SOURCE: Compassion International; Bleum Inc.

Compassion International; Bleum Inc.

Compassion International; Bleum Inc.

December 09, 2010 17:07 ET

Kenya Man Rises From Poverty to Opportunity Through Compassion International's Leadership Development Program

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO--(Marketwire - December 9, 2010) - A young graduate of Compassion International's Leadership Development Program (LDP) left his small village in Kenya this week to start a life changing job opportunity... in Shanghai. China-based IT outsourcer Bleum Inc., a Compassion IT vendor, created a software testing position in an effort to provide an extraordinary opportunity, partnering with Compassion to complete the cycle of releasing one young man from poverty.

Livingstone Zachary Onduso is the only one of eight siblings to receive an education beyond the 8th grade. He was one of a handful of children from his village selected for Compassion's Child Development Sponsorship Program, where he received assistance that helped his father pay for his private schooling. Upon graduation from secondary school, Onduso had no hope to continue his education until he learned of Compassion's LDP.

"The Leadership Development Program identifies outstanding Christian young men and women who are assisted by Compassion and their community to equip and empower them with the university education and leadership skills to transform their homes, communities, churches and nations," explains LDP Director Brenda Kerls. "We hope for these students to emerge from our program with the university degree and leadership ability to create change locally that releases people from poverty."

With a Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology in December 2008 from Maseno University, Kenya, Onduso held a number of positions in systems analysis, project management and software design/development when a single idea changed his life forever. An informal discussion about creating job opportunities for LDP graduates inspired Bleum to make it happen. They created a software tester job and, through Compassion, engaged with a handful of qualified LDP graduates. In August Bleum made an offer to Onduso; he started this week.

Eric Rongley, founder and chief executive of Bleum Inc., is proud of the results. "We are eager to help LDP's talented young people like Livingstone further develop their skills and experience through challenging work while learning from them as well. We are delighted Livingstone is joining the Bleum team and hope to continue to build our relationship with both Compassion and LDP graduates over the course of the coming year."

Compassion International is the world's largest Christian child development organization that permanently releases children from poverty. Founded in 1952, Compassion successfully tackles global poverty one child at a time, serving more than 1 million children in 26 of the world's poorest countries. Recognizing that poverty is more than a lack of money, Compassion works holistically through local churches to address the individual physical, economic, educational and spiritual needs of children -- enabling them to thrive, not just survive. Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator, has awarded Compassion its highest rating -- four stars -- for nine consecutive years, placing Compassion in the top one percent of all charities.

Founded in 2001, Bleum is a China-based IT outsourcing provider to U.S. and European companies in technology, financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing and retail. Bleum drives improved performance for clients by developing, managing, testing and maintaining applications that are core to their businesses. Led by senior executives from top global firms, Bleum's Western management practices, English-only workplace and dedicated global development centers enable it to become an integral extension of its clients' IT organizations. www.bleum.com.

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