Christian/Charity: Immersive poverty experience has official launch in Bedford in September

Local : Bedford church to host launch of new immersive international poverty experience from Compassion UK

On 23rd September, child development charity Compassion UK will officially launch The Compassion Experience at The King’s Arms Church, Ampthill Road.

The Compassion Experience is a mobile exhibition space created by child development charity, Compassion UK, inviting people to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a developing country.

The space houses the stories of Sameson, a boy from Ethiopia and Shamin, a girl from Uganda. Both Sameson and Shamin grew up experiencing the vulnerability, restrictions and dangers that poverty brings in their respective cultures and contexts.

“The Compassion Experience will enable thousands of visitors to experience another world without leaving their own,” reflects Compassion UK’s Caroline Cameron. “Most importantly the presentation will offer a message of hope for children sponsored through our world-class child development programme.”

Compassion is an international child development charity with more than 60 years’ experience working with some of the world’s poorest children. At present more than 1.8 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 25 of the world’s poorest countries.

The launch of The Compassion Experience in Bedford will take place on 23rd September from 11am – 5pm. Visiting children will have the chance to participate in African drumming and creative carpentry workshops. There will be bead and basket-making sessions for children too, as well as African snacks available to try. The team at Access Bedford, who work with the deaf and hard of hearing community in the local area, will also be running a children’s sign language workshop.

Phil Wilthew, a member and elder at King’s Arms church shares, “At King’s Arms we’re passionate about reaching the nations with God’s love. We believe this is something the whole church can get involved with and so are excited to have the Compassion Experience available at King’s House. For those who don’t have the opportunity to go overseas, the Compassion Experience will provide a great opportunity for both adults and children alike to grow in understanding of the lives of children who live in poverty and how they can play their part in supporting those across the nations.”

Justin Dowds, CEO of Compassion UK explains, “We brought the Compassion Experience to the UK to bring the developing world to our doorsteps. When people think of poverty, they often think of the lack of material things, but actually poverty is the lack of freedom to make meaningful choices. Poverty narrows children’s horizons and undermines their ambitions. Through our holistic child development program Compassion stirs hope in children. You can witness that hope coming to life through the Compassion Experience.”

The Compassion Experience is teaming up with United Christian Broadcasters to bring live broadcasts to their audience from across the country, including the launch event in Bedford. Following the launch, The Compassion Experience tour will continue to churches, schools and other venues across the UK.

Jennie Taylor

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