Creativity to the Rescue!
How did your normal life change because of the coronavirus pandemic? Maybe you started schooling from home, watching church services online, or canceling family travel plans.
Just like you, kids all around the world had to make changes to their normal lives because of the pandemic. Many children who live in poverty grew hungry after their parents lost their jobs and couldn’t afford food. Some got sick and couldn’t get better because their families had no money for medicine.
Thankfully, children in Compassion’s program had extra help during the hard year. Teachers from their church-based Compassion centers brought them groceries, medicine and other important supplies! Still, the children were sad about not being able to go to their Compassion centers. So teachers, pastors and other awesome adults from their centers came up with creative ways to cheer them up, keep them learning, and remind them that Jesus loves them. It just goes to show: Changes can be hard, but they can also lead to some really cool ideas!
Kids in the Philippines like 12-year-old Jacel missed going to their Compassion centers. “I miss memorizing [Bible] verses and the activities at the center,” Jacel says.
So the awesome grown-ups who work at her center created a SUPER way to cheer up sponsored children — and to keep them learning from home. They started making a comic book called “My Heroes” just for kids in Compassion's program! When workers from the Compassion center took groceries to sponsored children each month, they included a new issue of the comic book!
Jacel (wearing a pink shirt in photos to the left) really liked the comic books. “I read them again and again, and I share them also with my cousins,” she says.
Nathaniel, 11, is another sponsored child in Jacel's neighborhood. He was happy to get a new issue of “My Heroes” along with food for his family. “I read the comic books immediately when they come,” says Nathaniel (wearing a blue jersey in photos at left). “I also read it at night and do the activities inside.”
One of the coolest things about “My Heroes” is that the grown-ups who create it were in Compassion's program as children!
"Skippy Club" TV
There’s a new children’s show on television in Guatemala … and it stars teachers from a Compassion center!
“I love to watch my tutors on TV,” says David, a sponsored 8-year-old who watches the show (wearing a blue shirt in photos to the right). “It is like they are famous people that I know.”
It all began when students like David had to stay home from school because of the pandemic. Many kids in David’s Guatemalan city can't afford computers, internet access or other tools that kids in the U.S. use to learn from home. So their government did two things to help: They gave TVs and radios to families who couldn’t afford them. And they had teachers and other smart people host shows to help kids keep learning!
The teachers at David’s Compassion center started a TV show called “Skippy Club," teaching the lessons they would have taught at the center. (You can see them filming episodes in front of a "green screen" in photos to the right.)
“I love how they teach us about God and how to be creative,” David says. “I also love when the tutor teaches us about God using puppets — it is very funny. Time goes quickly when I watch ‘Skippy Club,’ but I also want to attend the center. I miss my friends and hugging my tutor."
Why "Skippy?"Did you ever notice the little drawing in Compassion's logo? It's meant to look like a happy child skipping along — to remind everyone that Compassion is all about children. Here's some insider info that most people probably don't know: We call this character Skippy!
Another cool idea that helped kids in Guatemala during 2020 was Skippy Magazine. It’s sort of like Compassion Explorer Magazine because it includes arts, crafts, Bible stories and hobbies for kids. "I love the magazine activities,” says Oscar, a sponsored 10-year-old in Guatemala who was missing his Compassion center, where he went for learning, food and fun.
The creative team from Compassion Guatemala who made Skippy Magazine wanted to make sure that every sponsored child in the country got the magazine. So it was delivered to kids along with groceries for several months during the pandemic.
“It feels like I am at the center again, with the Bible stories,” says Oscar (in a blue shirt in photos to the left), who especially liked the sports section of the magazine. "I love to play soccer, and the magazine gives us tips to do exercise at home and improve our health. Without this magazine, my days would have stayed boring, without anything interesting to do."
With tips for staying active during quarantine, the magazine entertained lots of kids who missed their Compassion center. Do you ever play house or school? Just like you, some kids in the photos at left are using Skippy Magazine to "play center!"