When choosing a child to sponsor, you might notice that their child profile tells you about their school situation and what kinds of activities they enjoy at their Compassion child development centre.

We know what you’re thinking.

Why are they already in school and attending the Compassion centre if they aren’t sponsored yet?

That’s a great question—and here’s your answer: Compassion provides the full benefits of our child development program for unsponsored children while they wait to be sponsored.

There are two reasons why a child might not have a sponsor yet.

The first is that they are newly registered. Once their parents register them at the Compassion centre at a local church in their neighbourhood, the search for a sponsor begins in one of our 15 global partner countries. In the meantime, Compassion stands in the gap to ensure there is no delay in meeting the pressing needs of these children.

The second reason a child might be unsponsored for a season is because their previous sponsor needed to make the difficult decision to stop sponsoring. In this case, the child or teen remains registered in the Compassion program, and a search for a new sponsor immediately begins. As this happens, Compassion stands in this gap to ensure the child’s development isn’t interrupted!

Meet Jandell.

A portrait of Jandell. He is standing, resting his chin in his hand and grinning. He is wearing a blue t-shirt.

He is a fun-loving, chatty four-year-old who lives in the Philippines. He is a newly registered child at the Compassion centre near his home and is eagerly waiting to be sponsored.

Jandell’s father, Nelson, is a motorbike-taxi driver and makes an average of CA$5 per day to support the family of five. Jandell’s mother, Rowena, sells second-hand shoes to supplement the family’s income. In one month, she makes an average of CA$4.

Of course, with such an income, it is a struggle to feed the family. “Sometimes only the kids eat,” Rowena says. “We are deep in debt and don’t know if we can ever pay it back.”

Jandell and his parents sit on the floor of their home. Jandell looks at the camera while his parents sit behind him looking at him.

Jandell and his parents, Nelson and Rowena.

As is the case with Jandell’s family, the needs of children who are eligible for Compassion’s programs are immense. So, it is important that they begin receiving the full benefits of the Compassion program as soon as possible.

That’s why Jandell—like all unsponsored children in Compassion’s program around the world—is already receiving all the benefits of being registered in Compassion’s program, as he waits for a sponsor.

Meet Maricris

Maricris sits on a wooden bench, looking to the side. She wears a white tshirt and red shorts, and she is holding a Bible. Her long black hair is tied in a ponytail.

She is 20 years old and is registered at the same Compassion centre as Jandell in the Philippines. She is less than one year away from graduating and completing the Compassion program.

Maricris is in her final year of college, studying Information Technology. She faithfully attends weekly classes at the Compassion centre and serves as a leader for younger children at her local church. “One of the most important things I have received from the Compassion program is my faith in the Lord,” Maricris says.

Maricris stands behind her mother with her arms around her. Maricris is wearing a white t-shirt and smiling, her mother is wearing a light purple t-shirt and has a neutral look on her face.

Maricris and her mother.

Recently, after several years of steady support, Maricris’ sponsor needed to end the sponsorship commitment, leaving her unsponsored. The search for a new sponsor immediately began.

But with all the progress that youth like Maricris make throughout their time in the program, it’s important that momentum isn’t interrupted! That’s why Maricris and others like her continue to receive the full benefits of the Compassion program, despite being unsponsored.

“I am grateful that I was sponsored for several years. I cherish all the letters, pictures and gifts, and I am blessed to still be part of the Compassion program,” Maricris says.

How is this made possible?

We’re able to support unsponsored children through donations that our generous supporters make above and beyond regular sponsorship. Whether it’s a one-time donation or an extra $10 per month on an automatic sponsorship withdrawal, these donations cover things like urgent medical care, disaster relief, clean water initiatives—and support for unsponsored children!

For Jandell’s mother Rowena, this support means the world. “I can’t be more grateful. Having my son registered at the Compassion centre may be the most important thing that’s happened for our family.”

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Donating to Compassion Canada’s Urgent Needs fund is a great way to start or deepen your financial support for Compassion!

Of course, another way to support unsponsored children is to sponsor one of them! Ending a child’s wait for a sponsor enables us to reach even more children living in poverty around the world.

Sponsor a Child

Photography and field reporting by Edwin Estioko

Written by: Alyssa Esparaz

Alyssa brings her passion for youth, justice and Jesus to her role of Writer and Communicator at Compassion Canada, as she works to inspire and equip the Church to live compassionate lifestyles. Her favourite things in the world include her family, basketball, ice cream and riding on airplanes.