Arriving in the capital, Addis Ababa, you quickly realize there is a lot of old history mixed with substantial new growth and development. Changes are happening. But changes are also happening within the Compassion realm as children are growing into fulfilled adults with Christian values. You have been a valued part of that and we’re eager to have you join our sponsor tour so you can see it for yourself. During our days in Ethiopia we will be experiencing different parts of Compassion’s ministry. From the early start of Child Survival where mothers share their hearts and dreams along with the reality of their life before this intervention we know this is something worth our time and resources. Continuing into Child Development through Sponsorship where we see development centers in action and how the local church is impacting their neighborhoods then we realize we are making a difference. Our relationship along with our resources is what enables the evangelical church to do what they are called to do. Adding to that we see how special funds are distributed through Complementary Interventions to cover the special needs and opportunities that arise. Then completing the process we are overwhelmed as we sit and learn from some of the Leadership Development students in university as well as from some of the graduates of our sponsorship program. This is truly what it’s all about! These are the Oaks of Righteousness. But wait – we’re not done yet. That special child of yours is still waiting and eager for their fun day with you. And what a fun day it will be! It doesn’t matter if there’s lots of activity and playing or if it’s quiet and sitting together to color you are solidifying that relationship. Neither one of you will ever be the same!
As you read this information, reflect on it, and then prayerfully consider your involvement. It’s a big investment but you will be so glad you made it. You will have learned so much, have given so much, and in the process been hugely blessed. It’s definitely worth it and you will have made a difference. Don’t wait too long as spots fill up quickly.
Registration: Our trips fill up quickly on a first-come basis, so it is important to register immediately. Once we have received your registration along with a deposit of $380.00, we will confirm your place on the tour and you may then purchase your domestic air ticket. The final payment of $3615.00 is due no later than 2/13/2014.
Please register now to complete the registration form online.
Price: The cost of this tour is $3995.00 per person for double occupancy.
Included in our tour price are round-trip airfare between New York City (JFK), and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lodging, all meals, travel within Ethiopia, tips, your child's travel, guides and translators during the tour, admission fees, departure tax and administrative costs.
Costs not included in the tour price are transportation to and from New York City (JFK), passport, visa, and incidentals such as snacks, additional beverages, laundry, phone calls, film and other personal items. You may want to bring extra impoverished conditions. Also, there will be spending money for shopping at the local markets.
Safety and Preparation: This tour will be more difficult because of long international flights, time change, and impoverished conditions. Also, there will be some walking, rides on bumpy roads, and long days. We will have a light work element in this tour.
Compassion constantly monitors the safety of our destination countries and will make any adjustments necessary to protect our tour participants, sponsored children and in-country staff. We believe it is important to provide safe, comfortable accommodations, traditional meals and reliable transportation so that your focus can be on what God is teaching you and the impact of the experience rather than concern for your personal safety and well-being.
Please read the Tour Conditions and General Information tab before finalizing your decision.
Days 1 and 2: Time to Go!
Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8: It is finally time for our domestic flights to New York and JFK Airport. We’re starting to get the feel of what’s ahead as we meet our fellow travelers. As our Lufthansa Airlines plane takes off mid-afternoon for our flight across the Atlantic we relax and begin to prepare ourselves for the adventure. Arriving in Frankfurt, Germany, early Sunday morning we have time for breakfast or a little shopping before our next flight. Landing in Addis Ababa we ask God to open our eyes and our hearts to all we’re going to experience. Immediately checking into our hotel we have time to settle in before getting a good night’s rest.
Days 3-6: Time to Learn
Monday-Thursday, June 9-12: Meeting Compassion’s Ethiopia staff we immediately see their dedication to their work. We now have a better understanding of the different ministry programs here and are ready to go and see for ourselves. During these days we visit Child Development Centers in the city and in the rural area. This is a great comparison of the needs in different areas. We’re learning how our core ministries meet those different needs. Mothers and care-givers warm our hearts as we try to put ourselves in their circumstances. Thank goodness for the Child Survival program and caring staff that works with them to get the necessary skills and raise healthy toddlers. Time at the Child Development Centers show us how this all works. What does it take to release children from poverty in Jesus name? Now we know! Special needs arise, water filtration improves health, latrines at the student centers are important and these are just some examples of how Complementary Intervention funds are used. Time with Leadership Development students help us realize how they have made great use of the opportunities given. We’re proud to be a part of a transforming program like this.
