Overview

An Integrated Program

Compassion Kenya is dedicated to helping children thrive at every stage of development. Our holistic approach ensures every child in the program has opportunity to grow and develop physically, cognitively, socio-emotionally, and spiritually.

Our integrated program model enables church partners to start early by building relationships with pregnant moms and caregivers at a child’s earliest stage of development. The relationship continues as the child grows and begins attending activities at the Center where Compassion’s program is organized and directed locally by the church. When children become adolescents, tutors and mentors work with them to identify goals and dreams they have for the future, as well as practical ways to work toward those goals. When students graduate from the program, they have the tools and skills to pursue a future free from poverty and to make a difference in their communities.

Home Visits​

Global research confirms that evidence-based home visits lead to positive, long-term outcomes for children and families. In Compassion’s program, staff and volunteers from the Program Center, known as Program Implementers, visit pregnant moms and caregivers with young children in their homes. They build relationships and use evidence-based approaches to provide education and tools that dramatically improve babies’ chances of surviving and remaining healthy as they grow. Church partners ensure pregnant moms have access to quality prenatal care, support for medications and special health cases, and assistance during labor and delivery. Once the baby is born, moms and caregivers receive things, such as support for breastfeeding, information about responsive caregiving, the importance of bonding with your child, and understanding holistic development. Survival caregivers and beneficiaries are also invited to come together, build relationships with each other, and learn through group activities.

When children turn one, they transition into the Early Childhood stage of Compassion’s program. They continue to benefit from home-based learning opportunities, group activities and curriculum that equips caregivers to understand and nurture their child’s holistic development. The topics and resources presented during the first years in the program are contextualized and sequenced according to the child’s age and specific needs of the family.

Equipping parents and caregivers is key to developing a child’s potential. Babies and young children need nurturing care in a safe and stable environment. They also need opportunities for early learning that stimulate brain development and social connections. Starting early gives children and families the best chance to succeed and be released from poverty.

Survival & Early Childhood

Research indicates that a child’s long-term health and development is largely influenced by what happens in the womb and during the first three years of life. A mother’s health and nutrition during pregnancy sets a vital foundation for her child’s lifelong health and well-being. Compassion’s program includes Survival and Early Childhood Development efforts because we believe these are key to helping children reach their full potential.

A child’s ability to thrive begins with surviving beyond the first few months of life outside the womb. Infant mortality continues to be a global concern, despite impressive progress over the last 30 years. Families living in poverty continue to be at much greater risk of loss due to lack of access and understanding about proper prenatal care, not having birth attendants to support labor and delivery, and insufficient education and resources to protect children’s health in the first few months and years of life.

Early interventions allow Compassion church partners to build relationships with pregnant moms and caregivers, providing an avenue for ongoing education and an opportunity to learn the specific needs of each family.
This intervention works with the most vulnerable expectant mothers and their young children while providing education and support for the mother or primary caregiver. Our goal is that these children not only survive, but thrive, and have a healthy start in our program.

The earliest stage of Compassion’s program, known as Survival, helps prepare children for long-term holistic development by supporting pregnant moms and caregivers through their child’s first year of life. This is a critical time when parents and caregivers set a foundation for their child’s development. Coming alongside them with encouragement, education and support in the beginning strengthens that foundation and reaps substantial benefits into the child’s future.

The prenatal period and first year of a child’s life are important for many reasons.

  • A healthy diet and medical support play a key role in preventing long-term health issues in children.
  • Proper nutrition and caregiver interaction support brain development during a time when important neural connections are being formed.
  • In their first few months of life, babies learn healthy attachment when caregivers stay close and know how to meet their needs.
  • Throughout the first year, stimulation and play provide vital building blocks for life-long learning and development.

Child Development

Children who are 3, 4 and 5 years old can begin attending activities at a Compassion child development center in their neighborhood. Child development centers are organized and run by Compassion’s church partners. Each center has a project director, hired by the church, who oversees the program. A team of tutors and volunteers lead the activities and get to know each child.

