Compassion International

For the Taiwan-based nonprofit called Compassion International see Compassion International (Taiwan). This article refers to the US-based international nonprofit with affiliates Compassion Australia, Compassion Canada, Compassion Deutschland, Compassion France, Compassion Italia, Compassion Netherlands, Compassion South Korea, Compassion Suisse and Compassion UK, and Tear Fund NZ.

Compassion International is a Christian child sponsorship organization dedicated to the long-term development of children living in poverty around the world. Compassion International, headquartered in Colorado Springs, functions in 24 countries and currently helps more than 1,000,000 children. The current chairman of the board is Robert Hawkins. Dr. Wesley K. Stafford is the current President and CEO.


The Everett Swanson Evangelistic Association was founded in 1952 by Reverend Everett Swanson to help children orphaned by war in South Korea. He traveled there to preach the gospel to the troops of the army but during his visit he saw children orphaned by the war. In 1953, he began to raise funds and the next year he developed sponsorship programs to help support orphans for a few dollars a month. This money provides Biblical lessons, food, clothing, shelter and medical aid on a regular basis for the children.

The name of the association changed to Compassion in 1963, inspired on Jesus' words "I have compassion on the multitude. I will not send them away hungry" (Matthew 15.32).


The same year Compassion Canada was formed. This is the organization's Canadian branch. Based in London, Ontario, it was founded by Bob and Janet Forsyth of Blenheim, Ontario, who wanted to expand Compassion's ministry from the United States to Canada.

Sponsorship Program

Compassion International's primary program is child sponsorship. As of July 2007 they currently request $32 per month to sponsor a child. Participants can select a child to sponsor, with whom they can exchange correspondence with as well as financially support.

Where They Work

Compassion provides child development aid to children in 25 countries. Each country office is staffed by local country personnel.
Africa Asia Middle America South America
Burkina Faso Bangladesh Dominican Republic Bolivia
Ethiopia India El Salvador Brazil
Ghana Indonesia Guatemala Colombia
Kenya Philippines Haiti Ecuador
Rwanda Thailand Honduras Peru
Tanzania Mexico
Togo Nicaragua


Compassion international currently holds a rating of four stars (out of four) from Charity Navigator, a grade of "A" from the American Institute of Philanthropy and met the "20 Standards for Charity Accountability" from the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.

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