Compassionart – the ministry that brought together some of the top songwriters and artists in the world in an effort to write songs that would then benefit charity – has made its first round of donations.
The grants come from personal gifts and proceeds being raised by the CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty CD and 50-minute DVD documentary, and its companion book, The Art of Compassion, written by the 12 world-acclaimed CompassionArt songwriters. In an unprecedented effort to engage people everywhere to help end world poverty, song and artist royalties received from these acclaimed projects will be donated to the poorest of the poor.
The first grants went to 16 charitable projects chosen by the CompassionArt songwriters. The four “headline” projects will each receive $9,944 (£6,000) and the 12 individual artist nominated projects will each receive $3,315 (£2,000) for a total of $79,556 (£48,000).
The projects are:

1) South America – Grants from CompassionArt will be used to help buy a boat to carry ministry teams, doctors, etc., to the sick and needy in places near Santa Isobella, Brazil that are only reachable by boat.
2) Worldwide – Grants will be used for “Start Freedom,” an education campaign for schools and young people, teaching them about the issues surrounding human trafficking and the power they have to make a difference. Start Freedom aims to create freedom from the oppression and poverty that is caused by human trafficking by reaching out to local communities worldwide, equipping young people to empower and act on behalf of their peers who have no voice.
3) India and Cambodia – Funds will be used to help provide food, education and more in a Phnom Penh, Cambodia rubbish dump, a sprawling 100-acre garbage dump where hundreds of children work. Toiling through the mountains of trash as early as 3 a.m., the children hope to make 50 to 75 cents a day to help feed their families. The funds will help two buses rebuilt into mobile feeding and education centers to establish a place where these children could eat a good meal, take a shower and learn basic reading and writing skills.

4) Africa – The grant will be used toward building a Creative Arts Center, helping to restore hope to orphaned children to abused mothers and those whose lives have been devastated by suffering in Uganda. The Creative Life Center will encourage artistic education and plans for a better future for all.
1) Nominated by Darlene Zschech, the grant will be used in the Village of Hope (VOH) project in the Gasabo District of Kigali, Rwanda. VOH is a self-sustaining, holistic model for the complete needs of the child, widow, orphan and community, providing much needed housing, healthcare, education and community for the most vulnerable families who were victims of the Rwandan genocide in 1994.
2) Nominated by Michael W. Smith, the funds will support the salaries of Life Skill Educators who work directly with 8,200 children in six urban township communities located in the Deep South Peninsula of South Africa’s Western Cape. Offering Life Skills Education and After School Children’s Clubs, these programs function to prevent HIV by equipping youth with HIV facts, empowering them with skills to make responsible decisions, helping youth identify goals for their future and increasing confidence, while teaching Biblical principles to shape values and build strong character.
3) Nominated by Martin and Anna Smith, the grant money will be used for the Community Healthcare Training project at the Tondo Rubbish Dump and Navotas Cemetery in Manila, Philippines. The project works with over 1,000 people each week in communities living on the Tondo Dump and Navotas Cemetery, providing healthcare training, education, nutrition and family enhancement programs, guided by Godly values and beliefs, to some of the poorest Filipino communities. By promoting health, it is hoped to improve attendance at school and the family’s ability to work to earn a living for themselves.
4) Nominated by Matt Redman, the grant will help the Kasese Child Survival Programme, a church-based project in the Kamaiba Village of Kasese in SW Uganda that provides critical care for 38 mothers and 39 babies from pregnancy to the age of three. Kasese provides nutrition, medical assistance, economic development, parental education, social support and spiritual care for mothers and caregivers, ensuring that some the most vulnerable babies and toddlers in the community survive and thrive during the first years of life.
5) Nominated by Paul Baloche, the grant will help create an aftercare/transition home based in East Texas for some of the estimated 300,000 children being trafficked and exploited in America. With the home groundbreaking planned for early 2010, this specialized home will help meet the urgent physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of children rescued from trafficking and exploitation. There are only five to seven such specialized transition homes in the entire US.
6) Nominated by Graham Kendrick, the grant will be used for tuition and exam fees for fatherless, motherless and boundary-less young people ages 5 to 25 to attend Restoring The Sound (RTS), an accredited London College of Music Exam Centre based in Macassar township in Cape Town, South Africa. RTS is a music based arts empowerment project aimed at youngsters who would normally fall prey to gangs and drug abuse.
7) Nominated by Tim Hughes, the funds will go to help reduce the re-offending rate in the UK by equipping local churches to help ex-offenders to successfully re-integrate and make a positive contribution to society.
8) Nominated by Stu Garrard, Beanz Meanz Livez will partner with Living India and start an animal husbandry program to help the orphanage at Chandrakal (Hyderabad, India) to become self-sustaining. The program will begin with a barn, six cows and a dozen chickens. The grant will also be used to train the children in much needed skills for work.
9) Nominated by Steven Curtis Chapman, the grant will go to Maria’s Big House of Hope, a 60,000 square foot special needs care facility in Luoyang China. The facility is staffed, operational and currently cares for 80 special needs orphans. The grant will be used to feed and house these special children, as well as to further their physical care through medical treatments, surgeries and recovery.
10) Nominated by Andy Park, the funds will support an ongoing initiative in Tin Siu Wai, Hong Kong that looks after distressed and single families in an area that is known for teenage drug addicts, suicides and mental illness. The grant will help convert an old car park into a gathering place where people can gather for youth programs that help rescue children and single parents from the drug trade, etc.
11) Nominated by Chris Tomlin, the grant will go toward the ongoing operations costs of The Bulrushes, a home for orphaned and vulnerable babies in Kampala, Uganda. Tiny premature babies to toddlers found on rubbish heaps, in trash cans or abandoned in hospitals and police stations, are brought to this new home where they find acceptance, physical and medical care and unconditional love.
12) Nominated by Israel Houghton, Lakewood Missions will use the grant to help finish a new school building, specifically the ceilings for the Mosop Orphanage (Sotik, Kenya, East Africa), which cares for 87 children from 5 to 18 years of age.
For more about Compassionart, visit the organization’s website.
Christian music artists release CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty
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