Barry Slauenwhite, the President and CEO of Compassion, sits in front of a white backdrop and smiles

A letter from our president

Dear ministry friends,

As I look back on this year, I am so thankful for how we get to join God in His amazing, redemptive work in the lives of children and in the Body of Christ around the world.

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Barry Slauenwhite, the President and CEO of Compassion, sits in front of a white backdrop and smiles
A letter from our board chair

Dear supporters,

The Board of Directors considers it an honour to gather three times every year to prayerfully and thoughtfully lead this ministry. Having witnessed firsthand the transformative power of the gospel at Compassion centres around the world, our board is highly invested and motivated in the mission to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.

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Our mission

Here is what we do, and why we do it.

Compassion connects you and the Church around the world to end poverty in the life of a child. We work with churches in 25 countries to help children get an education, stay healthy, learn how to build strong relationships and discover God’s love for them in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

At Compassion centres, children are ministered to in every aspect of their lives, receiving:

Age-appropriate Christian teaching and discipleship

Formal and non-formal educational opportunities

Health care, hygiene training and supplementary food

Personal attention, guidance and love

Why do we do what we do?

Two girls stand beside a tree holding Bibles and smiling. They wear blue school uniforms

We love the church

We want the Church to shine brightly as it displays the love of Christ for all to see. That’s why we partner solely with local churches around the world to help children escape poverty.

We love children

Everything we do is designed to meet the specific needs of individual children. We help them identify their passions and talents while gaining skills and resources to overcome poverty.

A boy, wearing a red shirt with a white collar, stands infront of a bright, blue wooden wall and smiles
A crowd of children run out of a blue, steel clad church. They are laughing and smiling

We love Jesus

We want all people to experience the love of Jesus firsthand and to have the chance to be freed from poverty in every sense: having their practical needs met and hearing the good news about Jesus!


Board of Directors and Leadership

Here are the leaders God uses to steward our ministry.

Board of Directors


Rev. Ian Lawson
Lethbridge, Alberta
Adjunct Faculty Member of Briercrest College and Seminary


Mark Fletcher
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Vice President of Construction, Teng Inc.

Jennifer Adkins
Langley, British Columbia
Race and Ethnic Relations Specialist
PhD Student, University of British Columbia

David Burton
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Public Service Executive, Government of Canada (Canadian Heritage)

Dr. Marie Geschwandtner
Ottawa, Ontario
Chiropractor, Hunt Club Chiropractic Clinic

Len Hummel
Scarborough, Ontario
Credit Administrator, Bank of Nova Scotia

Dr. Andrew Johnson
Calgary, Alberta
Clinical Professor, University of Calgary

Clark Kassian
Calgary, Alberta
Lawyer, Dentons Canada LLP

Shannon Williams
Duncan, British Columbia
Homeschool Support Teacher, Heritage Christian Online School

Board Meetings

Board Meetings

October 26 – 27, 2017
February 1 – 2, 2018
May 31 – June 1, 2018

Nominating and Governance Meetings

October 23, 2017
January 18, 2018
May 22, 2018

Finance and Audit Committee Meetings

September 6, 2017
May 17, 2018

Executive Leadership

Barry Slauenwhite
President and CEO

Allison Alley
President Elect

Tim DeWeerd
Executive Director of Business Services and CFO

Deb Wilkins
Executive Director of Engagement

Misty Ropp
Executive Director of Human Resources

Ministry highlights this year

Here are the stories you have helped shape.

Fataw stands in the street. He wears his blue police uniform and hat.

Police Officer Fataw

Twenty-year-old Fataw is from Burkina Faso, where formal employment is hard to come by. But this smart, hard-working Compassion graduate is now a police officer. “I received good education and Bible teachings at the centre that led to my success,” says Fataw. “I learned at the centre to always trust in God and pray prior to any undertaking in my life.” One of the first graduates of this centre, Fataw is an inspiration to all the younger children that success is possible!

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Carmen, the Peruvian national junior champion for rythmic gymnastics, stands, wearing her team uniform, with a large stack of metals hanging around her neck.

National Champion Carmen

Fifteen-year-old Carmen became the Peruvian National Junior Champion for Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2017. When she first joined Compassion’s program, Carmen was malnourished but had obvious skills in gymnastics. She won a scholarship to train with a coach, but thought she might have to drop out to help her family earn money. Compassion stepped in to provide transportation and meals so she could continue to train. “I am thankful to the Compassion centre because they have cared about my physical and spiritual health,” says Carmen. “They provide me with balanced meals and cover my medical needs too. They are always reminding me that with God I can go on. It is here where I receive the spiritual training I need before going to my physical training.”

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A group fo youth from the Philippines stand around a welder and watch him work in a workshop.

