Betsy King unearthed a Hall of Fame career on golf courses around the world. A year after she retired, she found her calling in Africa. As part of a group with World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, King went to Rwanda in 2006 and saw devastation caused by poverty, HIV and AIDS and the 1994 genocide that killed 800,000.
A very different kind of party
As party invitations go, this one was a bit strange. It wasn’t only that Perri Kersh, the hostess, was asking guests to bring their checkbooks. Plenty of parties are organized around selling items, from Tupperware to Avon. The odd twist was that Kersh offered no merchandise at her spendfest, only good will. It’s called a Giving Party. ... Representatives from several nonprofits gave presentations. Kersh set up computers so guests could donate online to any charity using credit cards. And at the exit, she put a box in which people could anonymously report how much they’d donated. In three hours, she raised more than $12,000. Casey Saussy, a party guest, was inspired. At the 2007 party, she saw photos of children that World Vision was trying to help. She committed to spend $35 per month to sponsor a child in Zambia.
A snowboarder with a social conscience
. . . Teter will always be as chilled-out as any 20-something snowboarder from Vermont, but she's insanely excitable. And it's the disparity between reggae-grooving optimist and impassioned, young activist that makes her such an intriguing success story. . . . But farmer's market food isn't even the half of her recent crusade. Most notable is Teter's work in Africa with World Vision, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to the aid of poverty-stricken children and their families worldwide. Teter also aligns herself closely with The Water and Sanitation Project, which combats water-related disease and improves communities' access to clean water by aiming to ensure there's a source within a walking distance of no more than 15 minutes.
If you're looking for green Christmas or Hanukkah gifts that keep on giving, you could buy a well to provide clean water for people in southeast Africa or trees to help keep soil in place on a Tanzanian hillside. How about a dairy goat for people in Haiti and Kenya or an alpaca for someone in Peru or Ecuador? An alpaca? Yes, the alpaca ($360) is gentle on the environment, says Devin Hermanson, senior catalog director for World Vision, an international Christian relief and development organization. When the animals graze, they gently mow the grass rather than uproot it, and their soft, padded feet are easy on pastures, he says. Their wool is valuable and can provide families a "consistent way to earn money and feed their children."
World Vision, a Christian charity based near Seattle, earned Charity Navigator’s highest rating (four stars) with an 86 percent organizational efficiency rating.
It’s beginning to look a lot like ... the tightest family Christmas in a generation. The nation's ongoing economic nightmare is reshaping how families celebrate the holidays. Goodwill is the new toy store, philanthropy is replacing Hanukkah presents and annual dinners are now potlucks. “What we are shifting toward is from a 'me' economy to a 'we' economy," said Blinkoff, who is conducting a national study on how consumers are reacting to the financial crisis. People are "more thoughtful than ever, more targeted, so there is no wasteful giving." Even if these changes are less than fundamental, the holidays will be different in 2008 as families cut back. A record-high 35 percent of shoppers will spend less than last year, and half are more likely to give a charitable gift as a present, surveys from Gallup and World Vision found.
Trinkets vs. charity
Faced with a sagging economy, soaring prices and a tight job market, holiday gift givers might feel compelled to summon their inner Scrooge. But a new national survey shows, improbably, that consumers plan to donate more to charity this year even as they scrimp on traditional holiday gifts. Here and on page 8B are some ideas that don't require trips to the mall and whose benefits last long after the wrapping paper hits the floor. Dan and Sylvia Walbolt plan to teach their grandchildren — 8, 6, and 4 — a lesson in charitable giving. The Walbolts purchased "gifts" from World Vision, a Christian relief organization. On their grandchildren's behalf, they donated five ducks, four chickens, one goat and money for children's education in developing countries.
Even a smile is a gift
It’s as American as Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie: giving to charities. It's what we do as Americans. It makes us feel good, particularly during the holidays. Some even claim it's crucial for our good health. “The most important reason to give is that it's central to personal physical, emotional and mental health," says Steve McSwain, author of "The Giving Myths: Giving and Then Getting the Life You've Always Wanted." (Proceeds from the book go to www.modestneeds.org, a nonprofit focused on helping poor families in the United States.) The good news is we continue to give even as our economy continues its downward spiral. A recent survey by Harris Interactive and World Vision (a Christian humanitarian group that aims to help families in poverty worldwide) shows that Americans - while intending to spend less on commercial gifts - want charitable gifts this year.
