Manila, Philippines — Jessa Balote is 14 years old and training to be a professional ballerina. The lessons are physically demanding, yet do not compare to her life outside of the program where she is responsible for supporting her entire family.
"Project Ballet Futures" in Manila was started to help children like Jessa in the city's most impoverished communities. Students develop skills so they might become professional dancers with incomes. "They want to earn money to be able to survive," says the founder of the program.
Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program was designed to provide children like Jessa with a path out of poverty by caring for their educational, health, spiritual and social needs through the loving touch of a local church. When a child has hope and dignity—and can set her sights on a more secure future—the generational cycle of poverty begins to crumble and she is free to pursue her God-given dreams.