Compassion Urges Faith-based Initiative to Expand Worldwide

( [email protected] ) Jan 24, 2004 12:11 PM EST

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Compassion International, one of the world's largest children outreach group since 1952, Friday told a congressional subcommittee that faith-based government initiatives not only work, but should expand beyond the U.S. borders.

During the meeting Friday in the Colorado Springs City Hall, Compassion addressed the need for providing services to the poor, asking faith-based organizations for more participation.

"It makes sense to deliver programs using organizations that are already there, already in contact with those who are in need," said Ed Anderson, Compassion's senior vice president and CFO.

"Organizations such as Compassion International already have networks of thousands of indigenous partners that provide direct services to children in poverty," Anderson said. "Let's use those resources already in place and develop a more efficient system for the U.S. to deliver aid to the world."

One area in which Compassion emphasizes most is reaching out to children with AIDS. Compassion has joined a number of international agencies in calling on President Bush to recommit America to the global fight against AIDS. Last week, Compassion asked the President to release additional global AIDS funding at a news conference. The request comes as the President considers his budget blueprint for 2005.

"We encourage the U.S. government to increase AIDS funding and allow faith-based organizations to help deliver the programs," Anderson said, "AIDS is robbing African children of their childhoods. Many of the 14 million AIDS orphans are homeless or financially desperate.”

Although Compassion does not accept government funding at this time, Anderson said many other worthy non-profit organizations are using this funding very effectively. "It would be a shame if these organizations couldn't provide important resources to people in desperate conditions," he said.