Where Are They Now? Meet 15 Remarkable Compassion Graduates
From police officers to entrepreneurs, get to know 15 inspiring Compassion Alumni.
29 Jan, 2020
Do you ever wonder what your sponsored child will become when they grow up?Â
There are millions of powerful stories of Compassion graduates overcoming poverty that we could share with you. Here are just 15 who, thanks to supporters like you, have been empowered to overcome the cycle of poverty.Â
Alemayehu â an agriculturalist on a mission, Ethiopia
"When I joined the Compassion programme, IÂ excelled in my education. The environment I grew up in didnât allow me to dream big. I lived in an area where there was no one to look up to academically. Apart from the project staff who used to tell me that I can be someone, I rarely heard an encouraging word from anyone. I give thanks thatÂ I was given the education I needed to join Hawassa University toÂ study horticulture. I prayed every step of the way and the Lord granted me my heartâs desires."
Jean â the accountant who began with one pair of shoes, Haiti
"I was born in Solino, a very poor and violent slum of Port au Prince. When I first started school, I remember I had only one pair of shoes for every circumstance. I used to spend a whole day standing on my feet in school because there were not enough seats available for all children. I did not have access to safe water and good food. With the help of Compassion, I have now a bachelor degree in business management and another bachelor in economics. I currently work for the Haitian government as a public accountant at the finances department. I am the secretary of my church and the vice president of the youth association of that same church."
Edwin â the awesome elephant keeper at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, KenyaÂ
"When I was a little boy, I was in the Compassion programme. Compassion helped take care of my physical wellbeing when I was young and they also helped take care of my feelings and emotions. And now, thatâs one of my most important jobs with the baby elephants. Just like Compassion helped prepare me for adulthood by caring well for every part of my life, I now get to do the same thing for the elephants. Godâs plan for my life was more adventurous than I ever could have imagined!"
Maria â the nurse who was allowed to dream, Guatemala
"My tutors at Compassionâs project taught me to dream and fight to reach my goals.Â I would not be a nurse today if it wereÂ not for Compassion. I love to be a part of the team that provides health for the people of the dumps. That's where I grew up and I thought it was my future, but Compassion rescued me from the dirt."
Jey - the youth worker who now has freedom, Kenya
Raised in one of the largest and poorest slums on the African continent, Jey shared a one-room house with his single mother, three brothers and ten other family members. When his mother fell ill, Jeyâs only option was to move to the streets of Nairobi to beg for food and money. At only nine years of age, he was arrested and imprisoned for stealing.
When he was released, he was invited to join the Child Sponsorship Programme. For the first time in his life, Jey felt hope. Once, he questioned whether heâd ever have theÂ opportunity to go to school, but today Jey is a graduate of Daystar University, where he studied youth ministry.
Jeric â the Government official committed to integrity, PhilippinesÂ
"I work for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). My role is to facilitate, oversee and delegate tasks, and manage people, resources, conflict and projects.Â Itâs a lot of work, but I am motivated to helping the poor. The goal is to lift the peopleâs socio-economic status, from survival status to subsistence. Then we empower them so they can be self-sufficient.Â Four years ago I had a vision that I will be in politics. It was around that time when DSWD called me and to me that was a confirmation from the Lord that I could someday be a politician. I can only thank my sponsor for all the successes I have. I want to replicate what Compassion has done for me."
Miriam - the policewoman proud to be inspiring others, Kenya
When Miriam was registered into the Child Sponsorship Programme, it marked a turning point in her life as her familyâs living conditions began to change for the better.
Miriam completed herÂ secondary school education with good grades, with her high school fees paid in full through the help of her sponsor.
But her joy at being accepted into the police force after graduation turned to dismay when she saw the list of equipment she needed. How could she afford it?
Thankfully, her CompassionÂ project provided all the basic items she required for her training. Before long, Miriam was among the 3,000 police recruits graduatesâeven receiving a special award from the President of Kenya!
With women making up just 10 per cent of Kenyaâs police force, 21-year-old Miriam wants to inspire other girls.
âI want to be an example that girls can emulate. I want them to believe that they can be whatever they put their mind to,â says Miriam. âWith this opportunity I have, I want to rise in rank and become a decisionmaker in the police force.â
Tannia â the psychology graduate who returned to her mountain, Honduras
âI come from Azacualpa, which is a vivid and beautiful mountain with one of the coldest weather in the region. As a little girl I used to take care of my motherâs small livestock, so in my mind I thought that I was meant to be a country girl for the rest of my life. It wasnât that bad at all, but there were limited life opportunities for sure.
When I registered at the Compassion project, I was exposed to a wide range of opportunities that opened my mind. As a teenager, I learned about the different careers and I was drawn by the psychology study plan.
