Compassion partners with churches to help them provide Salvadoran children with the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and become all God has created them to be.
Compassion began working in El Salvador in 1977. Currently, more than 50,250 children participate in more than 200 child development centers.
Population: 6,7 millions
Life expectancy: Male 68 years, Female 71 years
Under-5 mortality rate: 2,5%
People with HIV/AIDS: 29.000
Drinking water sources: 77%
Adequate sanitation facilities: 82%
Literacy rate: Male 83%, Female 78%
Population in extreme poverty ($1.25 a day): 36%
In El Salvador, 1st to 9th grade children go to school for 5 hours a day, either in the morning or the afternoon. High school students attend classes from 6 to 9 hours per day. Therefore, the younger children are able to come to the child development center more frequently than the older children.
Children are provided with a Bible according to their age, and we measure their development in age groups. At younger ages, children can describe biblical stories, memorize verses, and talk about God's creation, power and love. At older ages, children understand the meaning of salvation, sin and obedience to God. As a result, children can explain how the Scripture guides them in every area of their lives, and they can witness God's love in their lives.
All children receive a nutritious meal every time they attend the child development center. A typical meal consists of some type of carbohydrate, such as bread or tortillas, and protein, such as soy, meat or chicken. The meal can include sandwiches, soup, rice pudding, pupusas (tortillas filled with cheese and beans) or enchiladas (tortillas with fried beans, tomato, hard-boiled eggs and cheese).
Camps, drama, football, painting and museum visits are common extracurricular activities offered. Clean-up campaigns, reforestation activities and child care are common community service opportunities the children can participate in. Vocational activities such as computer training, tailoring, dress making, beauty, baking, poultry production, fish farming, silk screening, rabbit farming, and bean, corn and vegetable farming are available for adolescents. At some centers, adolescents are taught English.