Sponsors do more than help contribute towards the education, physical and spiritual well-being of children living in poverty. Their partnership and commitment to children’s lives have an impact far beyond their childhood years. As they attend Compassion projects at local churches, children are provided safe spaces to discover and learn lessons that nurture and steward their God-given talents.
Access to resources and exposure to various activities, coupled with vocational and financial training, allow children to dream big — beyond their circumstances. We’re devoted to cultivating and developing this next generation as they, in turn, begin to give back to their communities.
Check out these incredible stories of talented young entrepreneurs.
Faida, Guitar Teacher
Compassion graduate Faida, 28, discovered his musical talent at a Compassion project in Rwanda at just 10-years-old. He never missed a lesson. After graduating from university with a degree in civil engineering and buying his own guitar, he longed to help other children who had similar experiences to him. Today, he runs his own online music school, where he has taught over 200 children to play guitar.
“Whenever I remember that Compassion helped to boost my talent in playing guitar, I get full of emotion, and I believe that it was God’s plan for me,” says Faida.
Miriam and Maureen, Business Owners
Twins Miriam and Maureen, 21, witnessed their factory-working mother putting in long hours in a bid to see them through school, feed them and pay the rent. This inspired them to seek a different future. Today, they are realising their childhood dream of owning their own business in Tanzania.
Maureen explains, “The [Compassion] project gave us capital for our salon business, and they also put us through entrepreneurial skill training.”
The twins now manage their own successful beauty salon and plan to open a men’s clothing boutique.
Sebastian, Bag Weaver
In Rwanda, university education is often too expensive for young people. Knowing this, Sebastian’s Compassion project teaches vocational skills classes. Wanting to prove that boys could weave too, although it’s commonly done by girls, Sebastian chose bag weaving. He now uses the skills he learned to train his peers, earning him a monthly income. He also taught his mother to weave and sell her creations, further improving their family’s living conditions.
Sandy, Beauty Therapist
One of Compassion’s local church partners in Colombia received a two-year intervention to teach beauty therapy to Compassion sponsored children. The programme was so successful that that it became a nationally accredited course. At the age of 19 Sandy graduated from the salon programme, which launched her long-term career as a beauty therapist.
“For me, having these skills and being given the opportunity to develop them and become good at it meant that I wasn’t looking for other ways to generate income. It kept me from making bad decisions. It kept me focused,” says Sandy.
“I really believe that everybody has gifts and talents, but for me, everything took me back to beauty and style. God guides you through. I do believe that He called me to do that and gives me the passion for it.”
Rayane and Rhaldney, Photographers
A Compassion project in Brazil launched a programme called Criativa (“Creative”) to give new dreams to youth threatened by lack of opportunities.
Rayane photographs her community. She shares:
“[My community has a] history of struggle, determination and resistance. I like to record these people, to show what is beautiful among our alleys. Despite the bad things we see here, it was the fact that I was born here that made me who I am today. It was what made me strong to fight for my dreams.”
Rhaldney, another student, explains that photography changed his life.
“I never thought photography would change my life. It’s through the lens of the cameras that I express my perceptions in the world,” he says. “I have friends from the community who chose the wrong paths, but I’m grateful to the [Compassion] project for helping me to take a different path. Today I study advertising and marketing, and even though there are difficult days, I know that God has helped me in my struggles.”
When Piyeston expressed his interest in cooking, the staff at his Compassion project in Sri Lanka organised a cooking programme with Dilmah, a famous brand of Sri Lankan tea. All the young people were shown what a chef’s career looked like and given the next steps to take if this was a job that interested them.
“I didn’t know that ‘chef’ was a job title,” says Piyeston, smiling. “I had never even heard of the word. But cooking was something that I love to do, and this programme taught me so much.”
One of Compassion’s church partners in Honduras encourages young people to develop their passions through vocational and entrepreneurial training. Recently they organised a public fair where students could sell their artwork to their communities.
Sandra, 17, says, “Painting is my passion, and I discovered it through the vocational training I got at the Compassion project.”
Praise God for these incredible young men and women. As Mura, Project Director in Colombia explains, “When you see young people who have been able to overcome poverty, who have … transformed their lives in the name of Jesus, that’s inspiring.”
If you would like to become a sponsor and contribute to a brighter future for children, visit our sponsorship page!