Charity Spotlight: World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
My husband and I became personally involved with World Vision in the summer of 2011 when we made the decision to sponsor a child. At the time we set up our account, we weren’t sure how to go about selecting one child over another. The prospect was daunting, so we simply decided to sponsor the first child presented to us by the website.
This is how we were introduced to Nsondo.
Nsondo is currently 10 years old and lives with his parents, 1 sister, and 1 brother. His parents struggle to provide for the family.
Nsondo is growing up in a poor area in Zambia. The HIV and AIDS crisis has severely damaged the social fabric of the entire community, leaving many children without parents. Many families live in small homes made of bricks and mud with thatched roofs. A typical diet consists of maize, vegetables, fruit, and fish when available. The climate is tropical though the area is prone to dry-spells and drought.
Nsondo is in primary school and he enjoys studying the national language. He helps at home by caring for the animals. He likes to play soccer. He is in satisfactory health.
My husband and I have been pleased to receive communications from Nsondo over the past two years. We’ve smiled as we looked at his drawings, read about his progress in school, and received the occasional photo of him. What has pleased us most of all, however, is knowing that our sponsorship commitment radiates out into Nsondo’s community. Our monthly donation has not only contributed to Nsondo’s basic care needs, it has also provided his community with improved healthcare and support, emphasizing assistance to those affected by HIV and AIDS. Our support ensures that children will attend school and farmers are offered seeds and training on new farming methods, improving their health and incomes.
We felt so blessed by our involvement with World Vision that this past Christmas we decided to experiment. We took the money we normally spend on small (and most likely forgettable) gifts for numerous people and instead donated to several projects in their names. Specifically, we gave a custom-fit wheelchair to someone in need along with an additional gift for resources for people with disabilities; we provided art and music instruction and supplies for impoverished children; we donated one small business loan for an impoverished woman, which will be paid forward to fund future loans for other women; we gifted a beehive and beekeeping supplies to a family who can now generate sustainable, year-round income with their bees and honey; we gifted Bibles printed in the recipient’s native language to nourish souls; and we provided vaccinations to protect infants and children from killer diseases. Our relatives were thrilled with their gifts, and some of them were even moved to tears over the gesture. My husband and I were pleasantly surprised in January when one family member joined World Vision and donated livestock in our name to a family in need.
In the months since we’ve joined World Vision, our eyes have been opened. We have come to realize just how significant our modest gift is. Although we live comfortably, we are by no means wealthy. The amount we set aside each day isn’t even enough to cover my daily coffee habit, and yet it’s ability to deliver tremendous good to this little boy and the place he calls home cannot be denied. While we are more than happy to make this contribution to Nsondo, we are also sobered by the fact that there are still 390 children within Nsondo’s community waiting to receive this same support.
We’re sharing our experiences with World Vision with you today because this organization in now providing critical relief efforts for those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The storm affected more than 35,000 sponsored children in 21 development project areas where World Vision works, and in response the charity has undertaken one of its largest relief operations in five decades of ministry in the Philippines to help nearly 400,000 people affected by the disaster.
If you’ve been looking for a way to contribute to the humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, please click on this link and read more about the work World Vision is doing in this particular region.
Jennifer and Morgan