Compassion reluctantly ended operations in India on March 15, 2017, after serving children in the country for nearly half a century.
This meant an end to benefits for more than 147,000 children, young adults, and babies and their caregivers in our programs.
Our fight to continue serving India’s children began in February 2016, when India’s government added Compassion to a list of organizations needing prior approval to send money into the country. Since 2014, more than 11,000 nongovernmental organizations working in India have lost permission to accept foreign money, part of a push to stop funding of activities India’s government sees as “detrimental to the national interest.” To avoid becoming one of the 11,000 organizations, Compassion appealed to Indian lawmakers, worked with lawyers and accountants, joined thousands of sponsors in writing to U.S. lawmakers for help, and dedicated countless hours of prayer about the situation. But although Compassion had broken no laws in India, its government wouldn’t grant the necessary approval.
The immense loss has devastated sponsors of Indian children — the supporters who helped transform so many lives in the country. Here’s a look back at Compassion’s lifesaving work in India, which was possible only with the support of sponsors, donors and partner churches.