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.

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For more information about “The Compassion Experience,” visit

36 Replies to “The Compassion Experience”

  1. This is really impressive and awesome story. The compassion experience looks so beautiful initiative.

  2. This is definitely an experience that I will want my kids to go through in future to understand how privileged and blessed they are. If you try watching a China reality show called “Daddy Where are we going”, it shows celebrity dads bringing their kids to places where they realise how hard life is too!

  3. The Compassion Experience sounds like a wonderful initiative. The work that Compassion does is also wonderful, it gives me hope for the future of people living in poverty.

  4. This is a great event for people to understand better what is happening in the world. Maybe if it does not affect them everyday. Being an Expat I have lived & visited lot of countries and like you say until you see it with your own eyes, you don’t really realize how sad it is and how urgent the situation is.

  5. So glad you got to experience this event. It came to San Diego when I was out of town but my family went and had wonderful things to say about it. It really opened the eyes of the teens in our family.

  6. It is good to know that there are people like you in developed countries who sincerely understand and cares about global poverty. Thanks for sharing an interesting but thought provoking post.

    1. Thank you. I think it’s a great opportunity for people to become more aware of what’s happening beyond their immediate surroundings 🙂

  7. What a wonderful way to educate people. Here in America we are privileged more than we’ll ever admit. I’ve tried several times to explain to my children what it was like when I grew up without and they can’t fathom the experience. I can remember seeing people who were very poor and it still doesn’t compare to other countries.

    1. Completely agree! This is why this event is such a great experience. Some people will never understand without seeing it with their own eyes and not many have that opportunity. This is the next best thing. Thank you for reading 🙂

  8. I’ve done one of these before, a local church hosted it. I wish I could remember which country it was, I want to say it was Honduras on Hungry, I know it had to be one of them. It really is quite moving and you really take a lot from the experience. I’m hoping that as my little ones get older this will still be around and they will still be offering these exhibits cause I would love for them to be able to experience this.

    1. The thing about this event is that it is sponsored by a Church which somewhat makes people believe it will be a very “preachy” experience. But it really isn’t meant to be. I hope it will be around for your kids too! Thank you for commenting 🙂

  9. I am glad You had so many times but I’m sure the experiences have made you truly aware of the suffering many of us can’t really relate to. The event sounds amazing, I am so glad you are using your experience to create awareness. No child should have to suffer such hardships.

  10. Philippines has abundance in resources, land and intelligent people to make it a first world country. There is a great division between the rich and the poor which is really sickening. I have witnessed first hand during my college immersion how a family of 8 live in a tiny shack sharing 1 pack of instant noodles. Hopefully your program can generate more support to spread the awareness on poverty.

    1. It is very sad, isn’t it. You wish you could help everyone. This event is do great helping to spread awareness. Thank you for your comments. 🙂

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