Global NGO updates
Reports on meetings with Compassion International at their global leadership forum, Colorado - February, 2009
Visit to Compassion International (7-12 February, 2009)
Compassion’s global profile: Compassion serves almost 1 million children in Asia, Africa, Middle America and South America. Compassion partners with more that 60 different church denominations in support of almost 5,000 individual projects. As a distinctly Christian organization, Compassion connects caring sponsors, who are willing to provide assistance on a one-to-one basis, with children in poverty.
Pictured: Map of locations: Compassion’s world.
Compassion: Releasing children from poverty
Compassion demonstrates God’s love in action by working in partnership with the local church in developing countries to release children from spiritual, economic, social, physical and emotional poverty.
Pictured: A text above the main entrance: ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves … Defend the rights of the poor and needy’ Proverbs 31: 8-9.
Compassion: Child Sponsorship
Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program focuses on a child’s life from school age until program completion. It aims to prepare each sponsored child with the skills and knowledge required to assume adulthood, including:
- Educational opportunities
- Health care
- Christian teaching
- Vocational training
- Supplementary nutrition, if needed.
The knowledge and skills gained through the Child Sponsorship Program contribute to the quality of life children experience throughout their whole lives.
Pictured below: (Left) Compassion International is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. (Middle) Compassion International main entrance, (right) Staff and visitors prayer meeting.
Compassion and GULL: Serving the poorest
GULL is seeking to support Compassion’s Child Sponsor Program. GULL can help to facilitate the learning journey into early adulthood and beyond at a tiny fraction of the cost associated with academic learning alternatives.
Wolfgang Riedner (left), Church Partnership Development Director, Compassion International, with (right) Richard Teare, GULL President.
We envision a Compassion-GULL professional Bachelor degree pathway providing the stepping stone for 99 percent of the poorest children, offering them a credible alternative, a practical option for the majority and a prospect for hope and further achievement for children and sponsors alike.
Our foundation step is to provide a development pathway to professional Bachelor degree for implementing church partner (ICP) tutors.
Compassion has almost 5,000 ICPs around the world and our starting point will be in Africa, where few of the tutors (an unpaid, voluntary role) have any qualifications. The purpose is to encourage them and reward the efforts of tutors as they work to professionalize the tutor’s role in support of Compassion’s Child Sponsor Program.
(Right) Bronze figures depicting Jesus with children, Compassion International, Colorado Springs
We also believe that this will help to address the high turnover rate among volunteer tutors. We aim to do this by:
- Providing a self-development pathway for tutors that builds self-confidence, professionalism and greater effectiveness via team-based project work.
- Linking participation (and any ongoing development to professional Master level) to a service agreement so as to stabilize tutor turnover and enable newly certified tutors to cascade the GULL system to past and present members of the child development centre in their community.
Shared insights and learning
Compassion International is one of several non-governmental organizations who are planning to use the GULL system in support of their work. Others include World Vision and Tearfund.
Pictured: Micael Olsson (left), Senior Education Advisor, World Vision International and Wolfgang Riedner (right), Church Partnership Development Director, Compassion International in the Foyer, Compassion International HQ, Colorado Springs, USA.
GULL is a not-for-profit foundation registered in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.