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Submitted by Compassion Canada

Most Canadian youth will never experience poverty of the kind children struggle to overcome in the developing world. But a new curriculum from Compassion Canada helps parents open up their children’s horizons to how other people live around the globe.

Compassion's Allison Alley says, "We want to see families engaged in mission and ready to make a difference."

"Step Into My Shoes" is a seven-step journey that gets families thinking about how they can help children around the world who live in poverty.

In December 2013, Alley travelled to rural Uganda and met a family with 12 children. Pastor Tom, his wife Nancy and their many children live without running water or electricity. They cook their meals over a fire and buy food at an outdoor market that is a one-hour bike ride away, and open only two days a week. Nancy purchases only what she can carry back on her bike handles.

On her return from Uganda, Alley began creating an immersive course to let Canadian families “meet” this Ugandan family, too—without getting on a plane. Now, it’s available as a free online resource.

Compassion created Step Into My Shoes in partnership with parenting expert Kara Powell of the Fuller Youth Institute in California. Families learn how they can invest in children locally or globally, and they get creative ideas for living compassionately.

"It's about taking a global perspective and understanding what it really means to be generous," Alley says.

The curriculum offers more than just a chance to hear about others in need; families who participate in Step Into My Shoes get to see, hear, taste and feel what it's really like to live in poverty through hands-on activities. They learn gratitude for what we have in Canada, empathy for others who have less and a clear sense of what they can do to help.

Children and parents ponder questions like:
  • Could we get by with one, inconvenient source of water?
  • What would it be like to share a bedroom with the whole family?
  • What does it mean to have enough?
  • How can we help others with our "more than enough"?

Step Into My Shoes features simple games, crafts and activities that give participants a first-hand insight into the challenges families in Uganda face daily. A family can devote just 10 minutes per day to the steps, completing them all in one week, or taking more time as needed.

To learn more, visit

Compassion Canada is a child-focused charity that partners with churches in the developing world to fight poverty and share the good news of Jesus with children and families. Compassion currently works in 26 countries and reaches more than 1.6 million children, helping them grow in all aspects of life: physical, mental, social and spiritual.