Friday, November 30, 2012

Friday Feature!! - Kader, Kwaku, Mubarek, Daniel, Dushimimana, & Francisca

Compassion is working hard to lower the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, especially in Africa. Read this blog post about the work Compassion is doing in Ghana to help with education, prevention, and treatment.

Have a heart for Africa? The following children live in AIDS-infected areas and have been waiting for sponsors for over a year! Save these children and end their wait today!


Meet Kader!
Kader is six-years-old and lives near Bobo-dioulasso, Burkina Faso, an AIDS-infected area and an area prone to exploitation and abuse. He lives with both parents (both are sometimes employed) and four siblings. Most adults in this area are unemployed but some work as day laborers, farmers, market traders or in domestic services and earn about $40 per month. Kader helps his family by caring for children and running errands. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer and playing with marbles. Change his story today!


Meet Kwaku!
Kwaku is six-years-old and lives in Assin Odumasi, Ghana, an area infected with AIDS. He lives with both parents (both are sometimes employed as farmers) and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as farmers and earn about $33 per month. Kwaku helps his family by carrying water and running errands. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer. Change his story today!


Meet Mubarek!
Mubarek is six-years-old and lives in Goba, Ethiopia, an AIDS-infected area. He lives with his father (who is employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and three siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $23 per month. Mubarek helps his family by carrying water and running errands. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer. Change his story today!


Meet Daniel!
Daniel is seven-years-old and lives in Maralal, Kenya, an AIDS-infected area and an area prone to exploitation and abuse. He lives with both parents (both of whom are sometimes employed) and two siblings. Most adults in this area are unemployed but some work as day laborers and earn about $20 per month! Daniel helps his family by carrying water and running errands. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer and group games. Change his story today!


Meet Dushimimana!
Dusimimana is seven-years-old and lives in Nyabinaga, Rwanda, an AIDS-infected area. He lives with both parents (both are sometimes employed as farmers), and six siblings. Most adults in this area are unemployed but some work as day laborers and earn about $38 per month! Dusimimana helps his family by gardening. For fun, he enjoys playing group games. Change his story today!


Meet Francisca!
Francisca is seven-years-old and lives near Mwanza City, Tanzania, an AIDS-infected area and an area prone to exploitation and abuse. She lives with both parents (both are sometimes employed) and four siblings. Most adults in this area are unemployed but some work in domestic service, as day laborers or market traders and earn about $60 per month! Francisca helps her family by washing clothes. She enjoys playing jacks, singing, and telling stories. Change her story today!

And if none of these beautiful children speak to your heart, I invite you to find one that does. Have a heart for Africa? Sponsor a child in an AIDS-infected area.

As always, if you are unable to sponsor a child, please pray for these children and that they will find loving sponsors soon.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter Tips - The First Letter

This month, in addition to sending a letter to Isadora, I had two new girls to write to, Melina and Melany so I thought this would provide a great opportunity to give some tips for what to write about in that first, important letter.

Compassion may send you a template for a first letter when you receive information about your child and it's great to follow that template but you don't have to. You can always write on your own stationary if you so choose. However, if you do, it's crucial that you write your sponsor number and the child's number on the letter to ensure that it goes to your child. It is also worth pointing out that anything you send with letters (stickers, pictures, bookmarks, etc.) should have your sponsor number and the child's number on it as well.

Important things to cover in that first letter:
1. Your name
2. How old you are (if you feel comfortable sharing)
3. Where you live (not exact address, state, country, maybe city)
4. What you do (occupation/school, I don't give the exact name of my school just that I'm in my third year of college and studying psychology)
5. Names of spouse/kids/parents/siblings (whatever is most pertinent) with ages (if comfortable) and occupation/school if applicable

Other than that, everything I currently know about the child I like to provide the same information for them because they don't know a thing about who I am.

Other good things to include are:
1. What I like to do for fun
2. What my favorite food, color, and animal are (and ask the child what there's are)
3. Share my favorite Bible verse or story (ask if the child has a favorite)
4. Share what I want to after school (and ask the child what he/she wants to be when he/she grows up)

Even though you probably want to know everything you possibly can about this child right away, refrain from asking more than three questions per letter. This can become overwhelming for the child and you have a better chance of getting your questions answered if you don't have as many and keep them in one area of the letter (like at the end). Some people highlight them to make them stand out.

Things to ask the child:
Basically, anything you don't currently know about the child that you want to know. This is probably a lot so try to keep it with basic introductory questions and as time goes on you can ask more questions and continue to further your relationship.

