Have you ever won an award like a medal, trophy or other prize? How did it feel to have your hard work noticed? 

Lots of sponsored kids around the world work hard at sports, school, art, music or other skills. Not all of them win awards, but they are thankful for the chance to try! 

Some kids who live in poverty don’t get to join in activities like team sports, art or even school because their families can’t afford the costs. 

Thankfully, sponsored kids learn new skills at their Compassion centers. Some have won awards for their hard work. Let’s meet some of those kids!


In the town of San Juan, many families can’t afford to send their kids to school. Thanks to sponsors, kids in Compassion’s program — like the girls pictured on this page — go to school and learn skills they’ll need to get good jobs someday. But one Compassion center in San Juan gives sponsored kids even more reasons to study hard.   

Sponsored kids at this center earn prize money, called a scholarship, for earning straight A’s in school. The students receive $25 to $30 a month to spend on anything that helps their education, like extra school supplies, printed materials, internet fees and extra uniforms. So far more than 200 sponsored kids have won the prize money, including 10-year-old Ibania, pictured at right. Her secret to good grades? “When I get home, I do my homework,” she says. “And after that I relax a little bit by playing outside with my friends. I’m grateful for the scholarship so I can afford extra school supplies. I wish to become a nurse and help those in need in my community.”

What school supplies do you have to buy each year?


This is Alondra, who loves to play tennis. Before she joined Compassion’s program, she didn’t play sports. She spent her extra time helping her mom sell homemade snacks. The money they earned at the snack stand was all they had, and it wasn’t enough to meet their needs.

But then Alondra joined Compassion’s program at a church near their home. A teacher there asked if she’d like to take tennis, and Alondra said yes! Her coach said she had talent but still needed to practice hard. Soon she began winning medals in tennis competitions. At one competition she won a trophy, a professional racquet and a backpack! “I told my sponsor about it, and she was very happy for me,” says Alondra, who loves to write to her sponsor in the U.S. In her free time, Alondra still helps her mom sell snacks.

Think of three things you need to buy to play tennis. 


Rashid, pictured above left, and Frola, above right, are friends who met when they joined Compassion’s program at age 6. At the time they never imagined that five years later they’d be winning awards at a big film festival (sort of like the Oscars of Tanzania)!

Rashid and Frola wrote a short play about a common problem in their town: “Parents abandon their families, and those left to suffer are the children,” explains Rashid. When he and Frola performed the play, their talent impressed teachers at their Compassion center — like the man pictured with Frola at right. The teachers helped the friends turn the play into a movie, filming it at the center with 55 sponsored kids joining the cast! Then they sent the movie to the film festival judges, who invited Rashid and Frola to an awards party in the capital city. That’s where they were named the youngest actors ever to win Best Actor and Best Actress in Tanzania! Now the friends are famous in their town. 

Research all the gear you'd need to buy to make a film.


This is Jeronimo. He was born with a hip problem that made it hard for him to walk. His parents took him to physical therapy to help. The doctor said Jeronimo should play a sport to keep his body active and improve his hip. Jeronimo had tried in-line skating before and wanted to do it again. But his parents didn’t have enough money to buy him the skates he needed. 

Jeronimo is sponsored and goes to a Compassion center at a church, which helped pay for a new pair of skates! He began taking skating lessons, training Mondays through Saturdays after class at his Compassion center. Now, this 4-year-old competes in skating contests and wins medals! 

Besides skates, what gear does a skater need to buy?


Mollika, pictured above without and with her dance makeup, didn’t think twice when teachers at her Compassion center asked if she wanted to take dance lessons. “I was so excited to get this opportunity,” Mollika says, “that I signed up for the dance class without my parents’ consent.” When she told her parents, they said they didn’t have money to pay for the class. But Mollika told them that the Compassion center would pay for it! Then they were happy because they want their daughter to follow her dreams.

Mollika goes to dance practice two to three times every week. She made lots of friends in the class. Because of her hard work, she now competes in citywide and statewide dance contests! She has won medals and money for her beautiful dancing and dreams of becoming a professional dancer someday.

 Think of three clothing items a dancer might need to buy.