A group of Maidstone churches will host the Compassion Experience at the Vine Church on July 7th and 8th, giving visitors a unique opportunity to find out what life is like for some of the most vulnerable children in the world.
The Compassion Experience is a mobile trailer space created by child development charity Compassion UK which allows people to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a developing country.
The trailer houses the interactive, tactile, audio and visual stories of Sameson, a boy from Ethiopia, and Shamim, a girl from Uganda. Both Sameson and Shamim grew up experiencing the vulnerability, restrictions, and dangers that poverty brings in their respective cultures and contexts.
“The Compassion Experience enables visitors to experience another world without leaving their own,” explains Compassion UK’s Caroline Cameron. “Most importantly the presentation offers a message of hope for children sponsored through our world-class child development programme”
Local Maidstone resident, 10 year old Charlotte Tanner, is already onboard with supporting Compassion UK. On Saturday 14th July Charlotte is walking along the Medway from Tonbridge to Maidstone a distance of 15¾ miles to raise funds for Compassion UK who run the sponsorship scheme supporting Sharon (aged 12) who lives in Kieni in Kenya.
The Tanner family have sponsored Sharon for 4 years through Compassion’s child sponsorship scheme. Charlotte says: “Our family has a sponsor child called Sharon who lives in Kenya and is almost exactly the same age as my sister, I want to do something for Compassion, the charity that helped us help her. Through our sponsorship Sharon is now able to go to school, have her own uniform and books, she writes us letters and we write to her too.”
Helen Grant, MP for Maidstone and The Weald, will be one of the first to don headphones and immerse herself in life in Africa, without leaving the Garden of England. Helen says: “I am delighted that this wonderfully interactive experience is coming to Maidstone. Our churches do fantastic work locally in our community but they are also conscious of issues experienced by others around the world. I am really looking forward to attending on Saturday and would encourage others to come along too.”
The Compassion Experience’s visit to Maidstone forms part of a family-friendly event called Love: Local and Global, hosted by Waypoint churches at The Vine church on Saturday 7th July. Alongside the exhibition there will be a bouncy castle, barbecue, live music and a Faith in Action Fair.
The Compassion Experience will be located at the Vine Church on Boughton Lane from 12pm – 4pm on Saturday July 7th and from 12pm – 2pm on Sunday July 8th. It’s completely free, suitable for all the family and open to members of the public. The Waypoint LOVE: Local and Global event will take place on Saturday July 7th only.
To support Charlotte on her Epic walk visit her fundraising page here