Things to send the child:
1. Picture(s) of yourself or your family (make sure you point out which one is you). Don't over think this or give yourself anxiety about it. The child doesn't care what you look like, the child just wants to know who you are. You know what the child looks like, he/she will want to be able to put a face to the name too.

The only word of caution with pictures though is there can be no revealing clothing (no swimsuits) and no anti-Christian messages. Also, no pictures that advertise your material possessions (the child will likely not understand and it's kind of rude) and nothing that shows where you live (for your own privacy)

2. Stickers. Children love stickers. Period.

Don't stress yourself out too much about it and most importantly, have fun as you begin to build this relationship!

Questions/concerns? Feel free to ask!

Monthly Letter Prompt - November

With Thanksgiving having just passed it seemed only natural to talk about Thanksgiving in the letters to my girls this month. For those of you who celebrated this holiday, this is a great way to educate the kids you sponsor or write to.

What to write about (some ideas):
1. The history of Thanksgiving, what the holiday is, and why American's celebrate it
2. From there you could even talk about where your ancestors came from and when some of them came over, if you know
3. The customs of Thanksgiving
4. What you did for Thanksgiving
5. Share what you are thankful for

What to ask:
After I said what I am thankful for this year, I asked what she is thankful for. Maybe you'll have some similarities and maybe you'll learn something about your child or discover new things that you're thankful for.

What to give: I almost always give
1. Current pictures
2. Stickers

The send off:
I never forget to tell my girls that I love them, that God loves them, that they can do anything they want with their life because God has an amazing plan for them and I believe in them, to dream big, and never give up.

Take time to write to your child today!
 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Feature! - Eudes, Damar, Fofo, Sameer, Manik, & and Mame-yaa

Happy Friday! As you move into your weekend, please consider sponsoring one of the following children and changing their life forever! Each has been waiting for a sponsor for 289 days!!

Meet Eudes!
Eudes is five-years-old and lives Chongoyape, Peru. (PS, head over to the Compassion Blog to read entries from Compassion bloggers that are in Peru right now!!) Eudes lives with his mother who is sometimes employed. Most adults in this area work on plantations and earn about $173 per month. Eudes helps his family by running errands. He enjoys playing with cars and playing group games. Change his story today! Or, check out some other kids in Peru that are desperately waiting for sponsors!


Meet Damar!
Damar is five-years-old and lives in Sumowono, Indonesia. He lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as farmers and earn about $77 per month. Damar helps his family by caring for animals and running errands. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer, listening to music, bicycling. Change his story today! Or, check out some other kids in Indonesia that are waiting for sponsors!


Meet Fofo!
Fofo is five-years-old and lives in Kouve Logotome, Togo. He lives with his grandfather (who is sometimes employed as a laborer), his grandmother (who is sometimes employed as a farmer), and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as farmers and earn about $33 per month. Fofo helps his family by washing clothes, running errands, and helping in the kitchen. He enjoys running and playing group games. Change his story today! Or, help another child in Togo that needs you!


Meet Sameer!
Sameer is five-years-old and lives in Bina, India. This is an area with a greater risk of exploitation and abuse (which means there is an increased risk of sex trafficking or forced labor in factories). Sameer lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $22 per month. Sameer helps his family by washing clothes. He enjoys playing group games. Change his story today! Or help another child in India that is desperately waiting for a sponsor!


Meet Manik!
Manik is six-years-old and lives in Musuria, Bangladesh. This is an area with a greater risk of exploitation and abuse (which means there is an increased risk of sex trafficking or forced labor in factories). Manik lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and three siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $43 per month. Manik helps his familiy by caring for animals. He enjoys playing soccer and art. Change his story today! Or save the life of another child in Bangladesh!


Meet Mame-yaa!
Mame-yaa is six-years-old and lives in Kissi, Ghana. This is an AIDS-infected area. Mame-yaa lives with her mother (who is sometimes employed), and three siblings. Most adults in this area work as farmers and earn about $18 per month! Mame-yaa helps her family by running errands. She enjoys playing house and playing group games. Change her story today! Or look at other children in Ghana that are waiting for a sponsor!


As always, if you are unable to sponsor a child, please pray for these children, for their safety and happiness, and that they may find loving sponsors soon. Also, if none of these children speak to your heart, I invite you to find one that does. Have a wonderful weekend! 






Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Compassion Bloggers in Peru

Compassion does this cool thing where bloggers for Compassion go on one of their trips and then blog about the entire experience so others can see what these trips are like. This week, Compassion is in Peru! Below is the first blog post from the trip (but more will be coming soon). It's a great post and definitely worth a read. 

I Cancelled My Sponsorship

Monday, November 12, 2012

10th Ave. North Concert

Last night I volunteered at my first Compassion event, a 10th AVe. North Concert and it was a lot of fun. I've always wanted to be behind one of those big tables full of pictures of children, telling people about my absolute favorite charity.

All of the children available last night live in areas prone to child exploitation and abuse. I learned more specifically what this means. It means that these children are at a greater risk of being human trafficking victims which encompasses some of the greatest evils of the world, human sex trafficking (children as young as three are forced into this), and forced labor (like children making the clothes you're wearing right now). Compassion literally prevents this from happening. Additionally, sponsors that have a child in such an area can choose to give an additional $7 per month. This extra money goes to the country to help with anti-trafficking in that country. You can find a kid for yourself like this on the Compassion website by looking for this symbol.



At the event, after the two opening acts were finished, a member of 10th Ave. North gave a presentation about Compassion. As volunteers, we scattered ourselves around the crowd armed with about forty packets each. Interested individuals raised their hands and we handed out packets to them. It was such an exhilarating feeling to see those hands in the air and place a needy child in their hands. I was close to a group of high school students and once the first girl raised her hand, almost everyone followed suit.

During the intermission we stood in the lobby, helping people sign up to sponsor a child and answer questions. It was so fun. So so so fun. One touching moment was when four high school aged girls picked out a child together and then took a picture with their packet. They all fawned over their child as it was now their collective baby. As the concert got over, a thirteen-year-old boy approached the table and I helped him find a child. I was immediately taken back to my first Compassion experience when I was thirteen and when I picked out my first child and begged my parents to let me do it. I'm not sure if he successfully convinced his parents, but if not, I feel like he'll be back another time.

The evening ended with me talking to my parents about sponsoring another little girl. As I was flipping through packets her picture caught my eye. She's five and lives in Columbia and has this adorable smile. As I began to read I saw that there are 10 children in her family, plus she lives in an area prone to exploitation and abuse. I wanted her to find a sponsor so bad. When the night came to an end and she didn't have a sponsor I knew I had to take her so I did. I'll have another post about her later in the week because I'm so excited about her!

Have a happy Monday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday Feature!! - Luis & Andres

Happy Friday! As you move into your weekend, please consider sponsoring one of the following children, all of which have been waiting for a sponsor for a very long time.

Meet Luis!
Today is Luis's birthday! He is ten-years-old and lives in El Milagro, Peru. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 282 days! Make this his best birthday yet! Luis lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers or farmers and earn about $113 per month. Luis helps his family by gardening, caring for animals, and running errands. He enjoys playing soccer and group games. Change his story today!


Meet Andres!
Andres is ten-years-old and lives near El Alto, Bolivia. He lives in an area prone to exploitation and abuse has been waiting for a sponsor for 375 days! Let's not let him wait another moment! Andres lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother (who maintains the home), and four siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $110 per month! Andres helps his family by running errands and cleaning. For fun he enjoys playing with cars, playing group games, and playing hide-and-go seek. Change his story today!


As always, if none of these children speak to your heart, I invite you to find one that does. Have a blessed day and a fantastic weekend!! 




Introducing Melina!

I am so excited about this. I recently received information about the new child I will be corresponding with. As a reminder, being a correspondent partner means that I simply provide social and spiritual support to a child and in no way support him/her financially. Here she is! Melina Patrick Ndugai from Dodoma, Tanzania!
I could hardly contain my excitement when I found out. I'm really excited to start writing to her and developing my relationship with her.

I absolutely love lions and I have this dream to go to Africa, go on a safari, and see a real lion. One gentleman I went to Brazil with has been to Tanzania with Compassion and told me they go on a safari as a part of the trip. So since Melina is nine years old, my new dream is to go to Tanzania before she graduates, meet her, and then see a real lion :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

It's Letter-Writing Week!

The Compassion blog just posted 20 letter-writing prompts that can help inspire a letter to your sponsor or correspondent child this week. So if what I posted the other day didn't quite inspire you, hopefully this will help!

http://blog.compassion.com/20-letter-writing-prompts-you-can-use/

Go forth and write!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Cool Things in November

This is going to be a big Compassion month for me and I'm so excited. I'm finally going to work at my first Compassion event and do my first Compassion presentation. I'm a little nervous (especially about the second) but I'm tremendously excited for both experiences.

