Compassion's History - 1970s

History of Compassion International in the 1970s.

Compassion in the 1970s

Compassion in the 1970s | 1950s | 1960s | 1980s | 1990s | 21st century


We organize Special Care Centers to treat children with physical handicaps and medical illness, offering relief through surgery, training, physical therapy, adequate nourishment and special equipment.

We launch our ministry in the Dominican Republic as a relief program donating food, medicine and money for children selected by the local churches. In the 1980s the program became a school program in which children gained access to education through the local church. Child Sponsorship began in 1994.

A young Dominican girl holds a piece of paper that says God loves you.

We design a school-related sponsorship program to serve children in Haiti, Colombia and Thailand.

In these three countries, children of subsistence farmers or widows, unable to attend school because of fees or because no schools are available, can now attend school regularly through Compassion-assisted centers. Students also received medical care, supplementary meals, clothing, and biblical instruction.


We begin work in the Philippines and in the United States Native American field.


We begin our ministry in Honduras, with projects opened by the Guatemala and El Salvador offices. Compassion Honduras officially opens in 1998 in response to the impact of Hurricane Mitch, and the Child Sponsorship Program begins in 1999.

Reverend Henry Harvey retires as president, and we begin working in Ecuador.

We establish a program of school projects to assist children who otherwise would not have the chance to receive an education. These projects pay for teachers' salaries, books, supplies, school uniforms, medical care and, in many instances, a hot, nutritious meal each school day.


In June, Wally Erickson becomes our third president.

Wally Erickson

Born in Bloomington, Illinois, Wally spent his boyhood in the Midwest and attended universities in Illinois and Missouri for his undergraduate and post-graduate degrees. He received an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Keimyung Christian College in Taegu, Korea in the mid-1970s.

During Wally's term as president, the number of sponsored children climbs from 25,000 to more than 180,000.

TEAR Fund, a Christian relief agency in Great Britain, affiliates with us for child sponsorship, and we begin working in Brazil and Bolivia.


Our Family Helper Program, which was operated by missionaries, begins in Guatemala. Child Sponsorship starts in 1980.


We begin our ministry in El Salvador with the Child Sponsorship Program.

a young girl rests her head on her mother's shoulder


Australian sponsors help create Compassion Limited of Australia, headquartered in Newcastle.

We establish a fund to meet critical needs caused by natural disasters and medical crises that afflict sponsored children and their families.


We begin working in Mexico.

Compassion in the 1970s | 1950s | 1960s | 1980s | 1990s | 21st century

The Heart of Compassion Beats Stronger Than Ever

Our history begins with one man’s act of compassion in 1952, an act that blossomed into a ministry helping millions of babies, children and young adults.

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