Broadly speaking poverty is any circumstance that prevents individuals from being able to make choices about their lives. It is fuelled by a number of factors including war, natural disasters, unfair trading practices, social prejudice and corrupt governments.

Sadly it is children who often suffer the bitterness of raw poverty; they do not cause the wars in which they fight and die; they do not run the brothels in which they are abused and they do not own the sweat shops in which they are exploited.

In a world full of pain and confusion, responding to the needs of the poor should not be an optional extra. The Gospels teach us that sharing with those in need is an integral part of Christian life. One exhausted relief worker recently argued, “…humanitarian demand seems to be outstripping the supply of official and private compassion; an engagement with the human tragedies of poverty must be renewed”.

It’s simple: one person in the developed world sponsors one desperately poor and vulnerable child in the developing world for just £25 a month.

All of the programmes run by Compassion attend to the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the sponsored child and create a special partnership between the needy child, his or her local church and the sponsor.