Welder Joseph

At the Aklan Baptist Student Centre in the Philippines, students are getting opportunities to study vocations such as welding, automotive repair, baking and computer technology. “The training is perfect for me, because studying in college is not my thing,” says 19-year-old Joseph, who has proven to be a welding and electrical rock star. He is working toward his national certification in both trades and is already earning some income to help his family. As our Leadership Development Program continues to wind down, with just 19 Leadership Development Program students sponsored by Canadians remaining, Compassion continues to increase educational and vocational opportunities to students through our generous donors.

Positive Youth Development

This past year, Compassion began a ground-breaking, multi-year study that calls on leading youth development experts to explore how we can build a stronger program for youth. It’s called Positive Youth Development, and it’s based on focusing on youths’ strengths rather than their weaknesses. This unprecedented global study brings together researchers from Boston College, Fuller Theological Seminary, Tufts University and Compassion to discover what young people living in poverty need to thrive.

A teenage boy, wearing a red, collared shirt, looks at the camera and smiles. The background is out of focus.
Pantree, a baby girl from Thailand, sits in her mother's arms and smiles. She wears a blue, button up shirt and a blue dress. Her mother is standing in a dirt yard that is surrounded by jungle.

Healthy baby Patnaree

One-year-old Patnaree from Thailand is one of the little ones receiving vital care through our Survival initiatives. Patnaree was born with an abnormality in her stomach that required surgery. But she was denied service at local clinics because of her background—she is the daughter of ethnic minorities who fled violence in a neighbouring country. Through our generous donors, Patnaree received the surgery she needed.

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Top 100 Charity

This year, Compassion Canada was named one of the Top 100 Charities in Canada by MoneySense, receiving an overall grade of A-. Praise God for this blessing!

Barry Slauenwhite, the President and CEO of Compassion, stands in front of a large world map, and holds a 'Top 100 Nonprofit Organizations in Canada' plack
An old, black and white photo, shows a group of Korean children from Compassion's early days of ministry.

Celebrating 63 years of giving

Jean Toole of Halifax, NS, has been sponsoring with Compassion for 63 years! This 88-year-old began sponsoring with her parents in the early days when Everett Swanson first started the ministry in the 1950s in the aftermath of the Korean War, and she continues faithfully to this day. This generous woman knows about perseverance and says, “If you are consistent with giving, there is no immediate impact, but the impact is still there. If children are cared for, they grow up to be adults who will act in the same fashion.” We are so thankful for the tens of thousands of dedicated sponsors like Jean who make sacrifices each month so that children in poverty can thrive.

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Halo Headwear

We’re so grateful for the Canadian businesses who choose to weave generosity and compassion into their model. One of those business is Halo Headwear of Lethbridge, Alberta. They give back to their local community by employing local moms in need of flexible work, and they donate a portion of all their sales of headbands and hats to help moms living in poverty access pre- and post-natal care. “When we decided to start a business that was inspired by moms and babies we thought, why not support moms and babies through Compassion,” says founder Merena Johnson. “Being around the community and seeing people wearing their headbands and hats, I smile and think, you’ve helped a mother; you’ve helped a child.”

A teenage boy, wearing a red, collared shirt, looks at the camera and smiles. The background is out of focus.
Allison Alley, Compassion's president elect, sits in front of a white backdrop and smiles

Meet our President Elect

This year, our Board of Directors announced the appointment of our next President and CEO, Allison Alley. She will transition into the role once Barry Slauenwhite retires in October 2019, after 35 years of service to Compassion. Allison is a passionate advocate for children and lover of Jesus, and we’re so excited for this next season.

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An icon showing a dollar sign and a stack of coins

Awesome advocates

In Canada this year, volunteers came up with so many ways to raise funds for children in poverty, including carnivals, pie auctions, chili luncheons, burpee contests, raking leaves and recycling.

Get involved
An icon that looks like a book with a play button in front of it.

Eyes to See

Compassion Canada released a new book and film series, Eyes to See, which guides individuals and small groups to explore how they can reflect God’s love to a world in need. We were honoured to receive the Word Guild award this year for Best Inspirational / Devotional book!

Learn more

Feature story

How love restored Franklin

Franklin is just one example of how sponsors and devoted tutors like Quisqueya are helping children around the globe to reach their full potential!

The first things you notice when you enter Compassion centre DR0140 are the sounds: the rhythm of a jump rope slapping the ground, the shouts and scuffles of a rowdy soccer game, a tutor animatedly teaching a class full of kids.

It’s where you’ll see Franklin a couple times a week—playing with his friends, listening to Bible stories or drawing a picture for his sponsor. In short, he looks like a typical happy, healthy seven-year-old.

Three years ago, he was anything but.

Franklin lives with his family in Neyba, a city in southwestern Dominican Republic. They’re not far from beautiful Lake Enriquillo, a hot spot for eco- and adventure tourism. Despite the draw of tourism, many communities in the area—both urban and rural—remain entrenched in the grind of poverty. According to the World Bank, the province of Bahuroco—of which Neyba is the capital—is one of the most impoverished regions in the country.

