Compassion International's Child Sponsorship Program Works
September 27, 2013

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Child sponsorship programs are big business in the US but many have wondered about their effectiveness. Over $3 billion is given annually to sponsor poor children around the world and many Christian homes support one or more children, sharing letters with them and having their sponsored child's picture on their refrigerator. At MinistryWatch.com, we have been concerned with the trend of many Christian child sponsorship programs leaving the gospel behind. In fact, our very first MinistryWatch.com Donor Alert highlighted the fact that the Christian Children's Fund was no longer a Christian organization ultimately leading to the group changing its name to take "Christian" out of it. We have also wondered if sponsoring children was more a fundraising scheme than something which generated long-lasting benefits.

We are therefore very happy to report on the results of a study of Compassion International's child sponsorship program. While only Compassion agreed to be in the study (what were the other child sponsorship groups afraid of?), the results were impressive. To quote from the Stanford Social Innovation Review which wrote on the study:

"The impacts that we find on secondary school completion and on employment are fairly remarkable," says Bruce Wydick, a professor of economics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. "We did the study in six countries, and in all six countries we find positive impacts from sponsorship." Wydick and colleagues followed more than 10,000 adults in Bolivia, Guatemala, India, Kenya, the Philippines, and Uganda. The adults who had received charitable sponsorship as children are one-third more likely to have finished high school, and on average they complete more than a year of additional education. They are also 35 percent more likely to have a white-collar job."

MinistryWatch.com has long favored Compassion among the various child sponsorship groups because of their inclusion of the gospel message along with their efforts to help the children and their families overcome poverty. Now, we have additional data to back up the fact that Compassion International is making a real difference in the lives of many who need help the most. MinistryWatch.com has given Compassion International our Shining Light Award in five different years and this ministry appears very worthy of your consideration for support.

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