Do you ever wonder what sponsored children will become when they grow up? Or reflect on your own childhood dreams?
At Compassion, we believe in dreaming big. We refuse to let poverty steal hope: our hope for the children in our programs, our hope for tomorrow and our hope to end extreme poverty in the lives of children.
We know child sponsorship works and we’re so inspired by these graduates of the Compassion program who are tangible proof that the cycle of poverty can be broken.
Alemayehu – an agriculturalist and leader, Ethiopia
“When I joined the Compassion program, I excelled in my education. The environment I grew up in didn’t allow me to dream big. I lived in an area where there was no one to look up to academically. Apart from the centre staff who used to tell me that I can be someone, I rarely heard an encouraging word from anyone. I give thanks that I was given the education I needed to join Hawassa University to study horticulture. I prayed every step of the way and the Lord granted me my heart’s desires. I now work as a packaging manager on an Israeli farm that specializes in producing and exporting chives. I lead over 100 employees and make sure we deliver quality work.”
Tizita – a business-savvy sewing entrepreneur, Ethiopia
“I always wanted to learn embroidery so when the chance came at our [Compassion] centre, I asked the director to enrol me to the class. Years later, the skills training I attended when I was a child came to use. My old director helped me acquire my business permit and open my shop. My hard work paid off and I was able to attract many clients within a short period of time. I reached the point where I couldn’t keep up with the work alone so I trained three others to help me. The [Compassion] program really helped me become a person with godly values, a person who interacts well with others and person who believes in hard work.”
Edwin – the awesome elephant keeper at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Kenya
“When I was a little boy, I was in the Compassion program. Compassion helped take care of my physical well-being when I was young and they also helped take care of my feelings and emotions. And now, that’s one of my most important jobs with the baby elephants. Just like Compassion helped prepare me for adulthood by caring well for every part of my life, I now get to do the same thing for the elephants. God’s plan for my life was more adventurous than I ever could have imagined!”
Kevin – the fishmonger providing for his family, Philippines
“I learned how to work hard and be grateful to my parents from my centre. I now take care of my parents and siblings, and work hard for them. My family inspires me, as well as my sponsor and church leaders. If it wasn’t for my sponsor I think I would be hanging out and taking drugs like many of my neighbours.”
Maria – the nurse who was allowed to dream, Guatemala
“My tutors at Compassion’s centre taught me to dream and fight to reach my goals. I would not be a nurse today if it were not for Compassion. I love to be a part of the team that provides health for the people of the dumps. That’s where I grew up and I thought it was my future, but Compassion rescued me from the dirt.”
Bjorn – a mission worker with vision, Philippines
“With the help of Compassion, my sponsor and the church, I now have this desire to help people in need. I want to help people who are in the same situation as I was before. This is my motivation. I have a God-given passion for the lost.”
May – the physiotherapist helping the most vulnerable, Thailand
“I work at the Rochinakarine Institute of Child Development. I’m a physiotherapist helping both younger and older patients who have mobility difficulties. When I was younger, having a sponsor enabled me to know another world. It gave me access to another world of education. I was able to learn much more than before.”
Octa – the missionary off the beaten track, Indonesia
In a remote village in Kupang, Indonesia, Compassion graduate Octa is living out his dream to be a missionary. “I have to look after a generation of this village. The youth need a role model, or someone who they can turn to, so I open my self to them. Many of the youth don’t have dreams in life, they just live by day.”
April – the social worker inspired by her sponsor, Philippines
“My mother and my sponsor were perfect examples of people who despite lacking many things in life were still ready to give to other people. My sponsor was a park worker who cut the grass—he taught me so much. I am inspired to help others because I know what it is to be poor, and I know how it is to be helped. It feels good knowing that there are people who care for you, and I want people to experience that from me. As the social worker, I am in charge of all the legal matters and documentations. Every day I try to be an ambassador of God’s love to children.”
Maydi, the business engineer free from poverty, Honduras
“I come from a poor village, with a fractured educational system and with scarce job opportunities. That’s why as a little girl I had no hope, no dreams and my future was uncertain. When I was nine years old, I was registered in the Compassion centre. There, I was introduced to a whole new world of opportunities. As a teenager, I dreamed big and wanted nothing more than to become a business engineer. Regardless of my environment, I refused to have a mind-set of poverty.
But my parents did not have the financial resources to afford my university career. However, I never lost hope. God opened a door for me through Compassion and I became a business engineer in 2015.
Somehow, I broke the cycle of poverty because of Jesus.”
The Compassion program gives children born into the vulnerability of poverty education, stability and hope. It empowers children to realize their dreams and bring change to their families and communities.
Words by Becca Stanley, Roz Walsh; a version of this article was originally published by Compassion UK.