Frequently Asked Question

Many answers can be found right here in our frequently asked questions.

Compassion feels specifically called to serve children in poverty around the world. We believe this is the mandate God has given us and that it is the best stewardship to focus our time and efforts on the 27 countries where we work.

We do, however, acknowledge the need of families here in the UK and we wholeheartedly support and pray for other Christian charities that are focused on helping them during the cost-of-living crisis. You can find out more by reading our blog here.

If you have joint sponsorship and your partner pays tax then they can tick the Gift Aid box, provided that your donations are paid either from your partner’s account or from a jointly held or named account (i.e. the payment is from the ‘Gift Aider’).

If you no longer pay sufficient UK Income or Capital Gains Tax, please let us know on 01932 836490 and we’ll stop claiming Gift Aid on your donations. If you change your name or address, please just let us know.

To qualify for Gift Aid, you must pay an amount of UK Income and/ or Capital Gains Tax, which is at least equal to the amount that the charities you support will reclaim on your donations in each tax year (6 April to 5 April). If you pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all your donations in the tax year, it's your responsibility to pay any difference to HMRC. Gift Aid is claimed at 25p per £1 of your support. Taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify for Gift Aid.

Gift Aid doesn’t cost you a penny and allows us to reclaim the tax on your donations from HMRC, providing that you’re a UK taxpayer.

Most countries have a legal minimum age of marriage to protect against the practice of early unions, but they’re often difficult to enforce. The causes are many, from poverty to conservative cultural beliefs, gender inequality, and sexual violence and abuse. Because of this, it is not surprising that this number is mostly made up of children who live in contexts of poverty and sexism, where the practice is part of society’s social norms.  

There’s a substantial gap in the prevalence of child marriage between the poorest and richest communities. UNICEF reports that ‘females in the poorest quintile are 2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than those living in the wealthiest quintile. For example, in the Dominican Republic, at least half of the poorest women entered into their first marriage or union at about age 17 compared to age 21 among the richest women.’  

When a family is struggling with the basic necessities of life like food, any child is an extra mouth, and if a girl can get married, that is one less mouth they have to worry about.   

More importantly, there’s an exchange of dowry or bride price in many of those marriages, so sometimes a family is financially pressed to get those extra resources to feed the other children.  

What’s a dowry?
Dowries are most common in South Asia. The bride's family pays the groom's family in money, goods or property. The younger a girl is, the lower the dowry payment. This encourages younger marriages.  

What’s bride price? 
Bride price is most common in sub-Saharan Africa and is the reverse of a dowry. The groom's family pays the bride's family in money, goods or property.  

Gender inequality 
Where there is gender inequality, the objectification of women, and the lack of development opportunities (including education and employment), a women’s place is often seen solely as a sexual object and the caretakers of the home. Girls are especially vulnerable in some communities to false promises made by older men.  

FGM and child marriage often go hand in hand. FGM is especially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, but the practice exists worldwide. UNICEF reports that in Kenya almost 1 in 4 girls are married before age 18, almost 1 in 20 by age 15. Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a brutal ritual. It involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is usually performed on girls before the age of 15—sometimes as young as babies and traditionally signals a girl’s readiness for marriage. FGM is a violation of children’s human rights. The consequences of child marriage are immediate and life-long. Infections, chronic pain, difficulty urinating, infertility, psychological trauma—and even death. Despite child marriage laws making the practice illegal in most of these countries, FGM continues in Western, Eastern, and North-Eastern Africa, as well as among migrants in places like Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States.  

Stigma persists for girls and families when they don’t follow traditional gender roles and expectations.  


Need some help?

Our friendly team are ready to help with any questions you might have.

01932 836490 - Lines are open from 11am-5pm Monday to Friday.
Please leave a voicemail if you call outside these hours and we’ll get in touch as soon as we can.