When Franklin was two days old, he was diagnosed with asthma and a heart murmur. His family lives in a small home beside a lottery ticket shop, where his father, Frank, works. But Frank’s income couldn’t support the medication or treatment his son needed to thrive. As Franklin grew older, his mother, Yeni, didn’t allow him to play with other children for fear the activity would cause his lungs or heart to fail.

When Franklin turned four, he was registered in his local Compassion program. He was malnourished and lacked physical strength. But what his tutor, Quisqueya, noticed most was his lack of social skills.

“When he got to the [centre]… Franklin didn’t share or talk to anybody,” she says. “He was so shy that when we called the children for lunch time, he used to crouch in a corner. I had to go and give food to him where he was because he did not eat with the others at the table.”

Quisqueya was determined to help Franklin become healthy in every aspect, so she had the centre’s psychologist evaluate Franklin.

Franklin stands infront a of a bright, green building and smiles.

“After the psychologist evaluated him, she told me something that changed my perspective,” says Quisqueya. “She said, ‘What that boy needs is someone to speak softly and with tenderness to him, someone who pays attention and cares and plays with him. What Franklin needs is someone who gives him love.’”

Taking the message to heart, Quisqueya found unique ways to communicate with Franklin, to create opportunities for him to interact and slowly build his trust. Gradually, Franklin began to open up. One day he felt comfortable enough to join her at the table. And then he chose to sit with the other children. Slowly, he began to talk, to interact, to join games voluntarily.

As Franklin’s emotional health began to flourish, his physical health followed suit. He gained weight. Playing helped him grow stronger. With medical visits covered by the program, Franklin received the medication he needed to treat his asthma and was sick less often. Plans are also in motion for Franklin to have surgery to address his heart issues.

Now, just three years later, Franklin is nearly unrecognizable. He is playful, loves joining his friends for snack time (especially if it’s rice pudding) and is doing well in school. He says he wants to be a teacher—and Quisqueya is determined to help him reach that dream.

By Yrahisa Mateo Solano and Aveleen Schinkel; photos and reporting by Yrahisa Mateo Solano

Ministry details

Here is what our ministry looks like

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beneficiaries globally

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church partners

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children sponsored by Canadians

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sponsor letters written

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babies and caregivers in Survival Programs

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churches offer our Survival Program

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students in vocational or technical training

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students in university

Historical sponsorship growth

Historical sponsor

Where we work

Franklin stands infront a of a bright, green building and smiles.
  • Haiti
  • Dominican
  • Republic
  • El Salvador

  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Mexico
  • Ecuador
  • Bolivia
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Brazil
  • Kenya
  • Ethiopia
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Rwanda
  • Burkina Faso
  • Ghana
  • Togo
  • Indonesia
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Bangladesh
  • Sri Lanka

Financial details

Here’s how your donations were used.

Ministry Activity funds

88.5% Sponsorship*
11.5% Non-sponsorship

*88.5% of our Ministry Activity funds go to sponsorship, 11.5% go to non-sponsorship activities.

Non-sponsorship funds

23% Education
22% Stability
20% Survival
18% Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
13% Health
3% to Children’s Ministry Launch
1% to Disaster Relief

*These activities are funded by donors to our Complementary Interventions. Percentages are rounded.

Cost of fundraising donut chart

The cost of fundraising

Of every dollar we spend, just 9.7¢ is used for fundraising efforts.*

This pays for all of our fundraising staff, print and radio advertising, printing and distribution costs for our mailings, fundraising events and online activities. Compassion does not, directly or indirectly, pay finder’s fees, commissions or percentage compensation based on contributions.

*Excluding any gift where 100 per cent of the funds are designated to program use (such as child, family and centre gifts).

How we steward your resources

As certified members of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities, Compassion Canada is committed to handling the finances entrusted to us with the utmost integrity. This year, 84.7 per cent of funds were used for program activities benefiting the children we serve, and 15.3 per cent for support services.

Ministry activities
77.7% International program
7.0% Supporter services and advocacy
Support services
9.7% Fundraising
5.6% General and administration

Our generous Canadian supporters

In our last fiscal year, Compassion’s support came from 89,437 individuals, families and organizations. Their generosity allowed us to continue our mission of releasing children from poverty, seeing them develop healthy minds, bodies, relationships and a lasting faith in Jesus Christ.

Individuals and families make up 97.3 per cent of our total supporters. The other 2.7 per cent comes from businesses, churches, schools, foundations, service/community organizations and other groups.

Supporter breakdown
87,066 Individuals and families
1,091 Businesses
925 Churches
92 Schools
47 Foundations
216 Other

Annual revenue and expenditures




Child Development


Complementary Interventions


Child Survival


Leadership Development


Investment Income


Other Revenue **


Total Revenues





Ministry activities

Child Development


Complementary Interventions


Child Survival


Leadership Development


Total Ministry Activities


Support services





Total Support Services


Total Expenditures


Funds for Future Ministries


Financials by Percentage



Ministry Activities