COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – April 18, 2016 – Compassion International, a Christian child development ministry, is responding to the massive 7.8 earthquake that struck near Ecuador’s central coast Saturday evening. The Colorado Springs-based organization currently serves more than 70,000 Ecuadorian children in partnership with over 240 churches throughout the country.
Over 13,000 of those children live within a 30-mile radius of the epicenter – in towns like Porto Viejo and Manta, within the Manabi Province. The tremor disrupted communications throughout a large section of Ecuador as well as damaged roads and infrastructure, making it difficult to gauge total impacts to the region. Church staff are assessing damage and going door to door to check on the families of Compassion-assisted children.
“In situations like these, our first responders are often victims themselves,” says Herb Ehresman, Compassion’s director of complementary interventions. “While they are trying to grapple with their own shock and recovery, they are also assisting the families of sponsored children in their churches. Early in our assessment, we believe several of our sponsored children either lost their homes or their homes suffered damage due to the quake. Four of our church partners suffered damage and are temporarily closed. Several churches lost their water towers.”
Compassion’s initial efforts will include emergency assistance to Compassion children and their families who may need access to clean water, food or emergency shelter. Donations to help with the earthquake relief efforts can be made at compassion.com. Funds raised beyond the need in Ecuador will be used to help Compassion children and families who are victims of other disasters around the world.
- Herb Ehresman, director of complementary interventions, Compassion International
About Compassion International
Compassion International is a Christian child development organization working to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Founded in 1952, Compassion partners with more than 8,000 local churches in 27 program countries to deliver spiritual, economic, social, and physical care to over two million babies, children, and young adults in poverty. Ranked No. 10 in Forbes’ America’s Top Charities List in 2021, Compassion is a founding member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and an accredited charity with the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. For more information, visit compassion.com or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.