Releasing children from poverty, in Jesus' name
Compassion is one of the world's leading child development and child advocacy organisations. Working with the local church, Compassion link children living in poverty together with sponsors. Each sponsor gives a child access to education, health checks, nutritious food, personal guidance from staff, age-appropriate Bible and biblical teaching, literacy, life skills training, vocational training such as bead-making or carpentry, and the care of a local church-based Compassion project through their financial support.
There's no quick fix to global poverty, but through programmes such as this, children's lives are being changed. According to an independent study, children whose sponsors had enabled them to complete the Compassion programme were more likely to have finished education and be in salaried employment.
AIM sponsor 2 children, Angel Jose Vielman Elias 10 yrs old from Guatemala, and Sara Valentina Calderon Peralta 6 yrs (born 5th Feb 2011) who lives in Colombia.
Angel Jose Vielman Elias
Angel (pronounced Ankel) is one of 5 children living with his parents in the forested community of San Martin Jilotepeque, about 65 kilometres northwest of Guatemala City (look for it on the map by clicking here). There are about 15,000 residents in the community living in houses typically constructed of with sold floors, brick walls and tin roofs. Try visiting San Martin Jilotepeque on Youtube (one of many) to see what the community is like.
Not surprisingly, both crime and unemployment are high. For those fortunate enough to get it, some work is available on the plantations for which the average wage is equivalent to about $125 per month. However the lack of opportunities also give rise to many other social problems such as family disintegration and alcoholism.
Angel goes to a local school as well as the Ninos Para Cristo (Children for Jesus) Student Centre where he attends regular Bible classes and skills training. The centre also provide support and advice to Angels’’ parents.
To read Angels latest letter translated from Spanish oporsite...
Jose Carlos Prem is Compassions' Director in Guatemala and has also written to Aim. Please click here to read what he has to say about Angel.
The below photo shows just how much Angel has grown in the last few years...
Sara Valentina Calderon Peralta
Home for Sara is Villavicencio a city in central Colombia, where the Andes meet the plains of Los Llanos, southeast of Bogotá. She lives with her mother, and is one of 4 children. The area is known for its joropo dance and the cowboy sport coleo (find it on the map here) There are approximately 3,000 other residents living in common brick walled, tin roofed houses. For recreation she plays games with her siblings and friends but also has typical chores of the house to undertake like running errands and making beds, helping her mother etc.
The main regional diet consists of beans bread and rice, so it not surprising that Malnutrition is a common problem in the area. Flu and various parasitic illnesses also contribute to poor health of the area. Most adults work as street vendors and are able to make on average $184 per month but the community desperately needs schools, employment opportunities, and educational resources.
Sara attends the Manantial de Vida project where she attends regular Bible class and gets help with basic schooling in reading, writing and maths.
To read Sara's latest letter to AiM please click here.
Jose Carrasco is Compassions' Director for Colombia and you can find out about what he has to say in his letter to Aim by clicking here
"Please remember Angel and Sara in your prayers."