10 Ways to Show Compassion to Those in Third-World Poverty

Suppose you lived in a third world country and had 4 children. And suppose you died at 35 of a preventable disease. And suppose your wife was infected with AIDS and was wasting away. And she had no idea how to take care of your children. This is the reality for tens of millions of families.

Yet, your giving can and does make a life and death difference. All Pro Dad recommends the following ways to show compassion to those living in third world poverty:

1. Go on a mission trip overseas: Contact with real need has the primary effect of radically changing us to the extent that compassion becomes a bedrock reality rather than an “apply as needed” afterthought.

2. Support others who are planning to go: Provide a scholarship for someone else, or support a particular hands-on project you’re guaranteed to hear more about later.

3. “There are starving children in Africa”: Mom actually had a point when she used that line to get you to eat your vegetables. When we waste good food, overspend flippantly, or misuse resources that could otherwise have helped our fellow human beings then we are being the opposite of compassionate.

4. Keep yourself “In the Know”: That means stay connected with organizations such as Bread for the World, UNICEF, Oxfam, World Vision, Compassion International and The Red Cross. Read the material, understand the relationship between politics and poverty and be motivated to act.

5. Attend a Heifer Market International event: Heifer places live animals with needy communities and trains people in husbandry. Find a church or community center that offers Heifer’s alternative giving market for Christmas. Or go to www.Heifer.org and get involved now.

6. Do your research: Some people only use “Fair Trade” products from overseas. Find out more. Ask hard questions. Does the company you buy from benefit local communities? Is slave labor involved? Ask the questions and let your compassion be informed.

7. Support Third World industries: Most churches offer ways to connect with industries and crafts that support indigenous communities. See how you can be involved. Microloans are one such example.

8. Try a “Third World Diet” for a week: There are countless versions of this on the web. Do your research, check with your doctor, and walk a mile or two in a hungry person’s shoes.

9. Donate a specific amount of money every mealtime: Some churches sponsor “3-cents a meal” hunger offerings. The key here is to be deliberate, involve the entire family, and put the money in a jar every time you sit down to eat.

10. Sponsor a child: Something powerful happens when we put a name and a face with a statistic. It’s not just compassion, it’s a changed heart.

What can we do for families in another country who have no money, food, or medical care?