The Sun News

Traveling exhibit puts focus on struggles of children in under-developed countries

The Compassion Experience allows visitors to see the world through a child's eyes.

Not just any child, but two children who have lived in poverty.

For four years, mobile trucks have hit the road to bring people face to face with what it is like to grow up in the Philippines and the Dominican Republic without the necessities.

The Compassion Experience is holding tours of the exhibit from Friday-Monday in the parking lot at Second Baptist Church, 2204 Moody Road, Warner Robins.

"I don't think you can leave without having at least a little of your perception altered," said Steve Spriggs, community marketing director at Compassion Experience.

Each tour lasts about 12-15 minutes. Visitors wear headphones to hear the stories as they walk through the room.

Replicas of the homes, streets and markets where the two children lived allow guests to experience what it would be like to live in the conditions.

So far, there are 2,000 people signed up to take the free tour during the four days it is in Middle Georgia.

The experience can be "gritty," Spriggs said, but the tour is for all ages.

"We created a mobile experience where people can experience what it is like to live in an underdeveloped country without having to leave home," Spriggs said.

Compassion International is the parent company of Compassion Experience and has been around for 60 years. Currently, it is supporting 1.7 million children in 26 countries, according to its website.

People who visit will have the opportunity to sponsor a child on site.

"For me, it's so exciting to see city by city, town by town, by how people want to help," Spriggs said.

Although walk-ins are welcome, reservations are accepted. To schedule a tour, visit www.compassion.com.

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