Through Compassion, I had the chance to move to the city, and after four years I got a psychology diploma in 2016. I got the chance to go back to my mountain, and Iâve provided special treatment to some of the children of my former project. Thereâs not a chance I couldâve done it without Compassion. There are no words to describe how I was rescued from a poverty status, and I praise the Lord for that.
Iâm currently working at the Compassion field office in Honduras, in the programme communications department. I feel happy because I provide financially for my family. In the midst of the poverty that surrounds my community, I can see that cycle broken in the name of Jesus.â
May â the physiotherapist helping the most vulnerable, Thailand
"I work at the Rochinakarine Institute of Child Development. Iâm a physiotherapist helping both younger and older patients who have mobility difficulties. When I was younger, having a sponsor enabled me to know another world. It gave me access to another world of education. I was able to learn much more than before. One memory I have is that I'd never seen the sea so Compassion organised a camp for us to see the ocean for the very first time."
Bjorn â a mission worker with vision, Philippines
"With the help of Compassion, my sponsor and the church, I now have this desire to help people in need. I want to help people who are in the same situation as I was before. This is my motivation. I have a God-given passion for the lost."
Kevin â the fishmonger providing for his family, Philippines
"I learnt how to work hard and be grateful to my parents from my project. I now take care of my parents and siblings, and work hard for them. My family inspires me, as well as my sponsor and church leaders. If it wasn't for my sponsor I think I would be hanging out and taking drugs like many of my neighbours."
Marc â the changemaker teacher trainer, Haiti
"Growing up, my parents struggled to provide for the family, and having the school fees paid on a regular basis was a big deal. I was supposed to be a cultivator, but Compassion has turned me into an educator. I was a hopeless person, but thanks to Compassion I have hope and a future. I want to use my skills to train teachers to provide good quality education to students.ââ
Octa â the missionary off the beaten track, Indonesia
In a remote village in Kupang, Indonesia, Compassion graduate Octa is living out his dream to be a missionary. âI have to look after a generation of this village. The youth need a role model, or someone who they can turn to, so I open my self to them. Many of the youth donât have dreams in life, they just live by day,â says Octa.
Born into poverty, Octa was sponsored through Compassion as a child. Determined to make a difference in the lives of children in his country, Octa felt called to minister to an isolated village where poverty is deeply rooted. For the majority of students who are privileged to attend primary school, continuing onto high school is a dream out of reach.
âThey will likely end up working in the fields, or if they are lucky they will get a low paid job in the city due to their low education backgrounds,â explains Octa. So Octa took on the challenge of being a teacher in the village. âThe maths teacher position was vacant, at first I was unsure about my ability to teach maths, but then I proceeded. I never dreamed of becoming a math teacher, but it sure is boosting the morale of my fellow teachers in the village.â
He ended up being recognised as the best maths teacher in the province with some of his students performing excellently in the national exams. As he changes the lives of students in the village, Octa dreams of the day this village will be blessed by the seeds sown into this next generation.
John â the lawyer who represents the poor for free, Uganda
When he was 12, John and his four siblings were chased out of their home by their uncle, who wanted their house for himself. His mother had passed away and his father had run away in grief, never to be seen again. Johnâs pastor took him to a lawyer for advice on what to do. But no help came from the lawyer.
âI cried. I knew we had lost everything. I was frustrated and hopeless,â said John. The lawyerâs words never left Johnâs mind. He vowed to become a lawyer and seek justice for everyone. Through the support of his sponsor and the staff at his local Compassion project, today John is a lawyer who represents the poor for free.
Since 2009, when his career began, John has handled over 300 free cases for people in poverty. One person was a retired reverend from whom a man tried to steal 82 acres of land. When John and his colleague took on the case, the man said, âYoung men, name your price. I want to build a farm. Name your price and we talk and see. Donât disturb me.â
April â the social worker inspired by her sponsor, Philippines
âMy mother and my sponsor were perfect examples of people who despite lacking many things in life, were still ready to give to other people. My sponsor was a park worker who cut the grass - he taught me so much.Â I am inspired to help others because I know what it is to be poor, and I know how it is to be helped. It feels good knowing that there are people who care for you, and I want people to experience that from me. As the social worker, I am in charge of all the legal matters and documentations. Every day I try to be an ambassador of God's love to children."
We're so grateful for each and every one of our sponsors. Thank you for bringing a childÂ education, stability and hope.Â If you're not already a child sponsor, discover more about how you can change the story for a vulnerable child.Â
It was incredible to see the Different Path appeal raise ÂŁ2.2 million – your donations were matched by the UK government. One year on, this means that weâve been able to open 20 new projects and continue funding three existing Child Survival projects.