At Compassion, our goal is to help children develop in every area of their life—and that means starting before birth. That’s why our church partners work alongside parents and caregivers through the Child Survival Program, tailoring the program to meet specific needs in their community. Here are just a few activities happening in Child Survival Programs around the globe.
This mom in Barkundba, Burkina Faso, totes a food package with flour, grains and cookies, a gift from the program on her daughter’s first birthday. Depending on the local context, many Child Survival Programs give moms supplementary food kits once a month.
Many moms in Maranhão, Brazil, believed breast milk wasn’t sufficient for a baby’s diet and fed their babies a mixture of cassava, water and cow’s milk instead. But with education and constant encouragement from program staff, many moms are now going against the cultural norm and are breastfeeding their babies—and seeing their little ones grow stronger every day. Encouraging breastfeeding is one of the tenets of the Child Survival Program.
Helping babies survive also means addressing the health of their mothers. At this centre in Ecuador, moms take part in an aerobics program to strengthen their own bodies so they can better care for their children.
The Child Survival Program also educates moms on things like basic health care and hygiene practices. These moms in Indonesia are encouraged to be role models and demonstrate good hygiene habits at home.
Program staff make regular home visits to check on babies’ health, to help moms put what they’re learning into practice and to encourage moms through Bible reading and prayer. Here, staff Ann and Irma visit a mom and baby in Quezon City, Philippines.
The Child Survival Program also gives moms and children the chance to learn about Jesus. At this centre in Indonesia, moms and their little ones participate in devotion time together.
Mothers get the opportunity to learn new job skills that are in demand in their community—skills like baking, decorating, hairdressing or small animal breeding. At Afni’s centre in Indonesia, moms learned to design and sew clothing. Afni now runs her own business and brings home from CAD$30 to $250 a month! “If I had not been part of the program, I would have never known that I had a talent for sewing,” says Afni.
Birthdays are major milestones and the celebrations are a big deal! At this centre in Kenya, children and moms enjoy cake and gifts. Many children in poverty don’t celebrate their birthdays, but this helps build children’s self-esteem and helps moms bond with their children.
At this birthday event in Colombia, one staff member even dressed up as a clown!
And of course, there’s always plenty of time to play and snuggle together!
Learn more about the Child Survival Program here.