When our work began in 1950, our approach was basic. We provided food and shelter for children in orphanages through child sponsorship. Over the years we've learned the complexity of finding long-term, meaningful solutions to poverty.
We work in the most difficult contexts, in some of the poorest countries. But we believe in children. And when we partner with children and families, we can help them transform their communities.
Watch this fun, animated video to learn about our community development approach - how we partner with children and families to help them break the cycle of poverty.
Children live in families, in communities, in countries. We work on every level to achieve our goal of child well being – from international activism to checking in on children face-to-face.
Our local staff members begin working in a community by asking a lot of questions - finding out what problems the community and especially the children see.
Together, we come up with a plan, decide on ways to evaluate and measure success, and get to work.
The community is involved, empowered, trained, and takes ownership in the programs and progress.
Every 3-5 years we look at the original plan to assess and evaluate our success. If we're not meeting our goals - we make adjustments, and then keep working. We call this our LEAP framework (Learning through Evaluation and Planning).
Some organizations focus in on just one issue. Not us. When we address the root causes of poverty and injustice in a community, we design integrated programs that address every piece of the puzzle.
For example: if children are not attending school we need to find out why. It could be because they have to walk a long ways to get water, or they don't have money for uniforms, or they don't have food to eat and can't concentrate, or they might not have supplies, or they might have to work because their parents can't earn enough to support their family.
Addressing the root causes of a problem leads to a better, more sustainable solution.
We are unique because while sponsorship is the foundation of our work, it is not the only thing we do.
Sponsorship gives us a long-term relationship with children and sponsors, and a long-term funding base that we leverage to secure grants, corporate gifts, resources from local governments, one-time donations, and more.
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts - just sponsorship, just corporate gifts, just grants, or just one-time donations alone couldn't achieve the level of transformation we see in the communities where we work.
Some organizations come in for a couple years and then leave when the funding runs out. Not us. Addressing the root causes of poverty requires a marathon, not a sprint.
We love the way Jesus cared for the poor and oppressed, the way he showed us how to listen to children, and how to look out for widow and orphans.
Measuring the progress of our development work toward community change is essential.
Read more about World Vision Development Programs.
In this community in Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador, parents were concerned that their children were struggling in school. Many were either repeating grades or dropping out.
So we trained parents and volunteers to run a community preschool that prepares kids for school. Now, the children start school strong — and stay strong.
In this community in Rutegama, Burundi, children were malnourished. World Vision formed a nutrition club for moms to train them on nutrition, improved gardening techniques, and animal husbandry.
Now, moms know what foods provide balanced nutrition and have the knowledge and resources to grow them. Children are better nourished, and families even earn extra income from the animals!
And in this community in Panchbibi, Bangladesh, moms were struggling to provide for their families. They had no way to earn an income.
So we provided sewing machines and taught the moms how to use them. Then, we provided training on how to start a business. Now, moms can earn enough income to provide for their children and send them to school!