The Difference You’ve Made in 2021

This year you've helped our church partners feed the hungry, protect the health of the vulnerable, support children’s education, and so much more. Read on to see how your support has made an incredible difference.

Since the start of the pandemic, global poverty rose for the first time in 20 years, with experts estimating 100 million additional people are living in poverty as a result.

But thanks to your generosity, we’re able to do something about it. Your unwavering support over the last 12 months has been a lifeline to the most vulnerable around the world. Your giving has equipped our local church partners to respond with urgency, providing life-changing care at a critical time.

From all of us at Compassion, we’d like to thank you for the part you’re playing in restoring hope, joy and laughter to children and their families in what has again been an extremely challenging year.

See the incredible impact your giving has had this year:

 

More than 12,000,000 Family Food Packs

The pandemic has meant many families have lost their jobs, and for those who rely on a daily wage to make ends meet, food is an urgent need.

Thanks to your support in 2021, our local church partners distributed more than 12 million essential food packages to vulnerable children and their families.

For many, this has been a lifeline. As Sirlena, a project director in Colombia, explains, “When parents receive the food baskets, many of them say, ‘Thank you for that help, God bless you. We didn’t have anything to eat today.’ It is good to know that our work is impacting the families. They feel supported and are feeling the love of God in their lives. They know that God does exist and helps and loves them.”

 

“Abba Father provided through the church”- Alejandra, Peru

A mother and son from Peru receive a food basket

Alejandra and her 11-year-old son, Samuel, live in Peru. This single mum was one of the many families who’ve been blessed by food parcels this year.

“Before [the pandemic], people would call me from different places in my area to clean their houses. It was a big help. When the pandemic started, nobody called again, and I didn’t have an income anymore,” explains Alejandra.

“This didn’t just affect us financially but also emotionally. My son was frightened. He didn’t want me to leave the house because I’m all he has. I had to run some errands one day, and it took me longer than usual. Samuel was almost in tears when I finally came home. He had thought the worst. I told him that God will never leave us and will always protect us. I want him to learn to trust God.

“I didn’t know what we were going to do, but we received a phone call from the local church one day. They were going to give us a food basket. What great joy I felt! We prayed right there and thanked the Lord!

“I thought it would only be a one-time gift, but they kept calling us time and time again for more food baskets. Abba Father provided through the church!

“The church has been there during this time, not just for us but for all the children from the [Compassion] project. We’re grateful for everything they do. May God bless you and your families! I thank you from my heart.”

 

More than 8,000,000 Hygiene Kits

When vulnerable families are struggling to buy food, hygiene supplies like face masks, hand sanitiser and soap become luxuries they cannot afford. And in regions where there is water scarcity, frequent handwashing is often impossible.

Because of you, our local church partners were able to distribute more than 8 million hygiene kits this year.

Each pack contains items such as hand sanitiser, soap, disinfectant, face coverings and other goods like toothbrushes and vitamins.

“Without the support of the local church, we could not have afforded anything to protect us from the virus,” says Abigail, mum to Emely and Paola in El Salvador. “My girls are staying healthy through this pandemic because of the kits and the training.”

A girl uses soap provided in a hygiene kit

 

Medical Support for more than 1.2 million individuals

When you don’t have access to health insurance or a public health care system, there’s often no safety net when you or your child get sick. Treatable illnesses can turn into life and death situations.

During a pandemic, access to medical care has become even more precarious, but our local church partners are refusing to leave children and their families on their own. Thanks to your generosity, Compassion assisted more than 1.2 million individuals to access emergency medical care this year.

When 11-year-old Yohannes fell ill with appendicitis, he was rushed to hospital, but his mother, Tenagna, was unable to pay the medical bill. She called all her friends, but no one had the means to cover the expensive surgery. Frantic with worry, she turned to the only person she knew could help, Werkalem, the director of the Compassion project that Yohannes attended. Werkalem responded immediately, and Yohannes was able to get the medical treatment he needed.

“Compassion has bought my son life,” says Tenagne, emotion filling her voice. “I am in a situation where I cannot buy a single exercise book for my child, but God used the church to save my child’s life.”

