I just received the year end report from Compassion International. It is a child sponsorship program I've been involved with off and on. For $28 a month you provide a child with education, sanitation, heath classes, and you have the option to sent extra money (there is a limit to how much you can give per year) to the child's church for their family. The church then decides how best to use it to better their living conditions.
This program's mission statement impressed me. In order to meet the requirements for charitable organizations, 80% of donations must directly benefit the children. And they have a policy of staffing their overseas programs with people from that country. And, the decision of who needs sponsored is made by the local church.
I've loved sponsoring my kids, and getting letters and pictures from them makes my day. If anyone has every wanted to try it, there is only a one year commitment (when I first started you pretty much assumed you'd have the child all the way through their education, if possible). So, here's a copy of the report they sent me. It contains their annual report, and some statistics on sponsorship.
"Thank you for your faithful support of Compassion?s ministry. In a continuing effort to be good stewards of the gifts and resources that have been entrusted to us, this year we are making Compassion?s 2003-2004 Annual Report available online...It was an extraordinary year at Compassion.
Sponsorship is up worldwide: 83,988 children were sponsored during the year.
Thousands more children than expected were registered in our program.
Compassion?s ministry is launching into new countries around the world.
The Leadership Development Program continues to attract students with great potential.
Maintaining a Strong Tradition and Trusted Reputation At Compassion, we?re doing everything possible to maintain our strong tradition as a leader in Christian child development and trusted reputation for good stewardship. Thank you for partnering with us. Sincerely in Christ,
Dr. Wesley K. StaffordPresident and Chief Executive OfficerCompassion International
Releasing children from poverty in Jesus? name"