Tearfund’s partner, Compassion, provides sponsorship programmes for vulnerable children in 25 countries. All of these countries have had very different experiences of managing life in a pandemic.

It’s in this storm that our Christ-centered, child-focused model has been a safe anchor. Our programmes are facilitated by local church partners. These Christ-centred staff are dedicated to the community they know and love. They are their neighbours. It is this local connection that has been so crucial in enabling them to meet the needs of sponsored children and their families—right where they are.

This unprecedented challenge required quick action, adaptability, and feet on the ground. Each country has had unique challenges to face, and we wanted to tell you about how two of them were the hands and feet of Jesus in the most amazing ways.


Adapting quickly in Thailand 


body1-(1).jpgCompassion staff provided new hygiene measures and supplied to sponsored children in Thailand when the pandemic started. 

When schools closed across Thailand at the start of the pandemic, local staff were concerned about how the sponsored children would continue their studies from home without access to the internet.

Adapting quickly, they organised the children into bubbles who met at nearby homes under the guidance of a teacher and a sponsorship team member. This way, kids could stay on track to meet their educational goals in a safe environment. When schools were ready to reopen, staff prepared students on the new hygiene measures and provided each child with hygiene supplies they could use at home.

Without support during this critical time, children would have missed out on months of education and care from their local centres.


Meeting specific needs in Burkina Faso


body3-(1).jpgBeatrice and her son Ziniare in Burkina Faso. 

Our local staff in Burkina Faso have been meeting the needs of children and their families by providing specific help where most needed.

Staff members continue to make phone calls and home visits to children and caregivers. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 548,000 food packs and 453,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Beatrice is one of the brave Mums that sponsorship staff have come alongside. She was blessed through the Tearfund Compassion centre in Ziniare where her 11-year-old son is registered. Beatrice was pregnant with her fourth child when the first cases of the pandemic were reported in her country and the economic effect on her family was severe.


body3b-(1).jpgCompassion staff distributing food packs and hygiene kits to sponsored children and their families. 


“Before coronavirus, I could earn a wage through weaving and selling local fabric. When the pandemic hit the country, I lost 80% of my income. My husband couldn’t do his construction work and we had to adjust our expenses so the kids can be served at least one meal per day,” she says.

Lifesaving support came from the local staff at the child development centre, who saw her need, and provided ongoing support. "I was amazed that the centre continued to give us rice, oil, soap and cash to keep us going” she says.

We have been so grateful for the hard work of our local partners this past year. Equally, we have been blown away by the remarkable Kiwi sponsors who have stayed the course, and continued to support their sponsored children during this tumultuous year.

We were inspired to hear from Kiwi sponsor, Jennifer, about how the ripple effects of Covid-19 motivated her to action. Jennifer has been a sponsor for more than 20 years. She has even had the wonderful experience of meeting her child and seeing the work first-hand.

When the pandemic worsened around the world, she felt moved to sponsor another child. 

body4-(2).jpg
Kiwi sponsor Jennifer and her two sponsored children. 

“The vulnerable and the poor are the people suffering the most from this pandemic. Compared to others, New Zealand is so well off and a small sacrifice for us could change someone’s world. 

“I’m employed by a school, so I have a reliable income. Knowing that I was in a position to give more, I knew I had to step up.”

Our sponsorship programme is powered by amazing staff all over the world who keep Jesus at the centre of all they do. Without them, and without sponsors like Jennifer who are moved to act in such amazing ways, this work would be impossible.

We have many children from Burkina Faso and Thailand who have lost a sponsor or who are still waiting for a sponsor. You can have a look at their profiles on our websiteor give us a call on 0800 800 777. We’d be so happy to help you find a match.  

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