"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" Proverbs 31:8-9

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Time is running out

*This is a repost*

Hola! My name is Jorge. My birthday was in April. I turned 11 years old. I live in a city called Santa Rosa de Copan, which is in the mountains of Honduras. I live with my parents, who love me very much but have to work all the time. My mother sometimes works as a labourer and my father as a mason. When they do work they only get about $40 a week, which isn't much when they have to feed me and my 3 siblings, clothe us, send us to school and repair our home after the storms that come at Christmastime.

I like to play soccer with my friends, but we are too poor to buy a soccer ball of my own. I have to share with all the kids in my neighbourhood.

I will be so happy to have a sponsor. I have waited many months. Please, if you will sponsor me, I promise to write letters, to pray for you and to love you. Until I get a sponsor I will continue to go to the Compassion Project and each day I will cross my fingers and hope that I will get the news that I have been the lucky one, chosen to be sponsored.

If you would like to sponsor Jorge, I have his packet until 30th June. Sponsorship through Compassion Australia is $44 a month.

Update: 30th June- Many thanks to my Mum who has chosen to sponsor Jorge.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Review- The Street Children of Brazil by Sarah De Carvalho

My rating: 3 1/2 Stars

If you do not want your heart broken for children living on the streets, do NOT read this book. This is the incredible story of Sarah De Carvalho and how she founded Happy Child.

I found some of the chapters a bit 'bland' especially after the first chapter opens with Sarah being caught in a cross fire in the slums of the city – it's a bit hard to keep my attention after all the action on the first few pages. There are many gripping first hand accounts of life on the streets, many from children themselves.

I wanted to read this book to gain a different perspective on Brazil, particularly because we sponsor Igor in Brazil. Even though Igor does not live on the streets, it helps to gain some perspective.

I read the updated edition, which was very interesting to read how Happy Child has grown in the many years after the book was first published.

You can not read this book without your heart reaching out to the street children, not only in Brazil, but across the world.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

El Salvador

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. It is situated between Guatamala and Honduras.

El Salvador is the smallest but also one of the most violent countries in Central America. The country is still recovering from civil war that ended in 1992. The inequality between the wealthy and the poor, which started the war, still exists. Recently, the government has committed to stimulating the economy and reducing poverty in the prime areas of conflict in the civil war (the countries northern region) through investing into education, public services, enterprise development and transportation infrastructure.

Approx 75,000 Salvadorans were displaced and had their homes damaged when Hurricane Ida hit in 2009.

Issues children face in El Salvador:
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Fevers
  • Diarrhoea
  • Influenza
  • Malnutrition
  • Lice
  • Endemic Diseases
  • Colds
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
Many communities in El Salvador are in desperate need for employment opportunities, vocational training, school supplies, telephone services, electricity, recreation centres, literacy education, libraries, law enforcement, improved roads, tuition assistance and drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs.


Compassion International began working in El Salvador in 1977. Nearly 33,900 children participate in around 165 child development centres. Compassion Australia assists over 2,100 of these children. Currently, 18 Child Survival Programs are in operation.

To sponsor a child in El Salvador click here
Examples of what a monetary gift can buy your sponsor child in El Salvador:
$10 and under: beans, book, rice, salt, shampoo, soap, sugar, tools, toothpaste, underwear
$15 and under: ball, blanket, chicken, clothes, doll, lamp, pants, shirts, shoes, toy
$50 and under: various amounts of food, mattress

Examples of what a monetary gift can buy for your sponsor child's family:
$100 and under: bicycle, goat

Income generating ideas which can be purchased for under $300
Medium sized pig
Used sewing machine

Monday, 13 June 2011

Topics to Avoid

Although there are many, many topics to write to your sponsor child about, there is a few things that Compassion would prefer we avoid.

Topics to avoid:
  • Elaborating on your material possessions, such as how big your home is, what car you have and how expensive it is, telling your child that you just bought a new TV
  • Revealing your personal address
  • Suggesting your child should visit you, wherever you live
  • Asking what you could buy them as a gift
  • Using slag- it makes it difficult for the translators

It is also best not to send photos of your possessions, such as sitting in your car and standing with your house. These would only escalate the differences between you and your sponsor child. Instead, try and find common ground. You may enjoy reading or cooking, and so may your sponsored child. Why not write about these topics instead?

Your sponsor child would be happy to receive any letters from you, regardless if you think what you are writing about is 'boring'. Johana, my 11 yr old sponsor girl, often asks me what the weather is like. Topics such as this are very educational and interesting for those living in other countries and climates. I'm sure children in the Philippines, Mexico or Rwanda would love to read about snow, and why not send some photos of snow on mountains or a nice sunset?

Saturday, 11 June 2011


Ecuador is located in South America. The country shares boarders with Colombia and Peru. The country also includes in Galapagos Islands, which are located about 1,000km west of the mainland, in the Pacific Ocean.

Economic instability in Ecuador has made life difficult for the poor. Currently, approx 35% of the population live in poverty. In 2008, heavey seasonal rains caused flooding to nearly half the country. Approx 300,000 people (40% of these were children) had to flee their homes, and more than 14,000 people were living in shelters and schools.

