Labor Day!

Copyright 2015 Kristi Bridges
Copyright 2015 Kristi Bridges

The forecast is sunny, and it’s still warm enough for the lake. I’m loving Labor Day weekend, and it has not yet begun! I hope that over the next few days, you have great music, great time with friends and family, and a little outdoor time with your Creator. I know I will!

In honor of Labor Day, I thought I’d share a few statistics. At first, they might not feel like a party on a page, but grit your teeth and roll with me. There is good news behind these doors, thanks to people like you and I. We can be happy, because when we pool our efforts, we make a difference.

Childbirth:

Every 2 seconds, a woman dies in childbirth, and 99% of those deaths occur in the developing world. 225 million women around the world say they want to prevent pregnancy but are not using contraception. Compassion International works to provide health and family education, as well as medical care for expectant mothers and the children to whom they give birth.

Working Together for Change:

35% of women in the world have been raped, beaten, coerced into sex or violently abused in their lifetimes. Due to lack of proper sanitation and the risk of being attacked on the way to or from school, many girls in developing countries stop going to school when they hit puberty. 5-10% of men report being sexually abused as children, and 25-50% of all children report being physically abused. Compassion International works to educate children and give them a future. They also work with the International Justice Mission to assist victims and change the cultural acceptance of these crimes.

Working their Way up the Ladder:

The majority of the world’s poor are women, and women occupy only 25% of parliamentary seats around the world.

BUT…

Margaret Makhoha grew up as a Compassion International sponsored child and became a member of the Ugandan parliament in 2011.

Hazardous Duty:

218 million children aged 5-17 are involved in child labor worldwide. Forced labor and sex trafficking are tied with illegal arms dealing as the second largest criminal enterprise.

The number of child soldiers is estimated to be in the tens of thousands, with boys as young as 8 being forced to the front lines. It is estimated that 40% of child soldiers are girls. Many children are abducted and forced into duty, but some come willingly, starving and seeking protection.

In other countries, children join gangs for the same reason. Some have been murdered for refusal to join.

BUT…

Working on a Degree:

Instead of joining a gang, sponsored children spend an average of 4,000 hours in safety, being nurtured rather than tormented and obtaining skills and work ethics that will enable them to be self-sufficient. Many go on to help others.

Eustache Salomon was once a sponsored child. After the earthquake in Haiti, he began to lead trauma therapy sessions for children in his country.

Sponsored children are 35% more likely to find white-collar employment as adults.

Sponsored children are 50-80% more likely to graduate college.

Sponsored children are 30-75% more likely to become leaders in their communities.

“Few can understand the worsening plight of families in developing countries more than those who are rising above it. And who better to defeat these societal ills than those who have lived through it?”
 
Wess Stafford, Compassion President Emeritus 

John Michael in the Philippines, Deysi in Bolivia, Mathias in Togo. Concentrate on one child, show concern and share what life has taught you. Send a laugh and a hug each month. Caring for one child makes a difference for that child’s world. Let me know which child you’d like to sponsor, and please help connect sponsors to all three of these human promises over this three-day weekend. There’s no need to stop with these three—tell all your friends because I’ll be introducing three more children next week.

**Although the statistics provided are easily verified with a quick visit to Unicef, WHO, Human Rights Watch and your regular news sources, you can find many of them here on Compassion’s website. Other references I have used above have links embedded in the statistics.

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