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
Founded in 1952, Compassion International is a Christian child development organization that works to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. Compassion revolutionized the fight against global poverty by working exclusively with the Church to lift children out of spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. Compassion partners with more than 8,000 churches in 25 countries to deliver its holistic child development program to over 2 million babies, children and young adults. Its Child Sponsorship Program has been validated through independent, empirical research.