First, this weekend I'm going to be volunteering at a concert that supports Compassion and will most likely be working at the magical table with the packets and signing people up to sponsor their first child. I've always wanted to do that!

Second, I was asked to speak at my college's Wednesday night church service at the end of the month and I will be talking about Compassion. I've never formerly talked about Compassion in front of a large group before so I'm a little nervous but I think it will be a great opportunity to bring Compassion to my campus!

If  you would, please keep me and both of these events in your prayers.

Love & Peace

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Montly Letter Prompt - October

I try to write my siblings at the end of every month (it came a little late this month). This is what I wrote about.

Gift idea: print out a map of the United States and label the names of the states and their capitals. Color it or let your child color it (I colored mine because I like to color). There are multiple things you can do with this.
1. Show the child where you live (only the name of the state and city, no specifics)
2. Show the child where extended family lives (I only did the state and no other specifics)
3. Show the child past places you have lived
4. If you're a college student (like me), show where you go to college in relation to where you live
5. Show the child the states you have visited

I color coordinated. I colored the state I live in purple and outlined it in black. I colored the states where I have family in yellow and outlined in green. I colored Colorado purple and outlined it in blue to show where the Compassion headquarters are. I put a small x in all of the states I have visited.

What to write about: Again there are multiple directions you could go.
1. Talk about where you live. For example I live in Iowa so I mentioned how Iowa is known for agriculture, especially growing corn and soybeans and raising cows and pigs. I also talked about how I have family members that farm. (Including pictures of any of this is an added bonus!)
2. Talk about your extended family and the states they live in. I talked about how often I get to see my family members.
3. Talk about the states you have lived in and why you moved.
4. Talk about college and how that works (to live in one place but go to school in another).
5. Talk about a past vacation you've been on or a place you want to go.
Just be sure to not give specifics on locations in regards to addresses. Also, be sure not to talk to much about things the child may not understand or something that could make him/her uncomfortable such as the size of your home, things you own, wealth, extravagant vacations, etc. Try to keep things modest and relate-able. Also, the more pictures you can provide, the better!

What to ask: I always try to ask questions in each letter to develop the relationship. It can help if you put all of the questions towards the end of the letter or highlight them to make sure they stand out and increase the chance of them being answered.
Here are the things I asked:
1. How close do you live to your family members?
2. How often do you get to see your family members?
3. Have you visited any other parts of Brazil?

I also wish her and her family well and let her know that I am praying for her and some of the things I'm praying for (happiness, health, safety, and that all of her dreams come true). I also encourage her and say something to the effect of: "Keep working hard and never give up. God loves you and has an amazing plan for you and all things are possible through Him. I love you and believe in you. You can do anything you set your mind to. Dream big and never give up!" Then I sign off by saying "Love your sister, Carly".

Write to your child. Let him/her know they are being thought of and they are loved!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday Feature!! - Monbadu, Angel, & Justice

Happy Friday! As you move into your weekend, please consider sponsoring one of the following children today! All of them have a birthday today and you could make this their best birthday yet!

Meet Monbadu.
Monbadu is seven-years-old today and lives in Darlak, India. This is an area prone to exploitation and abuse. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 275 days! Monbadu lives with his father (who is sometimes employed), his mother, and three siblings. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $42 per month. Monbadu helps his family by carrying water, caring for children, and cleaning. For fun he enjoys playing with marbles and running. Change his story today!


Meet Angel.
Angel is nine-years-old today and lives in Zapote Centro, Honduras. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 275 days! Angel lives with his mother who is sometimes employed. Most adults in this area work as day laborers and earn about $263 per month. Angel helps his family by making beds, running errands, and carrying water. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer, playing ball games, and bicycling. Change his story today!


Meet Justice.
Justice is ten-years-old today and lives in Breman Amoanda, Ghana. He has been waiting for a sponsor for 186 days! Justice lives with father and mother (both are sometimes employed), and two siblings. Most adults in this area work as farmers and earn about $35 per month! Justice helps his family by carrying water, running errands, and cleaning. For fun, he enjoys playing soccer, swimming, and art. Change his story today!

As always, if none of these children speak to your heart, I invite you to find one that does. If you are unable to sponsor a child, please pray for these children and that they will find loving sponsors soon.



The Refugees of Sao-Hin

Another amazing article about the Leadership Development Program. These were kids that grew up in terrible poverty and are now ministering and helping others living in extreme poverty. 

The Refugees of Sao-Hin