August 9 is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. This year’s theme is “Indigenous Languages”. (United Nations)
The stories of the world’s indigenous tribes are diverse and varied. Many of Compassion’s local church partners around the world have the privilege of working with children and families from indigenous groups. They are able to partner with indigenous tribes to preserve culture and language, protect land from environmental degradation and help children and families gain access to education and healthcare.
In Ecuador, a local church is partnering with Compassion to serve the Chachi people in the community of Capulí.
The Compassion centre staff at this local church are supporting local efforts to preserve the Chachi peoples’ native language, Chapalá. They ensure to conduct most of the programming at the Compassion centre in Chapalá—a challenging task, given that most resources are only published in Spanish. But the staff and volunteers are committed to supporting the large number of Chachi children that they serve in ways that help the children preserve and deepen their culture.
The church is also working with the community to protect the local river, the Onzole, from pollution. In the past, much of the community’s garbage would end up in the river, but as part of the Compassion program, the children are learning how to properly dispose of trash and recycle plastics. Together, they are working on implementing a more robust recycling system in Capulí.
Compassion’s work is about partnership.
In every community and context, Compassion’s mission of releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name will look different. That’s why we are so thankful for local church partners who do the hard work of listening to, learning from and partnering with local community members to help children flourish in every aspect of life!
Want to learn more about local churches’ partnership with indigenous tribes?
Photos and field reporting by Nico Benalcazar