|   Posted: September 08, 2022

Celebrating Alumni Around the World

Investing in the lives of children is always a journey — a long game. Parents and caregivers plant the seeds of God’s truth, practice math problems, pack lunches, plan meals and pray that one day the little humans will grow up to be thriving adults who discover their full potential. Proof of impact is rarely immediate when you are a parent, a teacher, a sponsor or an advocate for children in poverty. But today, we invite you on a journey around the world to witness the victories you and other members of the Compassion family make possible — to celebrate the long and impactful labor of love that is holistic child development. Join us as we meet four fantastic Compassion alumni who are thriving because of the faithful investment of others.


Aldo with his wife and baby

It’s been more than 22 years since Aldo was registered with his community’s Compassion center, which he described as his “happy place.” At eight years old, Aldo attended center classes under the shadow of a tree and enjoyed imagining the Bible stories that his tutors narrated so vividly.

As a sponsored child, Aldo says his life was changed in every way. He received timely medical treatment and medicines, Christmas gifts, birthday and family gifts from his sponsors, warm meals and many other opportunities.

But the greatest benefits of his time in the program are internal: his faith in God, his belief in his own value and ability and the opportunity to dream for a better future.

When asked what could’ve happened if he did not register in the Compassion center 22 years ago, he thinks for a moment and says: “No child is the same after spending years at the center. There’s a visible before and after. My life was not only rescued and saved from poverty in every thinkable way, but I was equipped to have a better future, and I inherited a legacy of faith that bears fruit.”

No child is the same after spending years at the center. There’s a visible before and after. My life was not only rescued and saved from poverty in every thinkable way, but I was equipped to have a better future, and I inherited a legacy of faith that bears fruit.

Today, Aldo is 30 years old and looks back with a sense of gratitude. He currently works as a logistics coordinator — organizing the packing and release of medical supplies to every public hospital in the country. Three years ago, he married his best friend Tannia, who was also registered with Compassion and earned a psychology degree through the scholarship program.

His life has been transformed — and he gives thanks to everyone who contributed to his life’s success, and to God, who never abandoned him. With the love of his family, the support of his sponsors, and the help of Compassion and his local church, he broke the chains of poverty.


Golapi and her parents

Every morning, Golapi awoke to see a broken ceiling above her head. She slowly rose from the creaking bed that she grew up sleeping in — it served as a constant reminder of her circumstances. Her family toiled and struggled in poverty from sunup to sundown.

But when Golapi was enrolled with the Compassion center, she not only had a place to play and learn, she also had an environment where she felt secure. And when she became a teenager, she learned a valuable skill that would help her secure a brighter future — sewing.

Today, Golapi is enrolled in nursing school and sews clothing for clients in her village. For the past three years, she’s gained the trust of many of her neighbors. They love the high-quality clothing she makes.

Her training at the hospital has equipped her to minister to others. Today, Golapi goes out to the community to spread awareness and educate others on various social and health issues. Golapi also sets aside some of her time to tutor primary school children on math and science. She takes pride in teaching the children because she is grateful for the similar support she received from the Compassion center.

The center staff helped her find a pathway for herself, to think about the future and set strong goals — and she’s determined to do the same for those in her community.


Michael works at his desk

Michael grew up in an urban community in Kenya with no mentors and little hope for his future. He remembers that his options in life were slim. “As a boy, you knew that you were either going to be a footballer or a criminal,” he says. But the day Michael was registered at the Compassion center, he began to imagine another way.

The first day he attended the center, the church staff took him to a uniform shop to be fitted for new clothes and shoes. When Michael looked in the mirror, he caught a glimpse of a better future. He was no longer a little boy who believed poverty’s lie that he was without hope.

Michael developed strong friendships at the center. One of his deepest connections was with his sponsor. They corresponded regularly until Michael graduated from the Compassion program. Michael is eternally grateful for the impact in his life. The letters and support were life altering for Michael.

“You can never fully understand the impact [a sponsor has] on a child,” he says.

You can never fully understand the impact [a sponsor has] on a child.

Now, at 36 years of age, Michael sits behind his desk at Chelezo High School in Wote, Makueni, Kenya. He serves as head of education and deputy director at Edukenya, a nonprofit organization that established the school and works to give disadvantaged children an opportunity for education. He works every day to help children believe there is a bright future for them, to encourage them that God knows them and loves them. He knows from his own experience that this belief can change their lives.


Marcela smiles at the camera

"I lacked a father figure in my house, and that's what I found in my tutors at the project,” shares Marcela. “They cared for me very much and always treated me very well. I can say I had a happy childhood, thanks to Compassion.”

At the center, Marcela cherished the attention, the lessons and the support she received. For the first time, she owned new school supplies, shoes and a school uniform after years of inheriting her older sisters’ belongings.

"I received not only economic support but also emotional, educational and spiritual [help]. At the center, the tutors strengthened my faith. They were always there for me, helping in every way,” she says.

Marcela was an outstanding student throughout school. She even represented Bolivia in an international Physics and Astronomy Olympics competition. When she enrolled in university to study chemical engineering, she expected to continue her success. However, problems at home plunged her into depression, and she dropped out.

Marcela lived immersed in that depression for two years, but the center staff remained by her side. "Thinking about the Compassion center, what comes to mind is the depression I went through, and how they sustained me. All their words and encouragement helped me to move forward. Thanks to God and my tutors' help, I decided to fight for my dreams. I learned that faith, effort, perseverance and studies can take you anywhere.”

Marcela applied to a prestigious scholarship abroad and obtained one in Korea, where she now studies biomechanics. With renewed confidence, she is full of dreams that she looks forward to accomplishing. "Now I want to help other people who are going through depression,” she says. “Without the program, I wouldn't have that seed they planted to help others, and I want to give what I received.”

We hope you’ve been inspired by these incredible Compassion alumni. Never forget that however you invest in the lives of children — it matters. Change is a process and sometimes moves slowly. But children are worth it, and the seeds that you plant will certainly someday bear fruit.

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