Happy Birthday to Our Little Boy Across the World

Friends, meet Jacques, our precious African boy:

Jacques lives in Togo, Africa and we sponsor him through Compassion International, an organization that helps rescue children from poverty.

J and I decided to sponsor a child a few months ago and looked for a child that had been waiting the longest on the website — and that’s when we found Jacques. He lives with his mom and two older siblings in a village, and she cares for the family on a small income selling textiles. Our sponsorship helps Jacques afford education and basic needs for the family, such as food and health care.

We wrote him and sent him pictures, and he sent back a message with a few things that he likes to do. Some of them include:

  • Hobbies & Sports: group games, walking, singing, dolls
  • Family Duties: running errands, carries water, gathers firewood, helps in the kitchen
  • Wants to be when he grows up: a mechanic
  • Favorite sport: football / soccer
  • Favorite food: rice

And today is his birthday! He turns 5 today, so we sent him a small gift to celebrate. I am praying he will feel very loved  and cherished.

Have you ever sponsored a child through Compassion International or another non-profit organization? If you are interested, it costs $38 a month, which provides a child with meals, education, health and hygiene training, medical check-ups, involvement in their local church, and love. J and I decided that we spend $38 and more on eating out at restaurants or quick meaningless trips to Target to pick up stuff we don’t need. It was a small portion of our budget to give up, but went such a long way in the life of Jacques. I greatly encourage you to look into it! If Compassion International isn’t the way to go, there are other sponsorship programs available.

PS – I was not compensated by Compassion International for this post, it is an organization I whole-heartedly support. 

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  • I sponsored a 4 year old boy from Bolivia for about 3 years. It was lovely to receive pictures of him, knowing he was safe and sound in a children`s village. Sadly, I went through a tough time financially, so I had to stop the sponsoring as it was simply too expensive for a while, but I hope I will be able to sponsor another child one day when I receive a salary instead of living on studentloans. It`s such a great thing to do for someone who has nothing.

  • Hello! (Waves hand). I discovered your blog this past year and have checked it semi-regularly. I rarely comment (I think I did only once… ). I had to comment today after reading this post. I almost dropped my laptop because I’m from Togo. Rarely anybody every hears or talks about my native country, so I was surprised. There is so much the youth can offer that country, if only our leaders (and all grown-ups really) would get it together (I get emotional, then angry, when I think of challenges facing the youth in Togo). I moved to the US when I was 14. I am now 27. Overall the US has been such a good second home to me, and I’ve given back here.

    I’ve visited Togo every 3-4 years – if only it didn’t cost $1500 to $2000 to fly to a 3rd world country >_< ! That's was a LOT of money for my immigrant parents back then (and still is for my husband and I right now, as we're trying to pay off student loans and be financially healthy). But I feel called to return to Togo someday to give back there as well. Exactly in what way, I do not know, but I will keep searching. I am confident God's plan for my life will be revealed in due time. For He who has begun a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. :-) Thanks for sharing this post.

  • Hi again. I just checked out the organization’s Website and I see several children from Togo have been waiting for a sponsor for more than 6 months. I want to tell my many friends from Togo living in the US and Europe about the organization and encourage them to sponsor a child from our home country for less than $40 bucks a month (you are correct, you can easily spend that amount by eating out even once a week as a couple!). I just have a quick question about your experience with the organization first. How are you ensured that the entire money is really going to meeting the kid’s needs? Anything you can share would be most helpful. Thanks much in advance.

  • Wow, thank you SO MUCH for sharing! It has really, really encouraged me and I’m so thankful you enjoy living in US, but I am sure your heart is at home in Togo.

    We have learned a lot about Togo and Western Africa from this experience sponsoring Jacques, and are eager to learn more. I also wish it wasn’t too expensive to travel! I will pray for your as you look for ways to bless your nation being so far away. Thanks again for commenting, it made my day. :)

  • Yes, please spread the word about Compassion International! This is my first personal experience sponsoring a child through them, but I know so many friends and family members who have also sponsored children and it has always had positive experience.

    I know what you mean about ensuring that money you donate isn’t pocketed or used for high administration costs, etc. Have you ever heard of Charity Navigator? It’s a site that rates charities and keeps them accountable. CI got a really good review, so feel free to check it out if you’d like: http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3555

    I also checked out their reviews on the site and for the most part they were all positive. The only negative responses were in regards to their overtly religious views — they aren’t shy about sharing Christ with the children, which for me isn’t an issue.

  • Thanks for the update! I’m a Christian myself so that part isn’t a problem for me either. ^_^ I will definitely be spreading the word.