Above: Sam Robinson with some of the children of Cabitan, Philippines.
So you know what child sponsorship is—but have you ever joined in sponsoring the children of an entire village?
On Wednesday March 28, that’s just what the Hope 103.2 team plan to do, with the help of our the Hope family. In a partnership with Compassion Australia, we’re giving ‘Hopeland’ an opportunity to sponsor 200 children, from a struggling village in the Philippines, and take them into their hearts and lives through the Compassion sponsorship program.
- How a Little Girl Called Michelle Found a Place in Sam Robinson’s Heart
- Transformed: How Sponsorship has Changed the Lives of These Filipino Kids
For those who kept a watch on Sam and Duncan’s ‘Top Secret Mission’ in February, we can now reveal what the Brekky duo were up to: they were on the Philippines island of Masbate, meeting with local church and Compassion workers, preparing for the Sponsor-A-Village appeal.
The appeal will be history in the making – the first live-on-radio campaign of its kind in Australia. Starting in the March 28 breakfast show and continuing throughout the day, announcers will share the stories of some of the 200 children and encourage listeners to get involved.
‘Hopelanders’ will be able to view kids’ images via our website, and choose a child to sponsor.
Get to Know the Village of Cabitan, Masbate
The specific village Hope listeners will be sponsoring is a ‘barangay’ – also known as a barrio or neighbourhood – called Cabitan. It’s located in the district of Mandaon, on the island province of Masbate.
If you look on a map you’ll find it right in the middle of the Philippines archipelago.
Compassion CEO Tim Hanna explains that while the area looks lush and beautiful, poverty lies just beneath the surface.
“You fly into this country and it just looks lush, it’s fantastic, there’s so much happening, it’s a beautiful place, it’s idyllic really,” he said. “But there’s a kind of ‘hidden’ poverty. Even when you get on the runway coming in, you see [the poverty] in the houses either side. And the more you become rural in this area, it’s devastating for families.
“In this particular area, the average salary for a family is 1500 pesos for a month, which is about $30 US a month – a dollar a day.”
Changing a Community, One Child at a Time
The beauty of child sponsorship is that it not only impacts one child’s life, but helps a whole family to rise up out of poverty. And by sponsoring 200 children on one day from Cabitan, that entire community will be transformed.
Each child sponsored will be part of a church-run program where they are supported with their education, food and medical needs, and also have a chance to learn the gospel and form a relationship with God.
“With ‘Sponsor a Village’ these kids can go from despair, to getting hope and help in a very short period of time.” ~ Tim Hanna, Compassion CEO
Chatting to Sam and Duncan on location in Masbate, Compassion CEO Tim Hanna said he was excited to be launching a new child sponsorship project in this way.
“It’s a very exciting idea, we’ve not done this before,” he said. “It’s great to be working with Hope to see a new project that’s opening up.
“These kids are all registered now but not sponsored yet. We’re trusting that with ‘Sponsor a Village’ we can sponsor them all at once, so these kids can go from in a sense despair in many cases and lacking hope and dignity, to getting hope and help in a very short period of time.”
What’s brilliant about Compassion sponsorship projects is that they are run not by Australians, but by local people who know their community best.
“It’s run by the local church, so what we’ve simply done is facilitating that, but it’s the local church, a local project director and local staff workers who work with the kids,” Tim said.
As March 28 approaches we’ll be sharing more stories from the island of Masbate. Stay tuned to learn about this precious part of the Philippines, and prepare to help us make history on Sponsor-A-Village day.