WE WORK WITH LOCAL CHURCHES
We do all our work through partnerships with thousands of local churches around the world. Implementing our programs through church-based child development centers is one of several distinct features of how we work. No matter how many nongovermental organizations come and go, the Church will remain.
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.
The Church's ability to create a stable, nurturing environment where children experience God's love and acceptance in tangible ways is unequaled. Only the local church can effectively deliver the Jesus-based teaching and whole-life care that children in poverty deserve.
Our decision to partner with local churches is a strategic one.
The church's role in developing the children in its community includes responsibility for the day-to-day application and administration of activities and programs. The church essentially "owns" the local child development center.
The church is also responsible for the funds we provide to run the child development program. It establishes its own bank account for the center and all money in that account is used for one purpose only: to promote child development.
To ensure that the program's local application is effective and funds are used appropriately and wisely, we audit each center a minimum of once every 30 months, and our country staff visit each child development center a minimum of three times per year.
Other important church responsibilities include:
- contextualizing and localizing the teaching and interventions provided to the children
- establishing a good working relationship with the local government, Christian community and general public.
- creating an operating structure that is not dependent on Compassion for its long-term existence.
- maintaining integrity and excellence in all operations.
- setting up an accountability structure and annual budget.
Because we understand that children grow in the context of their families, the church also gives weight to caring for parental needs. The parents' well-being directly relates to the welfare of their children, and it's often possible for the church to offer literacy and income-generation training for parents and caregivers, child care, and parenting skills classes.
Each church partner has a team of decision makers for its child development center: a director, a secretary/treasure and several tutors. The center's committee and operational staff report directly to the church leaders, and the committee members are recruited from the development center's workers, members and staff of the church, and parents from the community. In this way, some parents represent other parents in the decision-making processes of the center.
Our success in releasing children from poverty is outcome driven. These outcomes serve as a measuring stick for progress and growth rather than hard and fast completion requirements to graduate from the Child Sponsorship Program.
>> Read About How We Teach the Children in Our Child Sponsorship Program
We provide an age-graded curriculum for each church to contextualize for the needs of the children in its community. The curriculum is based on the outcomes we hope to see in the four facets of child development: spiritual, physical, cognitive and socio-emotional. We’re successful when the children in the Child Sponsorship Program:
- commit their lives to Christ,
- choose good health practices,
- are physically healthy, are motivated to learn new skills,
- demonstrate the skills to support themselves in the future
- and interact with others in healthy and compassionate ways.