Interactive tour aims to educate visitors about poverty

PELHAM – The Compassion Experience will be making its way to Pelham in March to provide area residents with an interactive tour through the life of a child living in a developing country.

Visitors experience what it’s like to live in poverty. The Compassion Experience will make its way to Pelham March 9-12. (Contributed/Compassion International)

The Compassion Experience will be in Pelham March 9-12 at the First Baptist Church of Pelham, 2867 Pelham Parkway.

A self-guided tour will immerse visitors in the lives of the children. Through the use of an iPod, a headset and 1,700 square feet of interactive space, visitors will see the children’s homes, walk through schools and markets, and hear life-changing stories of hope — all from the perspective of a child whose life began in poverty.

“We built ‘The Compassion Experience’ in order to really bring the developing world to America,” said Mark Hanlon, Compassion International’s senior vice president of global marketing and engagement. “When people think of poverty, they often think of the lack of things, the lack of stuff, the lack of money. Those are all symptoms of poverty. The real issue of poverty is the lack of hope. Through our holistic child development program, Compassion stirs hope in children. And you’ll see that hope come to life at this event.”

This free event is appropriate for all ages and is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has never had the chance to travel outside the U.S. to get a small glimpse of what life can be like in developing countries.

More than 700 million people in developing countries live on less than $1.90 per day, facing challenges most Americans never will. Compassion International’s The Compassion Experience will bring visitors on a journey into the lives of two Compassion-sponsored children living in Guatemala and Uganda.

In the areas Compassion serves, nearly one in five children die before the age of five, mostly from preventable causes, and 124 million children worldwide do not attend school, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Tour-goers will have the opportunity to change the story of children living in poverty by learning more about the issue, as well as Compassion’s child sponsorship program, which tackles global poverty one child at a time. Compassion currently serves more than 1.8 million children in 25 of the world’s most impoverished countries.

Visitors are encouraged to make a reservation, however walk-ins are welcome. Groups of 20 or more should email changetour@compassion.com to reserve their space.

For more information about The Compassion Experience, visit Compassionexperience.com, @compassion_exp on Twitter and Facebook.com/compassionexperience on Facebook.