What Do Compassion Graduates Think About Our Work?

We Surveyed More Than 500 Compassion Graduates to Ask Their Views on Our Work… Here's What They Said.

At Compassion, we consistently assess the effectiveness of our mission to empower children to thrive as they grow into adulthood.

We aim to provide children and youth with the support they need through our local church partners, helping them reach their full potential and gain the skills and confidence for healthy, fulfilling lives – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Plus, we believe in making this journey enjoyable!

We asked 516* Compassion graduates across six countries about their experience of their time with Compassion. The surveys were anonymous to ensure people felt comfortable giving honest feedback. Here’s what the graduates shared…

Does sponsorship work?

One-to-one child sponsorship might seem unnecessary; why not just give to a central fund? Well, research shows time and again that children, and their families, are particularly encouraged by being known and loved by an individual in another country.

“Communicating with my sponsor improved many things; spiritual aspects, mental aspects, etc. It has improved my thinking capacity and has increased my level of faith knowing that someone (my sponsor) cares about me and my whole life.”

“My [sponsor] was a teacher and it was a source of inspiration to continue studying and fulfilling my dreams.”

Of graduates surveyed:

Sponsor relationship

Writing and receiving letters

We all know that having encouragement and accountability can help us keep going when we’re facing a challenging task. Letters from a sponsor and hearing the words, ‘I believe in you,’ have often helped participants continue with their studies or through life’s hardships.

Receiving letters is exciting… but writing them can sometimes feel like a chore – ask any parent who’s tried to get their child to write thank-you letters after Christmas or a birthday!

At Compassion, we want to ensure that letter writing isn’t an unnecessary burden for children at our projects, or for staff and volunteers who often need to assist. It’s important to hear from children and youth about their experience of writing…

Of graduates surveyed:

Writing letters

“My frequent letters to my sponsors taught me how to express myself at a young age. More than influencing my literary development, it helped me to become fluent in communication.”

“Communicating with my sponsor helped me to improve my communication skills and even my self-esteem.”

“It helped me to improve my language skills and express my feelings when I wrote a letter to my sponsors.”

“My communication with my sponsor… helped me also to improve my hope (confidence) because every time I talked with my sponsor, he encouraged me.”

Of graduates surveyed:

Receiving letters

In fact, 90% of graduates surveyed agreed that they wished they’d heard from their sponsors more often. If you’re a sponsor, could you write today?

Writing top tips

Spiritual engagement

We are a Christian organisation who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. One of our central characteristics is that we’re church driven. This means, we’re committed to working in partnership with local churches around the world, because we’re convinced they’re best placed to understand the needs of their communities and are God’s means for sharing His love and provision with people everywhere.

Whilst local churches share about the gospel with children and youth in our programme, there is no requirement for a child or their family to be Christian, or to make any commitment of faith unless they choose to do so. We want the opportunities provided by Compassion to be open to people of all faiths and none.

“Both the programme and the Church made me feel loved by God and gave me a beautiful experience… without help of the programme, with certainty everything would have been different. God used Compassion to transform my life.”

“[The Compassion programme] caused my life to know the story of Jesus more, receive love from God, and most importantly, my quality of life has improved a lot.”

“The project gives many opportunities, and [I have] done many things that [I] would not have the opportunity to do if not participating in the Compassion Project, as well as getting to know Jesus through this project.”

Of graduates surveyed:

A relationship with Jesus

Engagement with/enjoyment of the Compassion Programme

Learning can be challenging, even for the most academic of young people, but it can be especially hard for children who might have missed out on portions of education due to poverty.

Poverty can mean children miss schooling for many reasons, including having to work, lack of access to uniforms or resources, they may be unwell or simply don’t have enough energy due to a lack of nutritious food. These setbacks can knock a child’s confidence and make engaging with learning difficult.

At Compassion projects, staff seek to identify each child’s unique needs and support both their academic progress and their confidence in learning. We wanted previous participants to rate how engaged they had felt in this element of our projects…

“Compassion is a part that helped to refine and develop my life in many ways, whether in education, society or spirit… Being a part of that project made me know, love and value myself including knowing to love those around me: because we received blessings, we therefore want to be a blessing to others as well.”

“I got more from Compassion programme. I have studied secondary school and university through Compassion support.”

“For me it was all very good, I took courses, [made] friends, met people. I learned about the Bible, I learned sports, arts, languages.”

“I got many [improvements] from the sponsorship – now I have a degree in social work, and I could help my family to renovate [our] house.”

Graduates surveyed said:

Attending projects

In addition, snacks and meals (74%), staff and volunteers (73%) made graduates want to attend the Compassion project frequently.

At Compassion, we want every child in our programmes to feel known and loved—that’s why we’re so grateful to partner with local churches who minister to children and youth in their everyday lives. And you, our supporters, play a crucial role too. You encourage them along their journey with greetings, prayers and gifts, which all serve to make a huge difference in the life of a child that remains with them forever. Thank you.

Find out more about how our programme works here.

*The participants surveyed were from the following countries:

  • Brazil: 36
  • Ecuador: 59
  • El Salvador: 78
  • Thailand: 145
  • Rwanda: 121
  • Ethiopia: 77
Compassion UK

Words by Compassion UK, Zannah Kearns


Twitter Facebook

More stories for you

Homepage Banner

Join thousands of people praying to end poverty, take action through our appeals and activities, and be inspired by how God is changing lives.

Get a little Compassion in your inbox with our Prayer and Stories email.

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.

Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.