults often migrate from the jungle towards the surrounding big cities where tourism is the main attraction. Where parents may be increasingly mobile, for these children, the project is a constant source of support.
Children take their breakfast of tea and bread at Olkolili project in Tanzania in the Kilimanjaro region. The surrounding area is a combination of flat plains and hills meaning that in rainy season, water washes over the dirt roads approaching the project, making access more difficult.
These girls live in a remote village in Bangladesh where children and mothers lack basic neccessities for a healthy life. In this village, the culture and languages of three tribes meet. One Compassion staff member, Ganzi, grew up in the village and her ability to understand the caregivers cultural contexts makes her a great influence in their lives. She speaks all three languages of the local tribes.
Boys from a Compassion project in Juwana, on the island of Java in Indonesia play in their neighbourhood, a coastal town where the staple dishes are fish and rice. Although 90% of children complete primary school, only 70% complete secondary school.
What a great setting for a playground! These children in Kabale, Uganda, are enjoying some cooler days during the rainy season. Most adults in this area near Buranga work as agricultural workers or subsistence farmers.
Three children walk along their road to their project in the High Plateau region of Bolivia. This “Altiplano” High Plateau region of Bolivia is the area where the Andes Mountains are the widest. It is the most extensive area of high plateau on the Earth outside of Tibet.
In northern Thailand, one of our projects is so remote, children have their letters hand-delivered by Kari – the mail runner. Kari, a Compassion graduate, makes the seven hour journey twice a month.
We know that the solution to poverty is not a “one size fits all” model and we are so proud to work with local staff who know their own communities and contexts better than anyone else.
And we are proud to know you! Your love stretches down these roads to the middle of nowhere. It isn’t diluted by distance. You are impacting children in some of the remotest parts of the world. Thank you.