Bangladesh Adventures

Monday, May 14, 2007

Compassion International’s president celebrates 30 years at ministry

I love Wess Stafford. The man was born to be the leader of Compassion. My first impression of him was in a slum of Dhaka loving the children in 100 degree heat and humidity! The muslim mothers, in purdha (total covering including the head and face) were coming up to him to shake his hand because they could feel the love he had for their poor children. This is a small write up on him. Please buy the book he wrote it is excellent and will bring tears to your eyes and demand you to do something for the children in this world!

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., May 3, 2007 – Compassion International President, Dr. Wess Stafford was honored for his 30-years of service with the international child advocacy organization. Dr. Stafford began work with Compassion on May 1, 1977. He assumed the role as president in 1993. He is also the author of the child advocacy book Too Small to Ignore, released in 2005.

Under Dr. Stafford’s guidance and leadership, the number of children served by Compassion increased from 180,000 to more than 800,000. The organization now operates in 24 developing countries, working with 4,000 church partners. In addition to its Child Sponsorship Program, Compassion implements other programs such as its AIDS Initiative, Child Survival Program and Leadership Development Program.

“Compassion was only 25-years old when I started working with it and it has never stopped being an adventure,” says Dr. Stafford. “I joined this organization because I see the seeds of its greatness. Compassion does exactly what the poor would do if they had the financial resources to take care of their children.”

Dr. Stafford’s life and path to Compassion is not like the paths most CEOs take. As a child of missionary parents, he lived with the poor in Africa, growing up in an impoverished village in the Ivory Coast. It was there that Dr. Stafford first witnessed the sting of poverty, seeing many of his young friends die from preventable diseases and deplorable living conditions. The experience never left him, eventually shaping him as an advocate and leader for children.

“I have never lost one ounce of passion for what I do,” says Dr. Stafford. “I truly believe Compassion is on the edge of amazing events concerning the work we do. There’s a generation that’s emerging that won’t sit by and let the world hurt. Compassion is a part of that effort and it won’t be long before we see the fruits of our labor.”

Compassion International is one of the world’s largest Christian child development organizations, working with more than 65 denominations and thousands of indigenous church partners in Africa, Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Since 1952, Compassion has touched the lives of more than 1 million children and has been recognized for its financial integrity with top ratings and recommendations by several of the nation’s leading not-for-profit “watchdog” organizations. For information about sponsoring a child, contact Compassion online at or by calling (800) 336-7676, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., MST.


  • Facing the Challenges of HIV/AIDS

    Around the world, more than 47 million people are now infected with the HIV/AIDS, It is now a weapon of mankind destruction. It has killed more than 30 million people worldwide according to UNAID and WHO reports since the 1st of December 1981 when it was first recognized. This makes it the worst recorded pandemic in the history of pandemics against mankind. In 2006 alone, it was reported to have killed between 2.5 to 3.5 million people with more than 380000 as children. The large number of these people killed is from the sub Saharan Africa. In some Sub-Saharan African countries, HIV/AIDS is expected to lower life expectancy by as much as 25 years.

    AIDS is no longer a problem of medication. It is a problem of development. It is not just an individual hardship. It also threatens to decimate the future prospects of poor countries, wiping away years of hard-won improvements in development indicators. As a result of the disease, many poor countries are witnessing a worsening in child survival rates, reduced life expectancy, crumbling and over-burdened health care systems, the breakdown of family structures and the decimation of a generation in the prime of their working lives.

    Bangladesh's socio-economic status, traditional social ills, cultural myths on sex and sexuality and a huge population of marginalised people make it extremely vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Everyone buying sex in Bangladesh is having unprotected sex some of the time, and a large majority don’t use condoms most of the time. Behaviors that bring the highest risk of infection in Bangladesh are unprotected sex between sex workers and their clients, needle sharing and unprotected sex between men.

    Though the country overall has a low prevalence rate, it has reported concentrated epidemics among vulnerable population such as IDUs. There are already localized epidemics within vulnerable groups in, and the virus would spread among the IDUs’ family or sexual partner.

    In many poor countries, commercial female sex workers are frequently exposed to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs/STDs). Where sex workers have poor access to health care and HIV prevention services, HIV prevalence can be as high as 50-90%. Evidence shows that targeted prevention interventions in sex work settings can turn the pandemic around.

    Bangladesh is a high prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, particularly among commercial sex workers; there are available injection drug users and sex workers all over the country, low condom use in the general population. Considering the high prevalence of HIV risk factors among the Bangladeshi population, HIV prevention research is particularly important for Bangladesh. It is very awful, several organization in Bangladesh are working only to prevent HIV/AIDS but few of them like as ‘Rainbow Nari O Shishu Kallyan Foundation’ try to develop proper strategic plane, so should increase research based organization recently.

    Poverty in Bangladesh is a deeply entrenched and complex phenomenon. Sequentially, the HIV/AIDS epidemic amplifies and become deeper poverty by its serious economic impact on individuals, households and different sectors of the economy. Poverty is the reason why messages of prevention and control do not make an impact on a vast majority of the vulnerable population.

    Sources: World Bank, UNAIDS, UNICEF.

    Kh. Zahir Hossain
    M & E Specialist (BWSPP)
    The World Bank
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Mobile: 01711453171

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 AM  

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