Children have a variety of physical, mental, social, emotional and spiritual needs. In Child Development Centres, these needs are equally addressed so that the child can grow into a healthy, confident, self-sufficient adult. Regular school classes or tuition develop children's academic and mental skills. Physical exercise, health checkups and hygiene awareness programs as well as, in some CDCs, nutritious meals or snacks support a healthy physical growth. Special activities help children understand their cultural background and develop their social skills; they receive love and care from their mentors and learn about a loving God through Bible stories, songs and drama.
This holistic care for children is then extended to their families and communities. Mothers attend awareness trainings and receive seeds, tools and training to plant their own home gardens and/or raise livestock. Women are encouraged to form into self-help groups with savings & loans programs and are supported in the establishment of a variety of income generating activities.
As CDCs serve not only children but, through the children, also their families and neighbours, over time the centres transform whole communities and can affect society at the grassroots level. To facilitate local ownership and sustainability, the local community participates at all levels, is closely involved in planning and decision making, and gradually takes over management of the centre. Through savings and increased income, the community's economic stability is improved so much that the program becomes sustainable.
What does a CDC include?
Funds for a CDC cover some or all of the following (depending on needs, priorities and location):
• building for a ministry centre (more info see below)
• necessary furnishings
• teachers' salaries
• books, school bags and school supplies
• school uniforms (if required)
• sports and games equipment
• a cup of milk, nutritious snack or full nutritious meal
• a cookhouse (if meals are provided)
• a well for safe drinking water
• a latrine for better sanitation
• regular health checkups and immunizations
• health and hygiene awareness training
• training of a local village health worker (if funds allow)
• resources for special celebrations (e.g. national holidays)
• seeds, tools and training for home gardens (per family)
• livestock (goats, chickens etc; per family)
What is the difference to Child Sponsorship?
In Child Sponsorships, sponsors support one individually selected child with a monthly amount, they exchange correspondence with this child and have the opportunity to watch the progress of "their" child.
Child Development Centres reach more children and in a broader way than individual sponsorships. A typical CDC serves 75–100 children. Administration costs are significantly lower and so more of the resources can be spent directly on the children and their families, allowing for a more holistic approach. There is no individual letter exchange; instead, donors receive quarterly reports on the entire CDC which include updated information, pictures and personal testimonies of children.
You can help transform the lives of many children by helping support a CDC in South Asia. $6,000 cover the costs for one CDC per year (approx. 75 children). You can invest into these children by donating online through ncm.org or sending a donation marked "APT 1017—CDC" to the South Asia Partnership (details here).
If you would like to sponsor an individual child, please visit the NCM Child Sponsorship site.
During the past few years, David Argabright and the South Asia Partnership have raised thousands of dollars for CDCs in South Asia through a special bicycle fundraiser. Learn more about this monumental effort on the Compassion 575 page and on www.compassion575.com and be a part of it by sponsoring a child or becoming a shadow rider!
There is also a great need for ministry centres in all South Asian countries. These centres serve as classrooms for the CDC as well as adult awareness classes and vocational training, as church building, and local centre for all development and worship activities. They are built as temporary shelters, semi-permanent, or permanent buildings, and are occasionally constructed through the help of Work & Witness teams. Please visit the Opportunities page for more information.
Take a look at this leaflet (PDF; size: 270KB) to learn more about Child Development Centres. You can also print the leaflet and distribute it in your church or to your friends.
"Listen to their stories" by selecting one of the links below:
Read the story of an unhappy twin sister in Bangladesh who thought she'd never go to school! Read the story of a baby doomed to die and how its fate transformed a small community in Bangladesh.
Watch this short video (2:39) where Dr. Hermann explains "What is a CDC?"