Compassion International Halts Ministry Projects in Bolivia

( [email protected] ) Oct 21, 2003 09:37 AM EDT

Bolivia – In response to the escalating violence and political strife, Compassion International has closed all of its 68 ministry projects in the beleaguered nation, last week.

"The project have been closed, because of the safety and security of the children,” said CI’s communications specialist, Djanira Blanco.

In addition to the violent clashes on the streets, a nation wide strike and road blockades have brought the country to a standstill.

"There's no work, there's a lack of opportunities, and next month I think that we will have a hard time (supporting our program) in our country. And, obviously the children are the most affected,” Blanco explained.

Last Friday, October 17, Carlos Mesa was sworn in as Bolivia’s new president, hours after his predecessor Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada was forced out by weeks of bloody street protests.

"There is a lack of leadership in my country. There is a lot of corruption. There are no morals,” she said, in view of the current political situation.

Nonetheless, Blanco says many children are coming to Christ through their child sponsorship program. According to Blanco, now is a critical time for additional sponsors.

“Poverty has increased since this political problem. We really need more sponsors to help our children.

"We are teaching them about God's love, about principles and love. So, we believe they will be the future of our country. They will be the next president and the next leadership, not only in the country, but in the church and also in their families.”