One of the great joys of my work at Mary & Martha is overseeing our partnership with Compassion International.
This organization is changing the lives of children and families around the world by helping release them from poverty in Jesus’ name. Our Mary & Martha community plays a key role in Compassion’s mission through our ongoing financial support. In addition to the direct contributions made to Compassion on our order forms, Mary & Martha donates 1% of all sales.
Today, I’m excited to announce how Compassion will begin using those funds as we expand our commitment to the children, mothers and families living in the Arusha region of Tanzania. In 2020, Mary & Martha made the decision to focus our support in this area where Compassion has a strong network of partner churches who are doing remarkable work amidst tremendous need. We built a Child Development Center, sponsored nearly 200 children, provided emergency baskets for the children and their families during Covid and provided support for child survival programs.
Here is a short summary of the three Compassion projects in 2021 made possible by the ongoing generosity of our Mary & Martha community:
Helping launch a Compassion child development center in Qurus, a very poor community served by Compassion’s church partner Anglican Gidnaja. These local centers provide a safe place for Compassion-sponsored children to receive tutoring, Christian training, nutritious food, medical checkups and healthcare plus have fun with games and sports. Our funds will provide the center, which serves more than 150 children, with student desks, latrines, hygiene kids, cooking utensils and clean water facilities.
Supporting a local Child Survival project connected to Compassion’s TAG Jerusalem Bashay child development center. Babies in poverty are too often the victims of infant mortality, and in Tanzania the infant mortality rate is 8 times the rate here in U.S. Compassion’s Child Survival initiative focuses on the health of expectant mothers and babies with trained Survival specialists providing home-based care before and after the baby is born, and supportive, group learning communities for mothers.
Ensuring no child is turned away by supporting Compassion’s Unsponsored Children’s Fund that will directly benefit 163 children across 10 child development centers in the Arusha region. The fund ensures that families can go ahead and enroll their children with the local center before each child is paired with a sponsor – a process that typically takes 3 months but is now longer because of the pandemic.
Recently, I read the story of Halidi, a Compassion-sponsored child living in Tanzania, whose testimony fuels my personal fire for our work. Halidi’s mother was widowed at a young age with three children. The family had nowhere to turn, and things were very desperate for this young Mother and these precious children. Fortunately, a local Compassion center had recently opened nearby and Halidi was registered. The center quickly gave the family food and money for rent as well as capital for his mother to start a soap-making business. Halidi and his family now have hope for the future and their faith is strong. God is truly at work!
I too have hope for many more inspiring testimonies like Halidi’s made possible through the amazing work of Compassion and their local church partners. Look for updates on these three projects over the coming months.
I also want to share that later this month we’ll be announcing some exciting plans in support of Giving Tuesday on November 30, 2021 with a special Compassion connection!
At Mary & Martha we are an Army of Women with a mission to break the cycle of poverty in Jesus name. For us, it is about serving the children and as a result we are delivering an eternal impact in the lives of children in need and the lives of their entire family, families like that of little Halidi.
To learn how you support children when you shop and host with Mary & Martha, and to see other projects we’ve been able to complete, go to www.maryandmartha.com/compassion.
To sponsor a child in Tanzania and change their family’s life, you can go to https://www.compassion.com/maryandmartha.
We can’t wait to tell you more about next month!