There are now just two days left until Cait and I set off for Uganda to take a thorough look behind the scenes of child sponsorship charity Compassion UK and to meet one of the children that our family sponsors through it. Yesterday I wrote a post which answered some of the main questions regarding sponsoring a child with Compassion UK and our pre-trip series of posts continues today with a little more information on the charity itself.
Child sponsorship isn’t the only thing that Compassion does to break the cycle of poverty that exists for these children. In fact, Compassion’s work goes far further than that and one such initiative starts at the very beginning with the Child Survival Programme.
Preventing the preventable
Poverty is not a friend at the best of times but for women who live within its grasp, it proves a real danger to both mother and baby. In the next 24 hours it is estimated that approximately 800 women and children will die from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, 99% of which are those living in developing countries.
And the harsh thing to accept is that these deaths can be easily prevented.
Let’s allow that to sink in for a moment – that’s 800 needless and avoidable deaths every single day.
Here is another figure for you: 17,000 children under the age of five die from causes that can, for the most part, be avoided.
This mortality rate is the dreadfully high cost of failing to prevent the preventable.
And frankly, there’s no excuse for it.
The importance of starting early
Compassion recognises this needless loss of life and works to reduce deaths for mothers and babies through its Child Survival Programme. Knowing that education and awareness is key to lowering maternal and infant mortality rates, this programme helps the most vulnerable of the world’s mothers in a number of not only life-changing, but life-saving ways:
First comes a minimum of four prenatal health screenings where pregnant mothers are provided with advice and information on pregnancy complications by qualified healthcare specialists. They are given one-to-one support during birth and then both mother and baby are provided with vaccinations, medical checks and postnatal care.
Health and Nutritional Support:
Helping mothers stay strong and healthy enough to care for their own babies is immensely important so every month Compassion provides them with a basket of nutritious food and vitamins. They are also educated on the importance of eating well and on matters such as hygiene, sanitation and general health – things they might not otherwise have even known about yet could easily be the difference between life and death.
Providing Necessary Supplies:
It doesn’t matter where in the world a baby is born, in order to survive they need the most basic of supplies. The Child Survival Programme provides essentials such as nappies, blankets, clothing and hygiene packs.
Every mother has those days, the ones where they feel so very alone – I know I do! Knowing that there is a support network in already difficult circumstances is vital, providing encouragement, advice and love for mothers who, in many cases, have nobody else to turn to.
Compassion’s Christ-centred approach allows mothers and their babies the opportunity to hear the gospel message safe in the care and love of Compassion staff and volunteers.
How much does it cost to make the difference between life and death?
Together, the education with regards to the importance of health, nutrition, vaccinations, sanitisation and safe water provided within the Child Survival Programme is enough to drastically reduce mortality rates of mothers and babies in developing countries. Simple enough, right? But how much does this cost to deliver? Much less than you are probably expect. A single donation of £10 can could feed a mother and her baby for one month, £25 provides a new born care package which includes a blanket, soap, lotion, nappies and towels while a £50 donation provides an infant with medical care for a whole year.
What happens next?
Once mothers and babies have graduated from the Child Survival Programme, support is ongoing. The child is given the opportunity to participate in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship programme, allowing them to find a sponsor of their own which will enable them to complete their education, continue with medical care, and eventually develop a means to be independent, healthy and earning their own living, therefore breaking the cycle of poverty. Thinking of sponsoring a child? There are many that need a sponsor just like you, right now. Click here to take a look at some of them.
Join us in Uganda to see the Child Survival Programme in action
As well as visiting the projects that sponsored children attend, providing them with the opportunity to change their lives, Cait and I will also be visiting a Child Survival Programme in Uganda. Here we will see how this combination of support, education and love enables women and their babies thrive in circumstances that they might not otherwise have been able to even survive.
Follow our trip here on www.largerfamilylife.com as well as on Twitter with the handle @LargerFamily, on Facebook right here and over on Instagram too. We’ll also be adding videos to our YouTube channel here. And please do make sure you share, share, share and help us spread the word so we can get as many children sponsored as possible.