It’s National Volunteer Week! We’re celebrating our volunteers across Canada whose commitment and adaptability over the past year have inspired us as they’ve continued to make an impact even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, we also want to highlight the multitude of volunteers who serve on the frontlines of Compassion’s programs around the world. We want to celebrate their impact, particularly as they’ve made massive adjustments in the past year to meet the desperate needs of the children and families we serve.

Here are just a few snapshots of Compassion volunteers around the world.

____

In Brazil, volunteers deliver essentials to families in need.

Pastor Linaldo is wearing a black shirt, white face mask and a white hat. He is helping centre volunteers make hygiene kits that they will deliver to beneficiary children. They are in a room at the centre and are standing around a large table full of supplies.

“Even on the worst days, I’m so grateful because I have my wife and the volunteers fighting with me.”

Linaldo, pastor

____

Asunción is a professor who volunteers at his church’s Compassion centre in the Dominican Republic.

Asunción, a man in a green shirt stands next to the street. There are cars, tropical trees and a church in the background.

“I like to give by the grace I have received. My desire is that all these children become men and women who benefit their country and the world.”

Asunción, professor

____

In Burkina Faso, volunteers gather weekly to pray for the children they serve and the global Compassion family.

Two volunteers are praying at a weekly prayer meeting at the Compassion centre. The focus is on a woman wearing a gray shirt, yellow head scarf and jeans.

“At the Compassion centre, there is a prayer team that meets on Saturday morning when children used to gather for centre activities. This team of project staff, volunteers and cooks spend four hours in the church to lift countries, children, sponsors and Compassion staff before the throne of God, praying for healing, safety, peace and restoration.”

Cirile, Compassion centre director

____

Before the pandemic, volunteers cooked meals for sponsored children on days they gathered at the Compassion centre.

A woman in a white smock, apron and blue hair net leans against a blue door in a doorway.

A volunteer cook at a Compassion centre in Peru.

Many of Compassion’s volunteer cooks are parents or caregivers of Compassion kids who want to give back to the program that has given their children and families so much.

____

In Ethiopia, Compassion-sponsored youth volunteer to help local farmers save their crops from locust invasion.

A group of women harvesting crops. They are all wearing face masks.

“The work that could’ve taken me weeks was finished within hours. They were a godsend. Now I can calmly focus on threshing and storing the crops. They not only saved my family from hunger, they also prevented a possible bankruptcy since I wouldn’t have had anything to pay the land rent if I didn’t have any crop to sell.”

Behailu, local farmer

____

In Nicaragua, Survival moms volunteer to sew face masks for their neighbours who can’t afford them.

Eveling Sánchez (left) is wearing a black shirt and a purple skirt. Leticia Mayorga (right) is wearing a white shirt and black pants. They are sitting at sewing machines and are making masks.

“It makes me happy to see that with the work I do, other families can protect themselves and their children.”

Eveling, Survival program beneficiary

____

Volunteers are some of the many heroes of Compassion’s ministry. With passion and dedication, they serve in ways that make immense impact for children and families living in poverty.

In the past year, even as they have been impacted by the pandemic, Compassion volunteers around the world have adapted to meet the unprecedented needs of their neighbours with humility and resilience.

They’re finding ways to do good, even and especially right now.

Will you join their effort?

How can you do good now?

 

Photos and field reporting by Sara Navarro (Brazil), Nora Diaz (Dominican Republic), Jehojakim Sangare (Burkina Faso), Ryan Johnson (Peru), Tigist Gizachew (Ethiopia) and Junieth Dinarte (Nicaragua).

Written by: Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa works in the role of Content and Communications Specialist at Compassion Canada, telling stories that inspire and equip the Church to live compassionate lifestyles. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, where she studied International Development.