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Compassion UK trip to Kolkata India

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From the 1st to 6th March, Dave and Helen Bull from All Saints Church in Marlow travelled to Kolkata as guests of Compassion UK, a child sponsorship charity that cares for 1.4 million of the poorest children in 26 countries around the world. They visited three different projects and met graduates of the programme. Every one of Compassion’s projects is run by a carefully selected local church. Every child is known by name and receives support for body, mind, heart and spirit. The results are truly inspiring and this is their story.

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Compassion UK trip to Kolkata India

  1. 1. Kolkata Trip – 2015 4U team and Compassion UK
  2. 2. Where? Delhi 8 ½ hours
  3. 3. Where? Kolkata (Calcutta) 2 ½ hours
  4. 4. Who? 16 church leaders, guests of Compassion UK
  5. 5. Why? To see the work of Compassion in East India Compassion works through a local church to deliver programmes to the poorest children they can find.
  6. 6. Why? Compassion works with the poorest of the poor in 26 countries. They have1.4 million children in their programmes but need more sponsors…
  7. 7. What did we see? • Three church-based projects – Including visits to see where the children lived • 21 year old university students who have been sponsored since the age of 4 • The Compassion East India office • Mother Teresa’s house
  8. 8. Every Compassion project aims to meet the Social, Physical, Economic and Spiritual needs of every child Project 1: A Child Survival project out in the countryside
  9. 9. Compassion selects children from the poorest families within a 2 mile radius of the project
  10. 10. New mothers are educated in hygiene, vaccinations, nutrition, and disease prevention
  11. 11. We travelled by rickshaw right out into the countryside…
  12. 12. …to visit this family in their home. This little girl has recently joined the project and lives with her mother and mother-in-law.
  13. 13. They showed us their home – including their kitchen. A fire is lit in the holes to heat the pans on top.
  14. 14. Project 2: A Child Sponsorship project for immigrant families There were about 200 children in the project, each of them sponsored by a family through Compassion
  15. 15. We joined in their assembly where the girls performed a traditional dance for us.
  16. 16. Then they invited us to dance for them… …a decision we think they regretted!
  17. 17. At break time we played frisbee and cricket with the children and heard from them about the huge difference the project makes to their lives.
  18. 18. This family of 6 live in a 3 room shack sandwiched between a busy road and a swampy pond. Above the bed you can see school books from the project. The daughter plans to become a doctor.
  19. 19. Project 3: A Child Sponsorship project in the middle of a Kolkata slum
  20. 20. We met and played with the children
  21. 21. Helen joined the girls making crafts
  22. 22. Dave played football with the boys
  23. 23. We visited this girl’s home down the end of an alley in the slums. Her family of 4 lives in this room, which has no natural light. She loves dance and wants to become a dance teacher.
  24. 24. This young lady has been sponsored from the age of 4. Now aged 21, she came from a very poor background but is now at university to study a Masters in social work. Her ambition is to return to her community and work to improve life for others. Her story was utterly inspiring.
  25. 25. Mother Teresa’s room. From here she changed the world, by loving one person at a time.
  26. 26. The lesson of our trip We can’t change the whole world. But we can change the whole world for one child.
  27. 27. What next? 1. We are exploring 4U team involvement in child sponsorship (both as churches and via our church schools). People are already expressing an interest. 2. Compassion can arrange for us to sponsor children from the same area, and even through the same church. This would make it possible for us to arrange visits in the future to visit sponsored children and support the church. 3. Find out more from www.compassionuk.org 4. Watch this space… and please let us know your thoughts.

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