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Advocates for children in poverty

Experiencing first-hand the work of Compassion

Marta Alonso Pané, travel consultant at our Tilburg office, the Netherlands, recently got the opportunity to travel with one of our long-term customers Compassion. She joined a ten day group tour which went through El Salvador and Guatemala. The trip proved to be very intensive and demanding for Marta, nonetheless an unforgettable experience.

Compassion performs as an advocate for children, to release them from their spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty. They help children in poverty become responsible, fulfilled and self-reliant adults. Their primary focus does not lie on helping communities but on helping the individual child. Compassion’s projects are run by local churches in areas of poverty, reaching out to those most who need it most.

“I learned to appreciate what I have and where I come from even more.”

Marta Alonso Pané, Raptim travel consultant

“It was a very unique opportunity to be able to join Compassion on this trip,” Marta says. “I’ve worked with Compassion’s groups over 10 years, and I was truly honored when they invited me to join them on their visit to El Salvador and Guatemala. The group consisted of almost 40 people including sponsor parents and Compassion colleagues. Most of the sponsor parents were going to meet their sponsor child(ren) for the first time. It was very special to hear how one couple referred to their sponsor child as their third child, next to their two children back home.”

“We got to visit many project locations as well as do some home visits. At times it was quite emotional seeing how people can live with so little. Regardless of that, it was beautiful to see how happy and carefree the children can live,” Marta explains. “I had the advantage that I was able to speak with everyone because Spanish is my mother tongue. Their stories really touched me. Being out of my comfort zone I learned to appreciate what I have and where I come from even more.”

“On our third day in El Salvador we built a home use for Zuleyma and her family. The single mother was living with her grandmother, son Angel and her niece in a very small home,” Marta explains. “A group of us spent time building her a modest home that day. Not only that, I had been thinking about sponsoring a child myself. Prior to meeting Angel I had heard that he was still looking for a sponsor parent, and once I met him I knew I wanted to sponsor him. After lunch I was given the opportunity to share the news. It was a very emotional moment for Zuleyma and her mother. Some of the people from our group collected some extra money and we bought beds for the whole family as well. I’m proud and happy that we helped her and her family. I hope she will see her son Angel fulfill his dreams in the Compassion program.”

“Many people question if donating money is really a good idea and if it really helps. Well seeing the work Compassion does, and the future they give to these young children has showed me that it really makes a difference!” Marta insists. “You can really see how Compassion invests in these children, making them self-sufficient individuals. I’ve worked with Compassion for over a decade and I knew they did good, but to witness it in person was life changing.”