“At Compassion, we have a vision to create thriving followers of Jesus who are positively influencing their world,” says Sidney Muisyo, Compassion International’s Chief Programme Officer. “That word ‘thriving’ is key—it means that a person has everything they need to grow and fulfil their God-given potential. And when we think about everything a young person needs to grow and thrive, nothing is more basic and essential than access to food.”
Right now, the world is facing a devastating global food crisis. As the number of people facing food insecurity skyrockets, no country will escape the impact. According to the United Nations, 2.3 billion people were severely or moderately hungry in 2021.
We know those living in poverty will be the hardest hit as the impact of inflation, the war in Ukraine, disrupted supply chains, the economic crisis, and natural disasters collide. Compassion and our local church partners are urgently seeking to combat the devastating effects of rising hunger.
Households with children who live in poverty remain especially vulnerable to the mounting hunger crisis; it increases the risk children will be exploited or kept from pursuing their education. On top of this, there are severe health risks for children and youth. Undernourishment exposes children in poverty to developing life-threatening diseases.
Compassion is uniquely positioned to engage the global food crisis. Each of our 8,500 church partners is poised to serve the community, seeking long-term sustainable food solutions, while ensuring all children receive urgent nutrition. Our churches have long stood beside children and their communities and will continue to, long after this crisis has subsided.
We have learned a lot from the COVID-19 pandemic—including how to meet the needs of children and youth in focused, creative ways. Armed with amazing local staff and volunteers, Compassion projects around the world are meeting the immediate needs of their community. They are our boots on the ground; the hands and feet of Jesus to those who need it most.
Meet just a few of these heroic frontline workers.
Meet Adjo, a cook in Togo
For more than five years, Adjo has served faithfully as a cook at her local child development centre, serving meals to hundreds of children each week. The dishes she prepares are often the most nutritious meal a child receives that day.
“I have been a cook since the beginning of the centre five years ago,” she says. “I wanted to be a part of the centre because the centre came to help us and it’s not right for others to do everything. It’s our responsibility to bring our hearts and do what we can.”
Adjo is one of thousands of cooks at projects around the world who are helping to ensure children have access to nutritious food—a role even important during the global food crisis. Through teamwork and dedication, these cooks are bringing hope to their community, one meal at a time.
Meet Eliane, a tutor in Brazil
When Gabriely first came to her local Compassion project in Brazil, she was one of the 828 million people who went to bed hungry each night, according to the World Food Programme. The only meal the young girl could count on each day was the lunch provided at her school.
“Hunger is the emptiness and unhopeful feeling that never leaves you,” recalls her mother, Valdilene. “You wake up without knowing what to eat for breakfast and you still have nothing to eat for lunch. Your stomach hurts. The feeling never fades away. You go to bed knowing that the next day won’t be different.”
Thankfully, after the children became part of the Child Sponsorship Programme, the next day was different. The project provided them with regular nutritious food. However, the family’s feeling of desperation remained. They still viewed each meal as their last, hoarding food in their pockets and eating so quickly they made themselves sick.
Their tutor Eliane helped the children to develop a healthy relationship with eating again. During the pandemic, she and tutors around the world delivered food parcels to desperate families. These frontline workers will again be the hands and feet of Jesus in the food crisis—providing aid and care where it is needed most.
Meet Esaie, a Project Director in Burkina Faso
Thirty-eight-year-old Rosalie didn’t know where her next meal was coming from, let alone how she would provide for her young children. When she looked for help, she found Esaie.
Esaie is the director of the local Compassion project in her community. She oversees not only the day-to-day operations but takes an active role in assisting the families the project serves. During the pandemic, this included facilitating urgent aid to families through cash transfers and food parcels.
“I can say that the financial support is turning around the lives of many caregivers. The project transferred £75 to 43 of the most vulnerable caregivers so they can start a business,” says Esaie. Rosalie was one of them. Today, she has a business making and selling soap.
“Women like Rosalie are now more resilient and equipped to reduce the impact of the pandemic by increasing their income. I am happy to see her smiling today, which she couldn’t do a few months ago.”
Cash transfers are a key component of Compassion’s response to the food crisis, a proven approach that empowers caregivers to help ensure their family has access to enough food.
Each of these heroes is doing the great work of the Kingdom each and every day—but they need our support. Please continue to stand beside us, as the local church supports families through the global food crisis in their mission to release children from poverty. You can answer hunger with hope by giving today.