Who We Are
Compassion International is the world’s leading authority on holistic child development through sponsorship.
Our core programs — Child Sponsorship, Child Survival and Leadership Development — are rooted in a long-term, holistic approach to poverty reduction and Christian child development.
For some, it begins with prenatal care and can continue through post secondary education and leadership training.
Compassion's history began in 1952 out of one man’s determination to help 35 children orphaned by the Korean War.
Reverend Everett Swanson flew to South Korea to minister to American troops fighting in the war but grew increasingly troubled by the sight of hundreds of war orphans trying to survive alone on the frigid sidewalks of Seoul, where many died of starvation, exposure and disease.
Swanson vowed to find a way to help the children. He raised enough money to support a Korean orphanage and established an organization that gave American sponsors the opportunity to help by paying a small monthly fee to cover the orphans food, shelter, health care and Bible-based education.
Today, Compassion is a global ministry that serves more than 1.7 million babies, children and young adults by partnering with more than 6,900 churches in 26 countries to help break the cycle of poverty.
We believe that changed environments may assist children, but transformed children will inevitably change their environments.
Compassion in the 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 21st century
Our three Cs distinguish us from other child sponsorship organizations. Christ Centered. Child Focused. Church Based.
Christ Centered: Children and families served through Compassion do not have to be Christians, but they are offered a clear presentation of the gospel.
As they experience God’s love in the physical world, many receive Christ and grow into healthy, educated, confident believers, ready to serve God and others in need.
Child Focused: Compassion believes extreme global poverty can be eradicated in our lifetime and is committed to helping whittle it away by serving the most vulnerable citizens — impoverished children.
When children living in poverty are nurtured and equipped to overcome their circumstances, they are empowered to pursue their dreams, driving change into their families, communities and nations.
Church Based: Compassion builds a direct route to the children who need help most by partnering with indigenous evangelical churches located on the front lines of poverty.
All Compassion programs are delivered through these community churches because they are uniquely qualified to understand the real needs of their areas and serve as a safe haven to children and their families.
Everything from food and medical care to curriculum and counseling is orchestrated by volunteer church workers.
Beyond our three Cs, we further affirm our commitment to integrity: