2013 July why-children-matter

Why Children Matter

The fact that Compassion works with children is no surprise to you. But why the focus on being child-centered, instead of some other strategy?

Defending the rights of children in poverty is a passion that burns deeply within us and compels us to action. Being advocates for children in poverty gives our mission clear focus.

Compassion cares about all children. Compassion cares about all poor people. But it is the combination of these two groups that creates extreme vulnerability. Children in poverty are the singular focus of our ministry. Studies show that*:

  • There are 1.84 billion children on earth under age 15.
  • More than 200 million children under the age of 5 in developing countries fail to reach their full potential.
  • Threats to early development are greatest among children living in the poorest households.
  • By the time a child is 6, 90 percent of her brain development is complete.
  • By the time a child is 15, her body size, reproductive potential, and general health have been strongly influenced, sometimes irreversibly, by living conditions.
  • Children who are not immunized or who are malnourished are more vulnerable to the diseases that are spread through poor sanitation.
  • Nearly 10 percent of children in developing countries have never attended school.
  • Poverty amplifies the effects of HIV and AIDS and of armed conflict.
  • Poverty contributes to malnutrition, which in turn is a contributing factor in over half of the under-5 deaths in developing countries.
  • Nearly 64 percent of Christians come to faith before the age of 18.

*UNICEF, Barna