It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Or if there are family memories or daily necessities hung on the walls. Or if there are treasures or clothes tucked under the bed. The bedroom is the one place we can shut out the world and curl up for sweet slumber at the end of a long day.
It’s a safe haven.
It’s no different in the developing world. From the caregivers in our Child Survival Programme to the families of the kids in our Child Sponsorship Development Programme to our Compassion graduates, we count it a privilege when they welcome us into their homes to share a glimpse into their day-to-day lives and their nightly safe havens.
Enjoy these stunning pictures of bedrooms from around the world!
Angelica, 8, Ecuador
Angelica’s father recycles objects such as bottles, paper, scrap iron, aluminium and copper and earns around £8 for a day’s work. This isn’t enough to support the family’s needs and Angelica struggles with health problems. Despite the problems, Angelica’s mum proudly boasts, “She is an obedient child. She helps me by cleaning her own uniform and finishing her homework.”
Angelica is the only child in her family. Still, her bedroom is small and crowded with a make-shift bamboo wall separating her room from the rest of the living space. She makes enough space to do her school work on her bed, she loves to draw and colour as well as playing with dolls, her friends and running.
“I’m eight years old and I’m in the 4th year of basic education, in classroom A. I love to colour and draw and to always obey my tutor. That’s what I like!”
Jennylin, 17, Philippines
Jennylin’s family live in a cramped home under a pedestrian bridge in Philippines. She lives with her parents and two brothers inside a tiny room, with just enough space for a bunkbed, one table and two cabinets. Her family of five can’t be in their home at the same time and can’t stand up straight whilst inside. There are no windows or back door, so the house is always dark. Except when the siblings light a candle or kerosene lamp- that’s when it’s time to study. They are careful not to use up their kerosene supply and their home is in total darkness when they are not reading or doing their homework.
“I trust in God and my family is happy despite our living condition. I consider it a miracle that we can get by every day with little money,” shares Jennylin.
Loraine, 17, Colombia
Loraine has spina bifida, she had to have the lower part of her leg amputated when she was 12 years old due to an infection but she didn’t let that hold her back. As soon as she graduated from high school, she began studies in the medical field. Her bedroom consists of bare brick walls and minimal furniture. By the side of her bed she neatly hangs some of her favourite belongings including a selection of handbags.
Odupoi, 13, Kenya
Sleeping in isn’t a common occurrence for 13-year-old Odupoi. As part of the Maasai tribe in Kenya, he rises early to tend the cattle and other animals before heading off to school. "I wake up in the morning," he explains. "My mother lights to fire. And me I go to milk the goats. And then I go to school."
Secia, 11, Peru
Secia's room is small but well-kept - the walls are made of wood panels and pre-fabricated wood. Secia was abandoned by her father when she was young and sadly lost her mother a few years ago to tuberculosis. She has been raised by her grandma who works selling purple-corn pudding and jelly in the local market, making £10 per day. “I don’t feel alone anymore, because I know that God is with me and He takes care of me. I love to live here with my grandma and see the landscape. When I grow up, I want to be a doctor, because I want to save lives and help people avoid losing their loved ones. But if they do, I will remind them that everything will be ok,” reflects Secia.
Nuda, 14, Thailand
“I sleep on a mattress, in a mosquito net, with my two other friends. During summertime, it can be very hot in here. But in winter, it is very cold,” says Nuda. Because she lives in a boarding house in Thailand, there are about 60 girls living in the same one-story dormitory with no doors or partitions.
Nathalie, 7, Haiti
“Nathalie does some little jobs around the house, cleaning the pots or the dishes and also she knows how to do some little laundry jobs like washing her hair ribbons. She knows how to clean them for school,” explains her father. “In the future, I see her like a great, big lady having everything within her reach; maybe become a leader in this country.”
Rachel, 9, Indonesia
Rachel lives with her three older siblings in Bandung, Indonesia. Most mornings she watches her parents select rubbish and weigh it for their rubbish collecting business. They accept any recyclable materials and clean, stack and sell it to those who are willing to pay a higher price. Their house is filled with piles of rubbish with almost no room left for the family.
“I don’t have a specific place to study or do my homework, I climb onto a pile of stacked cardboard boxes and like to read here,” says Rachel.
“Her barbie collection mostly comes from the dumpster, whenever I find a doll among the incoming rubbish, I will set it aside for her, for I know she likes the dolls very much, but it is too expensive to buy a new one,” adds her mum.
Adi, 17, Indonesia
Adi’s bedroom is not just for sleeping. Because of his musical gifting, his Compassion project in Indonesia helped him purchase his guitar with a financial gift from his sponsor. He says, “My sponsor really means a lot to me. Through his sponsorship I’m able to go to school and I can learn a lot of things. He plays a significant role for me and my family. If he was here now, I’d like to say thank you because I was taken care through childhood up until now because of him.”
A version of this blog was originally published by our friends at Compassion International.