A mother looks at her son

 

More than 92,000 Cash Transfers

Thanks to your support, more than 92,000 cash transfers were given to empower vulnerable families. These transfers are not only efficient and cost-effective, but they also provide dignity to families, empowering them to meet their most pressing needs as they arise.

“Having families decide how to spend the money dignifies them,” explains Joel Macharia, Compassion Kenya’s National Director. “It provides them with a choice aligned with their [needs]. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.”

 

“Getting three meals a day was not certain” – Rosalie, Burkina Faso

A mother and son receive food in Burkina Faso

Rosalie, a single mum to six-year-old Sylvain, lives in western Burkina Faso. A couple of challenging and difficult pregnancies, resulting in her losing her babies, have severely impacted her health. Rosalie was struggling to make ends meet before COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic caused her to become even more vulnerable.

“Life became tougher for me and Sylvain to a point that even getting three meals a day was not certain. I had to beg for food from neighbours to avoid going to bed with an empty stomach. I wondered where the support would come from. I felt lost, abandoned, and hopeless about the future. I was expecting a miracle from God as an answer to my prayers,” says Rosalie.

Because Sylvain is registered in the local Compassion project that opened in 2018, Rosalie has been receiving food baskets every month since COVID-19 hit. On top of that, she has also received cash transfers to start an income-generating activity.

“During the pandemic, I received funds from the [Compassion] project and [I] trained to start a soap business. From no source of income, I can now earn at least $10 (£7.40) per month selling soap to provide for the family.”

Thanks to these cash transfers, women like Rosalie are now more resilient and equipped to reduce the impact of the pandemic by increasing their income.

“I can say that the financial support is turning around the lives of many caregivers,” say Rosalie with delight. “May God bless the church, Compassion, and sponsors for providing the resources that I needed to start a business. I cannot be thankful enough for your huge support.”

 

More Good News Stories From 2021

Reina’s bright future

We love praising God for young people’s successes! 19-year-old Reina is no exception. He has done outstandingly well at school, winning the national prize in Burkina Faso for physics and maths!

Growing up in extreme poverty with his grandmother Viviane, Reina’s future looked uncertain. The pandemic also impacted their livelihoods as well as Reina’s education, but he didn’t give up. With hard work and the support of his Compassion project, which helped with school fees and supplies, he excelled!

“From the six grades of primary school to the seven grades of high school, the tutors didn’t give up on me. The centre has prepared the way for my studies, and I am now blessed by the results,” says Reina.

Reina is about to start college to study Computer Engineering. We’re praying that he will take every opportunity to do well.

Reina is holding his certificates and smiling.

Seraphine’s clearer vision

While getting treated for severe headaches, 16-year-old Seraphine in Togo discovered that the source of her illness was her poor eyesight. For a long time, Seraphine kept her condition to herself. She couldn’t confess to her parents that her eyes were her real problem.

“I knew my parents didn’t have money to take me to an ophthalmologist. I didn’t want to add any worry to those they already had,” says Seraphine.

Her father earns £7.50 a month from his teaching work in a public primary school, and £4.50 is needed to manage the home needs.

Conscious that it wouldn’t be sufficient, her mother would budget for the family throughout the month. She’d walk for hours to the town harbour and buy fish to sell for a small profit. Sometimes, she would go into the bush to gather firewood to sell and earn money for food at home.

When the staff at the Compassion project Seraphine was attending found out about her eyesight, they took her to the ophthalmologist. They paid for the consultation and the prescription glasses to improve her vision and ease the strain on her eyes.

“If the centre had not intervened to make the medical glasses for Seraphine, her eyes would have been damaged. For I know it would have taken us a long time before we could gather such an amount for her treatment,” says Mariama, Seraphine’s mother.

Perfect vision! Seraphine can now see thanks to her new glasses.

Thanks to your faithful support, millions of children living in poverty around the world, like Reina and Seraphine, will get the opportunity for a better future in the name of Jesus Christ.

As 2021 comes to a close, we’re excited to see all the God has for us in 2022 and share more powerful stories of His goodness and love.

 

Want to be part of God’s work through Compassion in 2022?

If you’ve yet to sponsor a child, will you join us in our ministry to children living in extreme poverty today? Sponsor a child and help them become all God made them to be.

SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY

 

Emily Laramy

Words by Emily Laramy


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