Thursday, September 18, 2008

BBAW Spotlight: Compassion and the Global Food Crisis Part 1

When I first opened my eyes to the suffering in the world, and the fact that I could help do something about it, the organization that caught my attention was Compassion International. Compassion is primarily a child sponsorship organization that works with the poorest of the poor. Compassion is different from other child sponsorship organizations in that it works entirely through the local Christian church, does not receive government grants, and sponsorship is truly a one sponsor to one child arrangement. I have carefully researched Compassion and I believe they have great integrity. I have had a life changing experience sponsoring four children from Bangladesh, India, Thailand, and Nicaragua. I exchange letters with these children, and their sweet faith and kind words bless me, encourage me, and challenge me. (I tell you that I sponsor 4 not to boast, but so that you’ll know just how much I believe in Compassion’s work)

But today, more than child sponsorship, I want to bring our attention to the Global Food Crisis. I’m taking this directly from the information page on Compassion;

The World Food Programme calls the global food crisis a phenomenon, a "silent tsunami" that is affecting families in every nation on every continent. Though increases in food prices have hit all budgets, the poor bear the brunt of price inflation. The higher prices are forcing people who survive on just U.S.$1 a day to spend upward of 80 percent of their budgets just on food. The longer food prices rise, the more people will be plunged into hunger and poverty.

You can read more specific information about the global food crisis here.

Bangladesh is one of the hardest hit countries. While Compassion provides at least one meal a day for children in the program, some children feel guilty eating even that, knowing that their family won’t have it. I sponsor a child in Bangladesh. It breaks my heart to imagine her going to bed at night her tummy rumbling from hunger. It breaks my heart to think she bears the burden of having food when her family doesn’t.

The good news is we can do something. We can provide food for an entire month for a child for just $13. That’s about the cost of one trade paperback book. A relatively small sacrifice to make for children like Shampa (the girl I sponsor) to eat. Please visit this page at Compassion International to donate funds to the global food crisis now. (If you do decide to donate, I would love for you to check the box that says you have special instructions regarding the donation, and mention that you learned about the Global Food Crisis through Book Blogger Appreciation Week.)
If you are interested in a more long term solution, several children have been waiting for six months or longer for a sponsor since being registered in the Compassion program. Please check out the profiles of these children here. If you have any questions about child sponsorship through Compassion International, don't be afraid to ask me!


Ruth said...

As another blogger who is a Compassion sponsor, I really encourage anyone who's been thinking about getting involved with Compassion to go for it. It's a great organization. It's been such an enriching experience for me. I sponsor a little girl named Eunice in El Salvador. It's wonderful to get letters from her and hear how much of a difference the Compassion program has made for her family.

She and her brother are both in the program, and in a recent letter she told me that the last time they each got letters from their sponsors on the same day, she and her brother were so excited to show them to their mother that they ran all the way home. It meant a lot to me to know that a simple letter could bring them that much joy.

I'm planning to send along a donation for the global food crisis with my regular donation this month. El Salvador has been hit hard by the crisis as well.

sheistoofondofbooks said...

Thanks for telling us about Compassion Intl, Amy; and for sharing your experience, Ruth. Sponsoring a child can be very impactful for both sides!

bookroomreviews said...

Thanks so much for letting me know about this wonderful organization! I will certainly look into it!

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