Compassion International

Where we work

Compassion in Africa

Your donation to the AIDS Fund helps Africa, which remains the center of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. With millions living with HIV, your donation can directly help those affected.

Africa is the world’s second largest continent. Its 1.2 billion people belong to more than 3,000 different ethnic groups and speak more than 2,000 languages. After many years of colonial rule, most African countries achieved independence by the end of the 1970s, but today, many countries in Africa face major problems.

Hunger in Africa is devastating hundreds of millions of people, and nearly one-third (16) of Africa’s 54 countries are counted among the world’s poorest countries. From armed conflicts to drought and famine to epidemics of AIDS, cholera, Ebola, COVID-19 and other diseases, poverty in Africa is hampering the economic progress of its people and destroying their future.

Compassion’s Africa child development centers, started in 1980, now serve more than 317,400 children in eight countries and are helping release children from poverty through programs encouraging the healthy development of all aspects of a child — spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally, and even economically.

About us

What Makes Us Distinct?

More than 1.9 million sponsored children, over 8,000 international church partners and 65+ years of serving children in Jesus' name.

A "Three-cord" Approach to Ministry

We are Christ-centered, church-based and child-focused.

Taken individually each cord is not unique. However, when taken together and with our Statement of Faith, why we serve, how we serve and who we serve creates a distinct approach to ministry.


We help the poorest of the poor, the children in greatest need, without ulterior motive because we are a “love thy neighbor” ministry.

Beginning in 1952, when Rev. Everett Swanson first developed special sponsorship programs for individuals, families or churches to help support Korean War orphans for a few dollars a month, we have worked to help children realize their full potential and develop into all God intends them to be.

Jesus’ life and teachings shape our programs and guide all aspects of our ministry. From how we work to how we treat people, respect communities and cooperate with nations, our response to a world filled with hundreds of millions of children living in extreme poverty is to love like Jesus did.

Because Jesus is our core, everything we do for children is meant to reflect God’s heart.

We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others — in Jesus’ name — irrespective of caste, creed, class or religion. This way of living is modeled and shared with the beneficiaries of our programs in age-appropriate, culturally relevant ways without coercion, manipulation or forced compliance. All the checkups for physical care, the safe environments for play and interaction, the regular mentoring and tutoring…all our work is done in accord with the teaching of Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV).


We do all of our work through partnerships with thousands of local churches in 25 countries around the world.

Local churches are catalysts for community change, optimizing the mutual respect, resources and common purpose critical in caring for children in poverty.

We work in partnership with local churches because we desire to equip the Church to fulfill its role as salt and light to the world.

A local church is best suited to address the needs of the children in its community because the church is already located in and involved in the community. Only the local church can effectively deliver the Jesus-based teaching and whole-life care that children in poverty deserve.

It is our honor to walk alongside local churches as they share the love of Jesus in their neighborhoods. We trust the Church’s ability to create an environment of unparalleled stability where children experience God’s love and acceptance in tangible ways.


When a child is registered in our Child Sponsorship Program the beneficiary of the support is the specific sponsored child. Siblings, parents and other caregivers may receive additional or indirect benefits from our programs, but our focus is the one child.

Through our holistic child development model, we blend physical, social, economic and spiritual care together to help children in poverty fully mature in every facet of life and transcend what is often a generational legacy of poverty. Communities often feel the positive impact of the “child-first” work our church partners do because what happens in the life of a child ripples throughout his environment, but we are unashamedly and singularly focused on children.

We are the world’s leading authority in holistic child development through sponsorship.

Child development means each child assisted by our church partners receives whole-life care that is personal, individualized, relational, and tailored to the child’s age, gender, health, culture and family situation. Our focus on children involves a commitment to long-term involvement in a child’s life. It is an investment in and for the life of the child.

Our Commitment to Sponsors and Donors

For more than 65 years we have worked to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name and have trusted the ability of our church partners to create environments of unparalleled stability where children can experience God’s love and acceptance in tangible ways. We are, and have always been, Christ-centered, church-based and child-focused. That is simply who we are. And we commit to remaining so. Because that is what God intends for us to be.

We also commit to continue:

  • developing children individually and holistically: mind, body and spirit
  • prioritizing the safety and protection of the children in our programs
  • educating you about the complex issues of poverty and the effects of poverty on children
  • the highest standards of financial integrity and accountability, including only using money for the purpose for which it was raised, regularly performing program audits to ensure our programs are well managed and funds are properly disbursed and applied, and balancing low administrative and fundraising costs with high-quality programs
  • linking each child to only one sponsor at a time
  • giving every child in our program a chance to learn about Jesus, respond to the gospel, and develop a lifelong relationship with God