Poverty is not only an economic issue – it affects the way children see themselves and the world. It affects their physical, mental, socio-emotional and spiritual health. Compassion’s program in Kenya addresses every one of these areas, encouraging a biblical understanding of God’s love and care for each person. When children attend a child development center, they are known, loved and protected. They are treated with dignity and encouraged to dream, play, learn and grow holistically. We are committed to helping children grow in confidence, so they can learn, set goals, and move toward a future and a life free from poverty.

Each center determines the logistics of the program based on their context and the needs in their community. They determine the best time to register new children and the frequency and schedule of activities. At every center, though, children experience the love of Jesus, relationships with caring adults, food, programming (curriculum, games, tutoring), and additional interventions based on local needs, such as mosquito-nets, vaccinations or dental campaigns.

This program focuses on the most vibrant stage of child development. It seeks to provide them with a safe and loving home, church, school, and community environment for their holistic development.
Compassion Kenya provides financial resources that assist church partners in their ministry to children. These funds help cover the cost of materials for teaching the curriculum, leading developmentally appropriate activities, preparing snacks or meals at the center, medical checkups, educational support, such as school supplies, uniforms and fees, and meeting critical needs. When we invest in the holistic development of children, we set a course for the future of our nation… and we believe that future is bright.

Youth​

As children grow into adolescents, their needs change. They are beginning to explore relationships, they are looking for ways their passions and talents can make a difference in the world, and they need wisdom and skills to make healthy choices. As part of Compassion Kenya’s program, students learn helpful study habits and job skills. They have opportunities to discover their strengths and identify potential careers. They learn about health, hygiene, first aid, and how to make good choices that protect their whole person.

Our goal is to equip and empower youth to discover and live out their God-given purpose, so communities all over Kenya have youth who are:

  • Growing as Christ followers
  • Physically healthy
  • Mentally healthy
  • Confident with a healthy self-identity
  • Able to maintain healthy relationships
  • Positively influencing their context
  • Equipped to economically support themselves and others.

Compassion Kenya wants every young person to have access to the most appropriate developmental opportunities possible. We are working to equip and empower local churches to provide greater access to leadership, vocational, entrepreneurial and other unique training opportunities. As we partner together, churches are preparing more youth for success in adulthood. Healthy, confident youth influence their communities and positively impact the world.

We aim at promoting youth development through discipleship and mentorship opportunities for spiritual growth, education including technical, vocational, university, talent, life skills and leadership development.

Complementary Interventions (CIV)​​

Compassion Kenya is committed to helping churches address critical needs that become barriers to children’s holistic development. The issues of poverty are often compounded by unexpected setbacks, such as major medical needs, disasters and lack of consistent income. Children living in poverty are more vulnerable to experiencing long-term negative impacts from these added stressors. In partnership with the church, Compassion offers technical expertise and financial support to ensure children can remain on a positive trajectory toward the future.

As churches prioritize the most critical needs facing children in their program, we work with them to identify solutions and find local resources. Some of the most common needs local churches have include:

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene– We help provide access to clean water and sanitation through the construction of wells and latrines.
  • Major Medical and Nutrition– We support life-saving surgeries, nutritional supplements and more.
  • Youth Development– We provide financial assistance to young adults for university education or vocational training, as well as entrepreneurial training for youth.
  • Disaster Response– We provide immediate aid to churches, children and their families when they experience a natural disaster.
  • Survival– We offer resources to support and care for pregnant mothers and their babies through the first year of life, including training, social, medical and nutritional support.


  • Child Protection– We work to ensure the safety of children in the program so they can learn and grow without fear. We also respond to cultural customs that hinder child development, such as female genital mutilation (FGM).
  • Caregiver Involvement– We offer workshops to help parents or other adults in a child’s family engage in their child’s development. We also provide opportunity for them to learn new skills and trades to supplement the family’s income.
  • CIVs eliminate barriers to Christian holistic child development by meeting critical needs, equipping children and youth for productive lives, empowering caregivers to increase household stability, and extending local church partners’ ability to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name. These interventions provide each child with a safer, healthier life allowing them to thrive. We remain developmental in our approach by encouraging churches to combine an investment of local resources with financial support from Compassion to implement solutions. Our goal with all of these efforts is to expand the local church’s ability to release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.