Compassion International’s network of more than 8,000 church partners has distributed over 6.4 million food packs to families during the COVID-19 pandemic so far.
The packs, which include items like rice, beans, flour, oil and other necessities, are being distributed to families in the 25 countries where Compassion delivers its holistic child development program.
As caregivers lose their income to the pandemic, food is an urgent need. The World Food Program reported that the COVID-19 pandemic could almost double the number of people suffering acute hunger, pushing it to more than a quarter of a billion by the end of the calendar year. And the United Nations’ Lancet medical journal shared that virus-linked hunger is tied to 10,000 child deaths each month.
Compassion’s program ordinarily calls for children to meet at one of its church partners regularly for a holistic child development curriculum aimed at releasing children from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. But stay-at-home restrictions in each country have forced the organization to adapt its program and meet families’ needs in unique ways.
Through phone calls, texts and socially distanced visits, church partners continue to provide life-changing support at a time when children need it most. Reynesto Garcia, a child development centre director in the Philippines, says, “We remain at their side. Our workers continue to volunteer to distribute food and essentials to the children in their community. It is our call of duty.”
In addition to essential food items, the ministry’s church partners have delivered nearly 4.2 million health kits, including soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, washcloths and other hygiene items and offered medical support, such as health screenings and payment to healthcare providers for diagnosis and treatment, for more than 325,000 sponsored children.
And in countries where food pack and health kit distribution isn’t possible, Compassion church partners have facilitated over 215,000 unconditional cash transfers to families in need, giving them the freedom to purchase supplies and cover basic expenses.
Compassion’s first-ever global fundraising campaign, launched across its 15 partner offices, raised more than $13 million for the ministry’s disaster relief fund in its first few months, which enabled church partners to meet these critical needs.
Sidney Muisyo, senior vice president of Compassion’s global program, shared, “We believe God is inspiring his church to rise up. To be the light-bearers in this dark time. To offer physical, emotional and spiritual support to children in need.” And as the pandemic marks its six-month anniversary, he concludes, “Indeed, the need for Compassion’s ministry will only increase dramatically as the full impact of COVID-19 becomes clear.”