We do all our work through partnerships with thousands of local churches around the world. We work in partnership with local churches because we desire to equip the Church to fulfill its role as salt and light to the world, and because local churches are catalysts for community change. A local church is best suited to address the needs of the children in its community because the church is already located in and involved in the community. Only the local church can effectively deliver the Jesus-based teaching and whole-life care that children in poverty deserve.

>>  Learn How Our Child Development Centers Operate


Our Program Field Manual, which guides how we operate, addresses how our church partners choose the children who can be registered in our Child Sponsorship Program.

All children to be registered are selected based on objective criteria that establish their need and their ability to benefit from the program. No more than three children from the same family can be registered, though each country may choose to limit this to fewer children so they can help a larger number of families.

When church staff members interview parents or caregivers in order to assess the poverty and need of the family and the child’s ability to benefit from the program, the staff members follow this criteria:

  • Is the child under the age of 10?
  • Is the family within the local poverty index?
  • Does the child have good access to the church? Generally, a child is considered to have "good access" when he or she lives within a 30-minute walk from the church.
  • Is there evidence that the child is likely to be non-transient and stable within the community?
  • Is the child or family being assisted by another child sponsorship organization?

We give a special priority to children who:

  • suffer from chronic illness and/or malnutrition.
  • are not otherwise able to attend school.
  • have the potential to progress in school.
  • are orphaned, abandoned or exploited.
  • are living with a single parent or caregiver.
  • have a physical or mental impairment.

If a child is found in need who can benefit from the program but who does not meet all the criteria, an exemption approval can be made in order that the child can be registered.

We seek to register children from both Christian and non-Christian families who support participation in Christian activities. Our centers also try to have a gender balance with the children who are registered and a female preference when necessary.

These guidelines help ensure that a long-term relationship can be developed with each child registered in the program, which is key in the holistic development process.

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What are the Benefits of Our Program?

Every child is given the opportunity to develop mentally, emotionally, spiritually, economically, socially and physically.

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What Happens When a Child Leaves Our Program?

Children typically graduate from our sponsorship program between the ages of 18 and 22. It varies by country. Although age is a determining factor in a child’s completion, we do not finalize a completion just for that reason.

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Please call us at 800-336-7676, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. MT, to speak with a Compassion representative.