Our trip to Asia was planned in order to attend our sponsored girl’s LDP graduation in Thailand, and to meet our correspondence LDP girl in the Philippines. So what is the LDP? It stands for Compassion’s Leadership Development Program (LDP): “Through the provision of the Leadership Development Program, Christian young men and women will have the opportunity to get an undergraduate degree and develop and enhance Christian leadership skills and abilities, all while promoting and modeling world citizenship.” According to David Dahlin, Executive Vice President, several years ago Compassion’s leaders realized that although the Child Development Sponsorship Program (CDSP) was working well, it was not enough. They realized that we were not meeting the needs of children before sponsorship or after sponsorship, and that many students were “fizzling out” and not even graduating. In response to this realization, three new programs were started to support the sponsorship program:
- Since many children were dying before they even reached the age of sponsorship, the Child Survival Program (CSP) was started, which I have talked about in a previous post here. There are also many great posts about the CSP on the Compassion Blog here.
- A healthy completion plan called “My Plan For Tomorrow” was begun for all sponsored children at the age of twelve. This helps them to plan for their future, to complete their education and sponsorship, and to set goals.
- The Compassion executives realized that we were also not fulfilling the potential of the brightest students. The Leadership Development Program was begun to allow students with high academic and leadership potential to receive an undergraduate degree. According to one of the students, “the dream of the LDP is to have such an affect on society that Compassion’s ministry is no longer needed in that country.” These students become the leaders of tomorrow — as social workers, teachers, doctors, politicians, business men and women, lawyers and computer technicians, just to name a few.
- Finally, although it’s not a program like the others, the components that pull everything together and cause the others to succeed are the Complementary Interventions (CIV), shown as a ribbon on this chart. There are many great stories about this on the Compassion Blog as well, but they include medical assistance, malaria nets (Bite Back Campaign), HIV/Aids treatment and intervention, Bible provision, disaster relief, water projects, infrastructure development, parental education, the Alumni Association (of formerly sponsored children) and other special needs, such as the Global Food Crisis.
These are the programs that Compassion administers to children in need, and I’m especially proud of all our LDP students! If you’d like to see what it looks like to receive correspondence from an LDP student, click here – it’s been a huge blessing for me!