As a church we launched a partnership with Compassion UK in 2019, focussing on Togo in Western Africa.
As a bit of background, Togo is one of the least developed countries in the world and Compassion work in partnership with local churches in that country to see children released from poverty in Jesus’ name. They bring a lot of this about through a sponsorship model, through which you can sponsor a child and build a relationship with them through letters, photographs and prayer, and that’s where each of us can connect personally.
Compassion are Christ centred, Church based and Child focussed – values that connect well with us at Welcome Church. Jo and I have sponsored children with them for many years now, and it’s been a joy to write letters to those children and receive updates, photos and letters in return. We’ve seen the first children we sponsored grow up from infants to young adults, and they will soon graduate from the programme.
For those who were not with us when we launched our partnership, we did two main things at that time:
Firstly, we gave people the chance to sponsor a child in Togo. Many people responded to that and 184 children are now sponsored by people who are part of Welcome Church.
Secondly, we gave 10% of our June 2019 Building Project Gift Day to a UK government backed “matched funding” initiative for Compassion to fund Child Survival Projects in Togo.
This is vital work because at present in Togo:
- 1 in 20 babies die before their first birthday, mostly from preventable causes
- 1 in 58 women also die due to pregnancy or childbirth
These are shocking statistics, and Compassion are working to change this through their Child Survival Projects (CSPs). These CSPs are run by local churches in Togo. They work with mothers throughout their pregnancy and for the first year of the child’s life to provide:
- Medical support
- Basic provisions – including safe water, hygiene kits and nutritious food
- Education on how to care for a child, remembering that many of the mothers are little more than children themselves
- Skills training to teach work skills that can help them earn a living
- Spiritual support and mentoring
We gave just over £40,000 to that appeal which, due to the matched funding initiative, was doubled to £80,000. As a result of that giving a new Child Survival Project was opened through a Togolese church called Lumiere Epserance (which means Light and Hope).
Some News and Updates
On Sunday 30th April I’ve invited Tim Robertson from Compassion to come and spend the morning with us. He’s going to speak about God’s heart for the poor and bring us the latest news and updates from the projects we’ve supported. There will also be another chance to sponsor a child in Togo if you would like to. It should be a great morning.
I’ve also received the latest written update on the Child Survival Project we funded. It’s a great report with lots of photos and a thank you letter from a mother called Evoda, who has been helped by the project. I’ve attached this report below so you can have a read. Please be encouraged to do that – it will do you good.