Our work in India
Compassion has now closed all of its programmes in India. Please continue to lift up in prayer the work of the local church as they continue to minister to their communities
Compassion International are contacting their supporters in USA to encourage them to reach out to their USA congressperson to request they advocate for Compassion International at the U.S. Congress. The focus will be on supporting Compassionâ€™s work in serving children in extreme poverty and highlighting the closing of Compassionâ€™s programmes in India due to financial restrictions by the Indian government. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity to be a foundation for conversation about how Compassion can work Â in India in the future.
It is with heavy hearts that we announce Compassion will formally end all programme operations in India on March 15, 2017. This is a decision that impacts more than 147,000 children, their families, and more than 589 church partners.
Compassion began working in India in 1968. Over the years, more than 282,000 children, babies, mothers and young adults have completed the programme. In February 2016, the Indian government placed financial restrictions on Compassion which prevented Compassion funds from entering the country.
Because we care so deeply about the children in our programme, we have explored every possible opportunity to resolve the conflict. However, the Indian government has not lifted these restrictions. After much prayer and nearly a year of effort to remedy, office funds are nearly depleted. Compassion has therefore begun the process of closing our programme in India. We have also begun notifying our sponsors that our India programme operations will end on March 15.
Compassion is not the only ministry impacted. More than 20,000 non-profit organisations had their charitable registrations revoked, and 300 currently face similar restrictions. Despite the end of Compassionâ€™s work in India, we know that Godâ€™s work has not ended. We serve a faithful, almighty God who will continue to work in the lives of these children. The local church remains committed to the community. And the investment made by each sponsor in their childâ€™s life will not be forgotten.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for Compassion and for children in sensitive countries like India. We ask you to continue lifting up the many precious children, families, staff, pastors and sponsors who are affected by this difficult transition.
For additional information, please see our Frequently Asked Questions
Will you stand with us in prayer?
Today Compassion staff across the UK are fasting and praying to see an urgent resolution, allowing us to continue our work with vulnerable babies, children and young adults across India.
Stand with us in prayer for:
- Protection over all of the children living in poverty in India, including the remaining 130,000 children in our programme.
- Conversations to continue within the India government. That they will find favour in us and that their hearts will be moved for the children in our programme.
- Our South India and East India staff as they enter into this season of uncertainty.
At this point in time, the government restrictions are still in place. If the situation doesn't change, we'll be forced to close our projects in India in the next 60 days.
We have not given up hope. We continue to explore numerous solutions, and our hope and prayer is that the conflict will come to a full resolution.Â We are working with government officials, including members of the UK parliament, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in India, the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to try and resolve the situation and begin transferring funds into the country again.Â
Please continue to pray for this situation. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this sensitive issue. Â
- Please pray that children will not lose the sense of safety and protection they found through Compassionâ€™s local church partners.
- Please pray that the families we serve will feel stability during this time of uncertainty.
- Please pray for the local church partners in India who are struggling to serve children without the funding Compassion has historically provided.
- Please pray for our Compassion India staff as they make difficult decisions during this time.
- Pray that sponsors and donors will continue to advocate for children in extreme poverty through this time of uncertainty and frustration.
Sadly the situation with the disbursal of funds to our local partners in India has not changed. Weâ€™re so grateful for your continued prayers and we give thanks that we've been able to serve the children of India longer than expected under these financial limitations.Â
We're in the process of contacting our Indian sponsors about their sponsorship and hope to have more news in February.Â
Please continue to pray for the children, our local partners and all of our staff. Â
On December 6, Compassion International testified at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. Thank you for joining with us in prayer for the hearing.Â
HereÂ is a summary of the facts that came out of the committee hearing and wereÂ brought to the attention of Congress:
- We were fully supported and encouraged in our work by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
- We are not alone in facing this challenge. In the last two years, 11,319 other NGOs have lost their licenses. This decreases the number of foreign funded organisations in India to almost half the number it was just two years ago.
- We have and continue to comply with all requests from the Indian government.
We are so grateful for your prayers for our work in India. We have been encouraged and blessed by your messages of support and commitment to praying for vulnerable children.
Please continue to stand with us in prayer for a positive resolution to the situation. Working through international political channels, as we are currently, takes time. While we want to see positive changes soon, it will be some time before we know further outcomes from the hearing. We really appreciate your patience and ongoing prayers.
1 December - Our work in India
Since 1968, we have worked with local partners in India to provide our holistic child development programme for children living in poverty. Our 510 partners in East and South India support more than 130,000 babies, children and young adults.
Earlier this year, the Indian government placed restrictions on Compassion International and manyÂ other foreign NGOs which meant we were unable to send funds to our local partners in India. Many of our local partners have been able to continue programme activities but at a limited capacity. They have cut back on things like the number of days the projects operated and served snacks instead of full meals. Today, most of the projects have very little money left and will soon have to suspend activities completely.
Weâ€™ve been working closely with the Indian government and have complied with all their requests, including re-registration and government approval of all our local partners. However despite our best efforts, the situation has not improved.
We have ensured all affected sponsors have been informed regularly throughout this situation. We have not offered children from India for sponsorship since this issue arose.
Here in the UK, weâ€™re asking you to stand with us in prayer. Our staff across the UK and Ireland will be joining together for a special day of prayer and fasting on 6 December hoping to see breakthrough in this situation and weâ€™d love for you to join us. We believe this is the most valuable way you can help the children in India weâ€™re releasing from poverty.
Please join us and pray for:
- Our local partners delivering the Compassion programme in India. That, despite having very few funds left, they are able to continue to deliver support and care for the children in their communities for as long as possible.
- Those in senior positions in the Indian government. That they will deliver a favourable outcome for Compassion which allows our work in India to continue.
- On 6 December the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives will hear testimony from Compassion on behalf of the 130,000 children we serve in India. Please pray for Compassion staff as they prepare for this, and that the US government will respond positively to these submissions and will advocate strongly on behalf of the children in our programme.
- Above all, pray for the children living in poverty in India. That their needs are prioritised by everyone involved in these negotiations, and that we are allowed to continuing serving them.
The vulnerable children we work with in India continue to be our greatest concern and utmost priority at this time. We are deeply saddened at the situation and ask that you continue to stand with us in prayer for a swift resolution. It is our fervent prayer that we find a rapid solution to this situation that will allow usÂ to continue our work serving children in poverty in India.
We will update this page with more information and prayer points over the coming weeks. Our colleagues in the USA have created a blog post with more information on the background to the situation and their preparations for the 6 December testimony. At present we are not asking our UK supporters to contact their MPs about the situation, but we continue to raise this matter with various UK parliamentarians.