Bangladesh Adventures

Friday, December 21, 2007

Four Country Offices in Two Weeks

I just finished visiting four Compassion Country offices in two weeks as part of my new job with Compassion. I visited Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand. Indonesia has two country offices one in the East part of the islands that make up Indonesia and the other in the west. These four offices make up East Asia Area for Compassion. The Asian Region has two areas, East Asia and South Asia. South Asia is made up of two offices in India and one in Bangladesh. However, this trip was about East Asia area. I flew Singapore Airlines so while I was at the Singapore Airport I had the opportunity to see the new Air Bus 380 (Double Decker) picture above. However, I didn't get to fly in it- it only goes between Australia and Singapore.

Compassion East Indonesia, Manado: This office is only three years old but inherited some projects from the original Indonesia office. The Manado office currently works with 67 projects with more than 12,400 precious children. I left Dhaka at 10 p.m. on Saturday, 1 Dec 07. I flew Singapore Airlines from Dhaka to Singapore; then from Singapore to Jakarta, Indonesia. I had an eight hour lay over at the Jakarta Airport before flying on a local airline to Manado, Indonesia. The flight from Singapore to Dhaka was four hours, Singapore to Jakarta two hours, and Jakarta to Manado two and half hours.

Manado is a Christian Island in Indonesia. Indonesia has one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. I’m the CIV Specialist for the Asian Region. CIV stands for Complementary Intervention. Compassion only has three programs: 1) Children Survival Program (CSP); 2) Children Development Through Sponsorship (CDSP); and 3) Leadership Development Program (LDP). CSP is a program that is pre and post natal plus maternity care for babies up to 3 years old. CDSP is our sponsorship program for children 3 years old up to 18 years old. LDP is a scholarship award for 18-22 years old for emerging leaders coming from the CDSP program. These three programs are all funded thru sponsorship.

CIV is funding from partners and donors of Compassion that is not tied into child sponsorship i.e. Compassion can use this funds to help the church, child, family or community in a developmental way. Sponsorship funding needs to go to an individual child but CIV funds can be used in many ways to help the broader community that the child lives in.

I was with the Learning and Support Team, 3 other people that work at the Regional level. We were at this office on Monday and Tuesday, 3 and 4 Dec 2007.

Compassion Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia: This office is many years old and works with 240 projects with more than 45,000 children. This is one of the big office among Compassion’s 26 Country offices around the world. I met with the CIV Administrator and the program team about new processes in CIV plus strategic planning. We traveled on Wednesday from Manado to Bandung. We flew from Manado to Jakarta then drove three hours to Bandung from Jakarta.

Compassion Philippines, Manila, Philippines: This office currently works with 196 projects with more than 40,000 children. We worked at this office on Monday and Tuesday, 10 and 11 Dec 2007. We traveled from Bandung to Jakarta by vehicle than flew from Jakarta to Singapore and then from Singapore to Manila. We arrived Saturday night. I went to Nita and my friends house for Saturday and Sunday, Jonathan and Thelma. They work with prostitutes around greater Manila Metro with Samaritana, a non-profit organization.

From Manila we flew back to Singapore then Bangkok, Thailand and on to Chang Mai, Thailand.

Compassion Thailand, Chang Mai, Thailand: This office currently works with 174 projects with more than 28,500 precious children. We worked with office personnel on Thursday and Friday, 13 and 14 Dec. My favorite food in Thailand is Phat Thai Sai Khai (fried noodles, egg, vegetables, lots of dried chili pepper- HOT, little sugar and grounded peanuts). Friday night our friends the Coats came down from Chang Rai to take me out to supper, it was great to catch up with them.

RED LETTER DAY, 15 Dec- I get to go home! Since Singapore Airlines was my base, I needed to fly Chang Mai to Bangkok to Singapore to Dhaka. I left Chang Mai at 9:45 a.m and ended up in Dhaka at 9:30 p.m. But it is all worth while when four boys run and jump into Daddy’s arms, with CJ and Chad screaming Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!!!


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