My parents are immigrants from the Philippines. I was born and raised in the United States. When I was thirteen years old, I began taking summer vacations to the Philippines and absolutely loved the country. I had so many cousins that I never met before and looked forward to my annual trips to see them. I loved it so much that I even decided that after high school, I was going to move there and study at the university. Those were some of the best years of my life. I made some great, lifelong friends. The country was and still is so beautiful. But there are many parts of the country that are so poverty-stricken.
I don’t think I ever knew what poverty was until I went to the Philippines. I think seeing with your own eyes, what the true definition of poverty is, changes you. I don’t mean seeing it on television. I mean seeing children walking on the street naked, hungry and tapping on your car window for money so they can eat is the kind of reality that is a bit life-altering. There are children who are starving and living in cardboard boxes as their homes.
In my eyes, there is a clear distinction between “first-world” poor versus “third-world” poor.” In the United States, for example, there is government support for the underprivileged. More than 700 million people in developing countries live on less than $1.90 per day, facing challenges most American never will. For those who may never have the opportunity to travel to another country, let alone witness what it is like to live in a developing country, Compassion International’s four day event called The Compassion Experience will be in Henderson, NV. from October 6 – 9 to show you what it is like.
The event will educate visitors about the realities of life in poverty through a self-guided journey where they will be immersed in the lives and stories of three Compassion-sponsored children living in Uganda, the Philippines, or the Dominican Republic. Each child’s story starts in hardship but ends in hope. The experience includes 3,000 square feet of exhibit space, featuring replicas of the homes and environments of the Compassion beneficiaries. The event is free and family-friendly.
The tour is highly interactive, using individual iPods and headsets to offer visitors a sense of what life is like in extremely poverty-stricken areas around the world. In the areas Compassion serves, nearly one in five children die before the age of five, mostly from preventable causes, and 124 million children worldwide do not attend school, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). Tour-goers will have the opportunity to “change the story” of children living in poverty by learning more about the issue, as well as Compassion’s child sponsorship program, which tackles global poverty one child at a time. Compassion currently serves more than 1.8 million children in 25 of the world’s most impoverished countries.
The event time and location is located below. Pre-registration is recommended. You may do so here.
Lake Mead Christian Ministries
655 East Lake Mead Parkway
Henderson, NV 89015
COST: Free & family friendly
FRI Oct 6 10:00 am – 5:40 pm
SAT Oct 7 10:00 am – 5:40 pm
SUN Oct 8 10:00 am – 5:40 pm
MON Oct 9 10:00 am – 5:40 pm
Below is a gallery of photos from previous events. Click on the image to see the entire gallery. Photos and press kit courtesy of the Compassion Experience.
For more information about “The Compassion Experience,” visit www.CompassionExperience.com