Thanks for asking, Sue.
First, I love what I’ve personally seen of World Vision’s work in Ethiopia and El Salvador. Their programs often make the work of other organizations, like Compassion’s, possible. For instance, a Compassion child development center may serve children water provided by a well World Vision dug. Just a hypothetical. World Vision’s work is an important piece of the poverty killing puzzle.
1.Compassion ALWAYS works through the local church. Compassion meets the needs of over 1.4 million children in twenty-six of the world’s poorest countries by working exclusively through the local church. Partnering with churches allows Compassion to guarantee its sponsors that their sponsored child will not only receive health care, proper nutrition, and education but also the opportunity to respond to the gospel. Because of this commitment to sharing the gospel through the local church, 500 children, on average, come to faith in Christ every day through the ministry of Compassion. Every employee of Compassion International is a Christian. According to Fabiano Franz, World Vision’s national director for Mali, World Vision does not require short-term employees to be Christians, some are not, and some who are cannot openly share their faith in Jesus because of the laws of the countries they are working in.(Source)
2.Child development through child sponsorship. When you sponsor a child through Compassion International a minimum of 80% of your monthly gift goes toward meeting the spiritual and physical needs of your sponsored child through a partnership with a church in their neighborhood. Compassion calls this “child development through child sponsorship.” When you sponsor a child through World Vision your child is not guaranteed a direct benefit from your generosity, but their community is. Your money is used to build roads, dig wells, provide food, fund schools, carry out disaster relief (World Vision has an incredible disaster relief program) which will positively impact many lives. This is community development funded by child sponsorship. There is no promise from World Vision that your gift will have any direct affect on the life of the child you are “sponsoring.” World Vision explains it this way…
Under the heading “How It Works” WorldVision.org/sponsor-child describes what sponsoring a World Vision child accomplishes this way: “Sponsorship fosters sustainability. World Vision plans and works alongside community members to help build healthy communities for children.”
Compassion International and World Vision are different but together, with many other wonderful organizations, can defeat extreme poverty. Compassion always works through the local church to develop one child at a time into an adult who can transform their community some day. World Vision, sometimes in partnership with local churches, develops communities in a way that positively impacts the lives of children.