Blessed Not Stressed Bookworm: Literacy Advocacy Series Part 1

Blessed Not Stressed Bookworm

Welcome everyone to my very first blog post! I am incredibly excited to start this new endeavor. Let me start off my explaining the story behind the title of the blog. What better way to do it than with a bullet list?

  1. I recognize that I have been blessed with an education and a support system (thank you family, encouraging childhood teachers, and first world country) that countless other people in the world have never had the opportunity to experience.
  2. Although life can seem incredibly stressful at times (18 credit hours this semester? Bring it.), I know that my troubles pale in comparison to the struggles of others. Therefore, in the grand scheme of things, I am not that stressed.
  3. Among many other interests, reading is my favorite. Reading is the pillar of an education and literacy is something that is needed to obtain an education. So, as a self proclaimed bookworm, I believe that an education should be promoted and encouraged.

There we go. With that taken care of, let’s proceed to our next order of business.

Literacy Advocacy Series Part 1

I will begin this blog, in true Blessed Not Stressed Bookworm spirit, with a series of five amazing organizations that provide literacy and general aid to underprivileged children both right here in the US of A and abroad.

Now, I say literacy and general aid, because often at-risk children (meaning they deal with food insecurity as well as health and safety concerns on the daily) can’t focus on schoolwork until their hunger and health needs are met. So some of these organizations will as it’s put, kill two birds with one stone.

So, what will the first organization be? Drum Roll Please….

 

 

 

top-10-charity-compassion-international

Compassion International was ranked #8 by Change The World, a CNBC affiliate. Photo from here

 

Compassion International began in 1952 with a man named Reverend Everett Swanson who ministered to American troops during the Korean War. While in Korea, he witnessed orphaned children literally freezing to death in the streets. So, he started an orphanage and began an organization where the Western world can sponsor to clothe, house, feed and educate orphans and at-risk children in Korea.

Fast forward to 2016 and they have created a network of sponsors that aid children across Asia, Africa, The Caribbean, and South America. So, you might be asking: What exactly do they do? Well, I’ll tell you.

  1. They emphasize child development from the mother’s prenatal care to the child’s college graduation. This means that they provide an education and career training to these children.
  2. They provide health care to the children and families. From simple yearly check ups to basic hygiene classes and even more critical procedures, a sponsorship or one-time donation will take care of these.
  3. They rescue children at risk of abuse and exploitation. A donation will match them with foster families, trauma care, and legal counseling.
  4. They provide malaria prevention and treatment. They provide malaria awareness classes, mosquito nets, and medicine to combat those who have fallen ill.
  5. They provide income generation tools, such as farm animals for the families. Goats and chickens allow families to sell the milk, meat and eggs for a profit to lift them out of extreme poverty.
  6. They partner with local churches to obtain the goal of strengthening their communities. This is how the children receive their care and education. All of the above programs are operated out of local communities through the funds given to them by international sponsors.
  7. Yes, this is a Christian organization so they preach the Gospel. If that upsets you, well then take a look at #6, #3 , and #2 on that Top 10 Charities Changing The World list.

 

Now, that’s a lot of amazing work! But there are still a few question you might be asking. And I’ll answer as well as I can.

First of all, how can someone become a sponsor? Well, you first find a child. They have a database of all the children who are currently in the Compassion International program, but are waiting for a sponsor. In the database, you can see a picture of the child, learn where they are from and the quality of life they currently live. Looking through the data base, one can’t help but feel as though a weight has been put on their shoulders. Each child’s lives can be drastically changed  with a small donation each month.

 How much money does a sponsor give each month? The recommended amount is $38 a month of which 80% will go to the child’s services and 20% to administration and fundraising efforts.

Where does the money go? Compassion International is very open about their financial records, publishing it on their website every year.

Is a sponsorship/donation to Compassion it tax deductible? Yes! Their not-for-profit model does qualify as a tax deductions.

Can a sponsor send a gift to their sponsored child? Yes and no. A sponsor may send extra money to their child, which the local Compassion correspondents will utilize to provide anything extra that the child and their family may need. A sponsor may also send as many letters as they would like to their child.

Can they visit their sponsored child? Yes they can! Compassion International will arrange a day to visit the child and their family. When on the visit you may bring gifts for the child/family. The sponsor will be accountable for all traveling costs incurred.

If you have any other questions, here is the FAQ page and here is the Compassion Blog. I do not work for Compassion International. However, it is an organization I am very familiar with. The work that they do is expansive, but above all it’s about breaking that cycle of poverty through cooperative efforts that provide a safe environment for underprivileged children to receive an education. When it comes down to it, C.S. Lewis said it best,  “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

Have you donated to Compassion International or any similar organizations? Leave a comment and let me know!

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