Issues children in Ecuador face:
  • Colds / Flu
  • Kidney Infections
  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Skin Diseases
  • Anaemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Parasites
  • Dental Problems
  • Kidney infections
  • Malaria

Many communities need high schools, proper sanitation, education awareness, recreation facilities, medical facilities, improved sewer systems, improved access to nutritious food and clothing.

Examples of what a monetary gift can buy for your sponsored child in Ecuador:

$10 and under: two chickens
$20 and under: goat, pig, pair of guinea pigs for breeding
$30 and under: sheep, used bicycle

Examples of what a monetary gift can purchase for your sponsor child's family:
$75 and under: new bicycle, used sewing machine
$150 and under: new sewing machine
$250 and under: cow

Income generating ideas which can be purchased with a monetary family gift are:
$45 and under: coolers to sell cold drinks or ice creams
$120 and under: blender and electric juicer to prepare juice for sale
$250 and under: BBQ with table for selling fast food
$300 and under: A set of hand tools and electric tools to be used for wood-working, bicycle pulling a cart to sell fruit/ vegetables

Compassion International began working in Ecuador in 1974. Over 47,000 children participate in around 189 child development centres. Compassion Australia assists over 2,400 of these children. Currently 137 Ecuadorian students are enrolled in the Leadership Development Program. 35 Child Survival Programs are currently in operation.

To sponsor a child in Ecuador click here

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Small blank cards with envelopes like these are perfect to send to sponsor children, in particular teenager girls.  I’m sure they would love to write little cards to their friends, parents, teacher or project worker. 

You can find packs of small cards almost anywhere, with the cheapest being a discount store.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, in the Caribbean. Two thirds of the island is occupied by the Dominican Republic, and the other third by the nation of Haiti.

Approximately 55.4% of the Dominican Republic's children under the age of five live in poverty. Children in most rural and some urban areas are most vulnerable, and often suffer from malnutrition and a lack of health care and education.

While primary school education is free, many children fail to complete it because they are required to contribute to the family income. 10% of children are involved in child labour from the age of five.

There is no national health system or old-age pensions, leaving many people, young and old, struggling to survive.

Many communities require proper sanitation, water services, employment opportunities, recreational facilities, drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs, hospitals, schools, law enforcement, scholastic materials and vocational training.

Issues children in the Dominican Republic face:
  • Malnutrition
  • Parasites
  • Stomach Illnesses
  • Flu
  • Skin Infections
  • Vision Problems
  • Fevers
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

Examples of what a monetary gift can buy your sponsor child in the Dominican Republic:

$10 and under: baseball, baseball bat, doll, Ping Pong, set of jacks, ball, books, shirt, chicken, lamp, socks.
$25 and under: set of bed sheets, pants, school books, shoes, small bike, skateboard.

Examples of what a monetary gift can buy for your sponsor child's family:
$75 and under: bicycle, blender, fan, toaster
$200 and under: goat, mattress, sewing machine (used), stove, washing machine

Compassion International began working in the Dominican Republic in 1970. Over 39,600 children participate in around 144 child development centres and Compassion Australia assists over 2,700 of these children. Compassion's Leadership Development Program, Children Survival Program and various Complementary Interventions operate throughout the country. Currently 70 students are enrolled in the Leadership Development Program and 14 Child Survival Programs are in operation.

To sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic click here

Monday, 6 June 2011

7,000 vs. 50,000

I was recently reading a journal about a bloggers trip to the Philippines, and they wrote a staggering statistic.

Out of 57,000 Compassion sponsored children in the Philippines alone, only 7,000 receive letters monthly.

I congratulate the 7,000 sponsors who write monthly. It's not a easy task, it takes time and effort out of our “busy” lives. I encourage you to keep writing regularly.

And I encourage other sponsors to at least write a few sentences to their sponsor child once a month. These words mean so much to our sponsor children – more than we could ever know.

Just think, if 50,000 children in the Philippines alone do not receive regular monthly letters, I cannot imagine how many hundreds of thousands of sponsor children worldwide are waiting patiently to receive a letter of love from their sponsor.

Is your sponsor child in the 50,000 or 7,000 statistic? 

Will you commit to writing to your sponsor child monthly?

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Bookmarks - Steve Parish

These bookmarks are made by Steve Parish.  There are many Australian animals on them, and a variety of colours.

On the reverse is some short information about the animal.  For non-English speaking children you could write this information in your letter so it is translated.

These RRP $1.25 ea

Friday, 3 June 2011

Sticky Notes

I found these different design sticky notes at Officeworks, in a discount bin for $1.25 I think.  They’re nicer than plain yellow.

The pad of paper would be too thick to send altogether, so if you split it in half it would go through fine.

I’m sure they would be a novelty for a child of any age, but I think teenagers would appreciate them the most.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A Grown Up Young Man..

Yesterday, I noticed another photo had changed on my Compassion account.

This is the latest photo of my correspondence child, Pacifique, who will be turning 15 in August.

He has grown into a handsome young man...