From mid-March 2020 on, Compassion child development centres all over the world temporarily shut their doors. While activities at the centres stopped, Compassion’s church partners have never been far from the children they serve. With the World Bank reporting that global poverty will rise for the first time since 1998 due to Covid-19, supporting vulnerable children is more important than ever. Through phone calls, text messages, and socially distanced visits, our partners continue to provide life-changing support at a time when children need it most.

“We remain at their side. Our workers continue to volunteer to distribute food and essentials to the children in their community,” said Reynesto Garcia, a Compassion centre director. “It is our call of duty.”

Between April to June 2020, these church partners have distributed millions of food parcels and hygiene kits, delivered hundreds of thousands of cash transfers and given medical assistance. Find out how your support is making a difference.


Food-packs-graphics-v2-(002).jpg

As parents lose their income due to the pandemic, food is an urgent need. The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that the Covid-19 pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger, pushing it to more than a quarter of a billion by the end of 2020.

“Covid-19 is potentially catastrophic for millions who are already hanging by a thread,” said WFP’s Chief Economist Arif Husain. “It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage.” In almost every country Compassion works in, church partners are delivering food packages filled with essentials to desperate families.

In the Peruvian jungle, 14-year-old Nicol and her cousins jumped for joy when they saw someone walking towards their house carrying a bag. “I think our sponsors are sending us groceries again,” Nicol cried. “We just ran out of the food we had.” Since her parents lost their jobs because of the pandemic, they have been unable to send money back to Nicol’s grandmother, who cares for the children. “It broke my heart to hear my grandkids cry because they were too hungry,” she said in a broken voice. “God never forgets us and I’m forever grateful to the project, the pastor and the sponsors. May the Lord guide you and bless you all. I have something to feed my grandkids now. Thank you for giving us our daily bread.”

Hygiene-kits-graphics-v2.jpg


With vulnerable families struggling to buy food, a face mask, hand sanitiser, or disinfectant become luxuries they cannot afford. In regions where water scarcity makes frequent handwashing difficult, hand sanitiser is even more important.

In Uganda, a small bottle of hand sanitiser can retail for almost $5—more than double what some struggling families earn in a single day. With numerous parents out of work due to the pandemic, one of the child development centres came up with an initiative that addressed both challenges. Fathers who had lost their jobs were trained to manufacture hand sanitiser, which was then distributed to vulnerable children and families.  Father of two, Joseph, said the training has given him hope during a difficult time. “Before Covid-19, there was poor hygiene, there was no sanitation, but when I learned the skill, I was able to make sanitiser and my family was able to wash their hands. This has improved the state and standard of sanitation in my family,” he says. Staff identified four of the fathers, including Joseph, to receive further support to kick-start their own sanitiser business. "I would like to thank the project for the support given to me during this time of Covid-19,” he says. “I thank God for that.”

Medical-Support-graphic-v2.jpg


There is no health insurance or safety net when you live in poverty. Medical emergencies plunge struggling children into life and death situations—that’s in ordinary times, without the added desperation of a global pandemic.

As medical crises continue, Compassion’s church partners continue to respond, bringing hope and relief to the hurting. In Togo, nine-year-old Wisdom was diagnosed with life-threatening malaria that left him screaming in pain and struggling to eat or speak. His parents had lost their jobs due to the pandemic and had no way to pay for the treatment their son needed. “Compassion saved us,” said Wisdom. “If Compassion was not there and if I was not enrolled in the programme, I would have died of this disease. Compassion gave me my life back because they did not want me to die.”


Cash-transfers-graphic-v2-(002).jpg

In places where it is challenging to deliver essential aid in-person to struggling families due to distance or government policies, Compassion’s church partners in the Dominican Republic, Ghana and Kenya adapted by transferring cash to them electronically.

When the Kenyan government banned the direct distribution of food, staff used a popular mobile money transfer system to send cash to those who needed it most. “Having families decide how to spend the money dignifies them,” says Joel, Compassion Kenya’s National Director. “It provides them with a choice ... it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.” Father-of-four Peter has been out of work since the hotel where he worked was closed due to the pandemic. “Before Covid-19, I’d say we were jostling to get by. But right now, we’re are the ones being jostled by this situation.” To his immense relief, his family was one of the thousands who received a mobile cash transfer. His seven-year-old son Livingstone’s grin, says it all.

 

Related posts

New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

New Zealand fails to fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking

Monday, 26 July 2021 — Morgan Theakston

On July 30, it is World Trafficking in Persons Day and we're shedding light on why the recent US TIP Report has downgraded New Zealand to Tier 2. When it comes to government efforts to prosecute and prevent human trafficking, New Zealand is falling behind the UK, US, Australia, France and many other countries.
 

Read more

Compassion director goes the extra mile to protect children

Compassion director goes the extra mile to protect children

Thursday, 01 July 2021 — Compassion International

Claudia is committed to looking after 300 children at the Compassion centre. She goes to great lengths to ensure the children are safe and being looked after, especially during Covid-19. But her work can be heartbreaking. She knows that if she and her team don’t intervene, no one else will.


 

Read more

How a brave 12-year-old girl escaped child marriage

How a brave 12-year-old girl escaped child marriage

Thursday, 24 June 2021 — Compassion International

When a woman from Yerosen’s village offered her a ride on her motorbike, she did not realise she was being abducted. When the news broke of her disappearance, her Compassion centre director immediately organised a search. He contacted the police, and three months later, managed to get in contact with Yerosen to bring her home safely.


 

Read more

Former Rohingya refugee was beaten, imprisoned and helpless but found hope

Former Rohingya refugee was beaten, imprisoned and helpless but found hope

Friday, 18 June 2021 — Grace Ellis

On World Refugee Day, a former Rohingya refugee who lived in a refugee camp for 16 years shares his story. In 1992, Hanif, his new wife, and their baby daughter fled Myanmar with nothing but the clothes on their backs and as much as they could carry. They both now live in Auckland with their five children.

 

Read more

A bombshell changed Thamina’s reality forever

A bombshell changed Thamina’s reality forever

Friday, 18 June 2021 — MERATH

Before the Syrian war, we were living on a farm in the western Homs province. We had a humble house, where we lived a safe and happy life. At the beginning of the war, our area was targeted by shells. That was when the scariest and worst day of my life happened.


 

Read more

The Big Quiz: Your general knowledge can change lives

The Big Quiz: Your general knowledge can change lives

Friday, 18 June 2021 — Keith Ramsay

Tearfund’s Big Quiz Night is a fun easy-to-run event that is being held in churches across Aotearoa on Saturday, August 21 as Kiwis pit their knowledge against other teams to raise funds for Tearfund’s four great causes: Modern Slavery, Disasters and Conflict, Child Development and Farming and Enterprise.


 

Read more

Three reasons you should watch The Justice Conference on demand

Three reasons you should watch The Justice Conference on demand

Thursday, 03 June 2021 — Dale Campbell

May 22 was the first time that all of the 11 countries hosting Justice Conferences joined together to present one global event. Here are three reasons why you should watch The Justice Conference on demand.


 

Read more

Show more