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Through Compassion Philippines, locals can now sponsor Chi…… | News & Reporting

Through Compassion Philippines, locals can now sponsor Chi…… |  News & Reporting


Three years ago, a group of about 48 former children sponsored by Compassion International in the Philippines decided it was time for them to start investing in children in their country.

“Because we believe in the power of Christ and the strategies of Compassion in changing lives, we came together and decided that now is our turn to do the same,” said Glendy Obahib, one of the key leaders of the Alumni Sponsorship Movement. of Mercy. (CASM). “We were blessed with the gift of sponsorship and now we want to be a blessing to others through the same sponsorship.”

A new initiative from Compassion International will make this job even easier. Filipino citizens will now be able to sponsor children within the country and fund community development programs thanks to the creation of Compassion Philippines Inc., an in-country support office.

Compassion Philippines' sole focus will be fundraising, unlike Compassion International, which runs the programs. Compassion Australia is helping the new organization establish a legal identity and consultation on registration, insurance and employment so that Compassion Philippines can operate as a separate legal entity from Compassion International in the Philippines.

Currently, according to Precious Amor Tulay of Compassion Philippines, the new organization is pursuing bank account approval and securing government permits that will allow them to raise funds and enable donors to claim tax deductions.

Compassion staff hopes this transition will increase support for the Philippines. Today, most of the funding for sponsored children in the Philippines comes from the US, Australia and South Korea.

“By equipping local fundraising teams, we are taking important steps towards self-reliance and reducing dependence on external funding sources.” said Tony Broughton, chief operating officer of Compassion Australia, in a press release. “This means more significant and lasting impact on breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Since 1972, Compassion International has partnered with churches to offer “Personalized, individualized” long-term care for 200,000 Filipino children. it year, 475 churches in the Philippines are providing Compassion-funded aid to 105,000 children.

By becoming a donor country, the Philippines is following in the footsteps of South Korea, which achieved this status in 2003. Among the 29 countries where Compassion has sponsored children, only South Korea and the Philippines have gone on to open their own local support offices. (Outside the US, Compassion there are 14 support offices.)

This transition is based on several factors. The Philippines has strong financial capacity and boasts the second strongest Christian GDP per capita in Asia. The country is also a Christian-majority nation, and local corporate donors will have little qualms—or may even have a strong interest in giving corporate social responsibility funds to an avowedly Christian organization.

Compassion has a strong presence in the Philippines, including an extensive community network and thousands of Compassion alumni who financially support children, sponsor leadership and training programs, and do informal fundraising.

The Compassion Alumni Association of the Philippines (CAA) counts about 2,500 alumni in 10 chapters.

Levi Carupo became a sponsored child at age eight and was one of the first in Compassion's programs to receive a college education. Now a partnership manager for Compassion International in the Philippines and current president of CAA, he noted that some of the alumni group's chapters conduct disaster preparedness, child abuse prevention, and social work training for youth in Compassion.

“One day we will see a former Compassion-sponsored child become a community leader — a city leader, a mayor who is engaged in his or her community,” Carupo said.

Currently, both CAA and CASM are sponsoring Filipino children by pooling their members' donations and sending funds through one of Compassion's global office websites, generally in the US or Australia. CASM sends gifts to its sponsored children and each child has a designated letter writer to nurture a personal relationship between CASM and the child. CASM also generates funds through a portion of the registration fees that the Compassion Alumni Leadership Movement collects for its Compassion-sponsored youth leadership trainings.

As the funding model changes, Noel Pabiona, the national director for Compassion in the Philippines, wants to expand the reach of children being helped by partnering with more churches, including those in poorer communities.

Currently, the organization has 70 partner churches in tribal communities, led and pastored by indigenous people. It has also become more active in helping communities with significant Muslim populations.

“Good thing to help the poor [is that] whether you are Muslim or Christian, you are welcome in the community,” said Pabiona. “Even among Muslims, they welcome the help of Christians. Jesus' example is to show unconditional love openly, and the rest is up to him. People will be more receptive to your message if they see Christ demonstrated in your life.”

Compassion offers one-on-one programs to help children and provides resources for interventions or supplemental activities that promote children's overall development. Beyond sponsoring children, the organization provides financial assistance to approximately 100 Filipino children each year who suffer from catastrophic illnesses, such as cancer or kidney disease, that require expensive and prolonged medical treatment.

Beyond additional funding, the success of these initiatives lies in partnerships, Pabiona said. For example, Compassion is working with Convoy of Hope to provide meals to address child malnutrition. They have teamed up with megachurches and chambers of commerce to help build school buildings for high school students in the eleventh and twelfth grades. (For years, students only had to complete the tenth grade to be considered to have graduated from high school, so some schools lack the infrastructure for older students.)

In parts of the country where the organization has active programs, Compassion maintains an open line of communication with local government officials, which allows them to make suggestions as concrete as paving a new road so children can walk. easier at school.

But Compassion's most enthusiastic fans are likely to be those who know the organization firsthand, Pabiona said. As an example, he described a former sponsored child, now a licensed engineer, who cleaned the air conditioner of a Compassion partner church in his spare time.

“God doesn't just use ministry to equip [young people], but it also transforms their lives,” he said. “They know Jesus and have hope in this life and in the life to come.”




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