By: Willow Welter   |   Posted: October 10, 2017

Find out what makes children who live in poverty feel grateful.

What Sponsored Kids Are Thankful For

Find out what makes children who live in poverty feel grateful.

Written by Willow Welter
Photography by Ben Adams, Orfa Cerrato, Betsy Grandez, Juana Ordonez and Jarvis Sangma
Children expressing their thankfullness

Children living in poverty face enormous challenges, but they still express gratitude for God’s blessings in their lives.

A young girl who is thankful for school

“I’m thankful because my parents send me to school every day.”

— Jerly Josseline Majano López, 11, Honduras

A young girl thankful for food

“I’m thankful because I have food on the table.”

— Ruth Jessenia Enamored Romero, 8, Honduras

Compassion in Honduras

Compassion serves more than 54,600 children in Honduras, one of the poorest countries in Latin America and the nation with the world’s highest murder rate. More than half the population of Honduras lives in poverty, and the typical family earns only $5,300 a year. The 194 churches that run the sponsorship program provide safe places for sponsored children to learn and play.

Hondurans live at high risk of hunger, diarrhea, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, dengue fever and malaria. Sponsored children receive health checkups at their church-run Compassion centers, where they also eat nutritious meals and learn hygienic practices to help prevent sickness.

A young boy who is thankful for his parents to be alive

“I am thankful to God [that] my parents are alive because they care about me. I am also thankful for my new sponsor. She just sent me a letter, and I am very excited about that.”

— Jesus Alberto Ancajima Coaguila, 13, Peru

A young girl who is thankful for her family

“I am thankful to God for my family, for my sponsors, for my food, water, for my toothbrush, and I am happy.”

— Bella Luna Artega Laura, 5, Peru

Compassion in Peru

Although Peru’s poverty rate has fallen sharply in the last decade, it remains high at about 30 percent. In rural areas, the poverty rate is even higher at more than 55 percent. Economic growth tied to metal and mineral exports has benefited mostly urban populations. People who live in the Amazon and mountain regions, as well as Afro-Peruvians and indigenous groups, struggle with poverty the most.

Many Peruvian children drop out of school to support their families. Up to a third of Peruvians ages 6 to 14 are engaged in child labor, often working long days at dangerous silver and copper mines. But the 234 churches who partner with Compassion in Peru work hard to keep sponsored children in school and out of child labor. Sponsorship allows for the churches to provide tutoring, Scripture lessons, meals and many additional benefits to the 78,958 Peruvian children in the sponsorship program.

A young girl who is thankful for her sponsor

“I am thankful to my beloved sponsor, for because of his love I do not have to stay hungry anymore.”

— Sonali Murmu, 8, Bangladesh

A young girl who is thankful to have the chance to study

“Unlike many of my friends, my father encourages me to study hard and achieve more than he could ever imagine in life.”

— Borna, 8, Bangladesh

Compassion in Bangladesh

Gender discrimination and low-quality education face children growing up in Bangladesh. School enrollment among boys and girls has increased dramatically in the last decade, but only about 54 percent of children continue their education past primary school.

Compassion partners with 169 churches in Bangladesh to offer tutoring and vocational training to boys and girls in the sponsorship program. Providing high-quality education to Bangladeshi children has the power to help reduce the country’s poverty rate. More than 37,450 children participate in educational, recreational and spiritual lessons at their Compassion centers in Bangladesh. Sponsored girls learn that they have just as much value as boys.

What blessings are you thankful for?

(Tell us in the comments below and share with your friends!)