Day 7: Time for Our Special Day
Friday, June 13: It may be Friday the 13th but it’s definitely our lucky day! It’s the day when eager children meet excited sponsors and it just gets better from there. No matter where the event takes place or how you choose to spend your day it will be amazing. The relationship you have via letters now takes on all new meaning. Someone from your child’s center will accompany them so you have the opportunity to pour into that special person as you share encouragement and appreciation for what they do. They are the ones shaping your boy or girl. After lunch and gift exchange we’ll take a group photo of our big wonderful sponsor family. Can’t wait to share that back home! Then before the final hugs and tearful good-byes we’ll pray with our little family units. Boarding our buses all of our hearts are so full and we are so thankful for our special day.
Days 8 and 9: Time to Share and Time to Worship
Saturday and Sunday, June 14 and 15: Saturday the student centers are in full operation and we are ready to participate. Here is where tutors from the church teach the different elements of child development and especially the spiritual aspect. We now realize why this approach is making such a difference and children are being released from poverty in Jesus name. Now it’s time for us to teach and share in craft activities or run a little sport camp outside. There sure is a lot of energy here! Sunday we worship and praise the Lord in one of our church partners. And our Ethiopian brothers and sisters certainly do know how to worship! Dinner tonight includes time to reflect, process our experiences, and begin to see how we can take this back home.
Days 10 and 11: Time to Return
Monday and Tuesday, June 16 and 17: With Ethiopian birr in our pockets we’re off to the local market. Special remembrances for ourselves and gifts for family and friends keep us busy bartering and buying. One stop we don’t want to forget is the local coffee market. We have to have some of that delicious coffee as we share about the special Ethiopian coffee ceremonies we participated in. Now bags are on the bus and it’s off to the airport. Our late night flight takes us back to Frankfurt and the early Tuesday morning arrival gives us time to walk around or sit and journal. Mid-morning our Lufthansa flight takes us across the Atlantic and back into New York City. This early afternoon arrival gives us time to make connecting flights or spend a few hours in the Big Apple. No matter what we choose to do we know we are different than when we left our country. How can we do anything but be advocates for children after all we experienced in Ethiopia? God gave us an incredible opportunity and we want to share that.
In order to ensure our children's protection and determine eligibility to travel with Compassion, we now require all travelers (over the age of 18) to complete a criminal background check to ensure the safety of the children in our programs. Please visit Screening One Sponsor Tour BC to complete your online background check at the time of registration. If you are unable to complete this online, please contact us and we will send you a paper form for you to fill out and return. Compassion uses a third party vendor, Screening One to process background checks. The results of your background check are confidential and all personal information is encrypted and secure.
RESERVATIONS should be made well in advance and require a nonrefundable deposit of $380.00 per person. The final payment of $3615.00 is due no later than 2/13/2014.
AIR TRANSPORTATION and FUEL SURCHARGES
Air transportation as included in the tour is based on economy-class transportation and is subject to all rules and regulations governing these fares. Fuel surcharges are added on a per-ticket basis at time of confirmation. In the event these surcharges are increasingly higher than budget estimates, we may require additional funds to cover these surcharges.
Airlines will frequently have flight changes that may interfere with your international connection from your domestic flight. Please understand that we are not responsible for any costs associated with airline changes as they are outside of our control. For this reason, we recommend allowing at least four hours between arrival time at the gateway city and the time the group flight departs the airport. We will communicate any pricing and itinerary changes immediately.
In the event that you need to cancel your trip, please refer to our Cancellation Policy below:
- All deposits are nonrefundable.
- Fifty percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 59-31 days prior to the sponsor tour.
- One hundred percent of the tour cost will be required for cancellations 30-0 days prior to the sponsor tour.
- Only written cancellations accepted.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to adjust or alter any travel program when necessary or desirable for the protection, safety or improvement of said travel program, or when local conditions do not permit operation as published. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to accept or deny participants application at its sole discretion.
RESPONSIBILITY: COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL makes arrangements with airlines, hotels and other independent parties to provide you with the travel services you purchase. These parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct control. In the absence of negligence on our part, we are not responsible for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of injury, accident or death; damage, loss or delay of baggage or other property; or delay, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from (1) the act or omission of any party other than COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL or its employees; (2) mechanical breakdown, government actions, weather or other factors beyond our control; (3) failure to obtain documents, passports, visas and health certificates valid through the date of reentry, when required, in which case a cancellation charge will be assessed; (4) failure to follow instructions including but not limited to check-in and checkout times and baggage handling; (5) cancellation or change for any reason in the travel services offered; and (6) medical or health problems or physical disabilities. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL reserves the right to cancel or alter the travel services at its discretion, except as otherwise noted herein. In the event of change, COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will try to substitute comparable services; in the event of complete cancellation by COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL, we shall refund all monies paid to us. COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL will not be responsible for any other cost incurred by participants.