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Who We are

Compassion means “to suffer with” and is an emotional response of sympathy. But it’s not just a feeling. The feeling is combined with a desire to help. Because we have compassion, we want to take action and help the person who is suffering. Notice the last word of the definition above — “with.” We are called to suffer with someone, to suffer together. This is what differentiates compassion from empathy.

In line of the above, Compassion International is a Christian Child Development Organization with the mission of “Releasing Children from poverty in Jesus’ name”. It’s a mission about love. We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others.

We offer our programs to the poorest of the poor, to the children in greatest need, without ulterior motive. We devote ourselves to helping children of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds and race — without imposing any religious obligation or conversion requirement upon them.
We simply aspire to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ, in who we are and what we do.

Our Mission

Releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name is a mission about love. We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others. We offer our programs to the poorest of the poor, to the children in greatest need, without ulterior motive.

We devote ourselves to helping children of all faiths, cultures, backgrounds and race — without imposing any religious obligation or conversion requirement upon them. We simply aspire to be like our Savior, Jesus Christ, in who we are and what we do.

Our Values

Christian integrity is aligning our thoughts, motivations, attitudes and actions with the ethical principles found in God’s Word. In both our personal lives and our ministry, what we believe, what we say and what we do should be consistent, congruent, reliable and transparent.

Excellence is doing things God’s way — consistently doing everything that we are called to do with outstanding quality. We do the right thing … the right way … every time.

The ministry of Compassion belongs to the children, our Frontline Church Partners, our sponsors and donors, our Supporting Church Partners and ultimately to God. Therefore, we protect, develop and deploy all of our resources (people, time, money, knowledge, reputation and materials) with great care and wisdom.

Each person is created in God’s image and bears God’s likeness. Jesus treated everyone with respect and willingly gave His life for the redemption of all people. Therefore, all people are worthy of our respect and love.

Compassion is a Jesus-centered ministry. As such, we approach every aspect of our work in Jesus’ name and actively pursue the will of God as we go about accomplishing our mission together. We believe God guides us in multiple ways as we seek to follow and never contradict Scripture, pray for guidance, pursue wise counsel, engage our God-given gifts and leverage our experience to make community-affirmed, Spirit-led decisions — large and small — together. It is our confidence in this process and a posture of humility that allows us to learn from, repurpose and implement solutions developed inside or outside of Compassion in ways that honor God and further our mission. We also understand that decisions made too slowly or too quickly can be hurtful to our mission. As such, we depend on God to help us balance the many competing forces to make “just at the right time,” God-honoring decisions.

What we do

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

We help develop children into all God intends them to be

Child development equips children today with skills to succeed tomorrow. Holistic child development provides opportunities that encourage the healthy development of all aspects of a child — spiritually, physically, socially, emotionally, and even economically.

Holistic child development means we begin assisting a child in poverty, in some cases, when the child is still in the womb, and it means we go all the way through young adulthood with the child.

Holistic child development requires a long-term approach and goes beyond simple involvement in the life of a child. It involves long-term dedication and perseverance, and it changes as a child’s needs change. Holistic child development is tailored to a child's age, gender, health, culture and family situation.

We do all of our work through local churches

We work with thousands of local churches around the world, and each church partner tailors our holistic child development model to the contextualized needs of the children in its community, to best deliver the whole-life care the children need.

We work primarily through child sponsorship, but also have specific initiatives to help babies and mothers, to develop future leaders, and to meet critical needs.

We release children from poverty in Jesus's name

That is our mission, which we work to achieve through a holistic approach to child development. We carefully blend physical, social, economic and spiritual care together…in Jesus' name.

Get Involved!

Take Action to Release More Children from Poverty

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
- Matthew 25:40

103,187

Sponsored Children

423

Frontline Church Partners

30

Districts of Operation

1600

Fulltime Child Development Workers

News Room
Frequently Asked Questions
Compassion International is a Christian child development organization dedicated to releasing children from poverty. Our ministry to children is twofold: We work through local churches to provide child development programs to deliver children from economic, physical, social and spiritual poverty, enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults. And we speak out for children in poverty – informing, motivating and equipping others to become advocates for children.
Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.
The hallmark of Compassion's work is one-to-one child sponsorship. A sponsor is someone who has made the decision to personally invest in the life of a child in need. Through sponsorship, children are able to participate in a church-based program that offers life-changing benefits that range from educational opportunities to health care.
Compassion began in the heart of one man moved by Korean War orphans in 1952. The Rev. Everett Swanson was on a successful preaching tour in South Korea when he encountered the bitter poverty of Korea's unwanted children. He knew he had to do something. Upon his return to the United States, Everett established a program that allowed caring people to provide food, shelter, education, medical care and Christian training for Korean orphans. That program was, and remains, the foundation and core of Compassion International.