Christianity Today: Heralded Compassion as an Effective Way to Fight Poverty

Christianity Today: Heralded Compassion as an Effective Way to Fight Poverty
Many Development Economists Today Favor Interventions Like Child Sponsorship

“Of all the long-term development interventions, child sponsorship received the highest rating. Sponsors typically pay $25 to $40 per month, which covers a child's educational fees, school uniforms, tutoring, health care, and, in faith-based sponsorship organizations, spiritual mentorship. Many development Economists today favor interventions like child sponsorship that remove practical constraints to education while building a child's self-esteem, aspirations, and goals. In this way, sponsorship relieves both external and internal poverty constraints.

Two researchers and I recently carried out a study (sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development) on the long-term impacts of Compassion International's child sponsorship program. The study, gathering data from over 10,000 individuals in six countries, found substantial impact on adult life outcomes for children who were sponsored through Compassion's program during the 1980s and 1990s. We statistically compared formerly sponsored children to older siblings who were too old for sponsorship when the program started in their village. In adulthood, formerly sponsored children were far more likely to complete secondary school and had a much higher chance of having a white-collar job. They married and had children later in life, were more likely to be church and community leaders, were less likely to live in a home with a dirt floor and more likely to live in a home with electricity.”

"Cost-Effective Compassion, Christianity Today, February 2012, Vol. 56, No. 2

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