Bakersfield received a glimpse into a life of extreme poverty when The Compassion Experience stopped in town for the weekend.
The interactive tour gives visitors the opportunity to experience the life story of two children from different parts of the world.
"A lot of people don't have the opportunity to travel to other countries to see this extreme poverty firsthand, so we do this so that they can see a whole nother world without even leaving theirs,” said Evan Crumley, tour manager of The Compassion Experience.
The Compassion Experience combines replica exhibit sites with iPods featuring a child’s life story to give visitors a fully immersive experience.
"The physical atmosphere that we have built is recreated exactly to what the rooms and houses and marketplaces of our two story children were like," said Crumley.
Angelina Sasser, who went through the tour, said, "It was really realistic. It felt like you were actually in the same place that he was."
Families are encouraged to tour the compassion experience together. Children like Angelina are a main audience for the message that the tour conveys.
"It can really put that seed in their mind and understand what life is like outside of America," said Crumley.
After the tour, visitors are able to sponsor and connect with children from various poverty stricken areas of the world. The power of the Compassion Experience’s message has a profound impact on visitors.
Crumley said, "We’ve seen a lot of tears. A lot of parents…connect because they have children of their own, the same age, same name, a lot of commonalities like that."
The Compassion Experience will be in Clovis from January 15-18.