COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – September 8, 2023 – Compassion International, a leading child development organization, is excited to announce the launch of its new "Hope Starts Here" experience. Buoyed by compelling personal stories, “Hope Starts Here” is an immersive experience, transporting visitors to vulnerable communities where Compassion works. This free, family-friendly event is designed to inspire compassion and action for children living in poverty around the world.
Compassion recently unveiled the exhibit as part of a pilot launch hosted by three churches in Alabama, Indiana, and New York in late August.
The display will educate visitors about the realities of life in poverty and provide an up-close, personal experience in a low- or middle-income country. The exhibit features multiple pods with interactive content, touch screens, and compelling, real-life stories of children impacted by Compassion and its local church partners.
“Hope Starts Here” offers a unique and engaging way for individuals, families, and groups to learn about the challenges faced by children and families in poverty, as well as the impact that Compassion's programs have had on their lives. Through its child development program, Compassion provides support to more than two million children in 29 countries.
“Every child deserves the opportunity to reach their full God-given potential, regardless of their location or the circumstances they were born into," says Santiago “Jimmy” Mellado, president and CEO of Compassion. “Most people think about children in poverty needing the basics – food, shelter, clean water, education. That’s all true, but there’s nothing more basic than hope.” He continues, “And we’ve found that hope can be nurtured and grown. We’re eager to share that story with those who want to be part of turning hope into reality.”
Mellado believes “Hope Starts Here” powerfully illustrates the extensive impact and transformation that Compassion's programs make in the lives of children living in poverty. “Through our comprehensive child development program and partnership with local churches and like-minded supporters, we seek to address the many aspects of poverty and encourage hope in children, all to make a positive, tangible, and eternal difference. We want to inspire those who visit this experience to join us in that incredibly powerful work.”
Compassion does all of its work through partnerships with thousands of local churches worldwide. The ministry firmly believes local churches are best suited to address the needs of the children in their communities and act as catalysts for community change because they are already located and invested in the communities they serve. Because of their unique role, local churches can create an environment of unparalleled stability where children’s lives are transformed by tangible expressions of God’s love.
With this integral partnership in mind, “Hope Starts Here” will also be targeted towards churches and their congregations. “I’m excited by this new opportunity to connect with and grow deeper relationships with current church partners and hopefully inspire and challenge new ones,” shares Stacey Foster, Compassion’s senior director of national church partnerships. “‘Hope Starts Here’ allows visitors to step into a world they may not be familiar with, see the tremendous need, and present them with an opportunity to make a difference.”
Compassion plans to display the free exhibit in churches across the U.S. in the coming months. For more information about Compassion and “Hope Starts Here,” visit compassionexperience.com.