Rapes in Congo increase, aid group says
The number of girls being raped has increased sharply since fighting intensified in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a humanitarian group said Tuesday. Also, the recent fighting between rebels and the Congo government has heightened the threat of children being recruited as soldiers, said World Vision. "A silent war has been waged against women and children," said Sue Mbaya, the humanitarian group's Africa advocacy director. "Women and girls in the hundreds have been targets of opportunistic and brutal rape, while children are also being targeted for recruitment or re-recruitment as child soldiers."
Britain and France are calling for an additional 3,000 United Nations troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the U.N. already has its biggest peacekeeping mission, a senior British diplomat said Wednesday. . . . "The world is failing in its responsibility to protect the Congo's innocent civilians," Juliette Prodhan, the head of Oxfam in Congo, said in a statement released November 13. . . . Another aid group, World Vision, says the conflict in the African country is the deadliest since World War II.
Aid agencies scrambled on Saturday to help many thousands of people displaced by fighting in east Congo but many were stranded despite an appeal by African leaders for a ceasefire. Toning down his warlike rhetoric, rebel chief Laurent Nkunda welcomed a call by an emergency summit for a ceasefire and humanitarian corridor in North Kivu province, but aid workers were cautious. . . . "We are doing an assessment to see if the corridor that the parties discussed in Nairobi will be open for humanitarian access. We had a lot or work going on in Rutshuru and some points in between, but that's been suspended," Kevin Cook, spokesman for aid group World Vision, said.
. . . Over the past two months, the fighting — which has its roots in the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda — has killed at least 100 civilians and forced 250,000 from their homes, according to Human Rights Watch. As a cease-fire between Nkunda's forces and the government nears collapse, aid workers say that civilians are at risk not just of getting caught in the crossfire but also of being attacked, raped or killed by soldiers on both sides. “These populations are living with great fear of rebels and other belligerents coming into the camps," said Kevin Cook, a spokesman for the relief agency World Vision. "The conditions are about as bad as they could be."
The city of Miami and a relief agency have teamed up to provide assistance to people suffering from flood damage and a lack of food in Haiti. City officials and leaders of World Vision, an international relief agency, held a fundraising reception at the Doubletree Grand Hotel in Miami on Oct. 30 to raise funds for and bring relief to the hurricane-ravaged Caribbean nation.
Rebel forces have declared a cease-fire after four days of fighting in the North Kivu province of eastern Congo, the French ambassador to the United Nations said after Security Council talks on the unfolding humanitarian crisis. . . . The region's instability endangers aid workers, some of whom have joined the exodus. Michael Arunga, a spokesman for World Vision, told CNN the organization's workers had fled to the Rwandan border, where they were assessing the situation and caring for civilians crossing into the area. Arunga said he himself had fled from Goma, where he could hear shootings at night. "For agencies to operate on the ground, we need a peaceful environment," he said.
Congolese Tutsi insurgents advanced towards the strategic eastern city of Goma on Monday after launching a major new offensive at the weekend, forcing thousands of civilians to flee, U.N. and local officials said. ... Rebel rockets destroyed two armored vehicles from the U.N.'s peacekeeping mission, MONUC, during Sunday's clashes, injuring several peacekeepers, a MONUC spokesman said. . . . Christian aid agency World Vision said its staff visited Kibumba on Monday and gunfire could be heard nearby. Thousands of people from the camp were walking south towards Goma.
A spotlight on AIDS in Africa
Although the AIDS epidemic doesn't capture the headlines that it once did, more than 30 million people around the globe suffer with the disease, and almost three-quarters of those are in Africa. The devastating impact of AIDS in Africa is brought up-close and personal in the "World Vision Experience: AIDS — Step into Africa" exhibit where visitors take a multimedia walk-through that offers a vivid picture of AIDS and its impact through the eyes of four children.
Q: What happens to all the pre-printed championship gear when the team in question loses?
A: It all goes to charity, according to Silvia Alvarez, Major League Baseball's director of multicultural and charitable communications. The MLB began a partnership with the humanitarian organization World Vision in 2007 to distribute the unused championship T-shirts and ball caps to needy people in developing countries. The majority of last year's haul—more than 20,000 items—went to Ghana to help flooding victims. World Vision is eyeing several countries for this year's donation, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Romania and Congo.
Haiti In Need After Storms
The UN's world food program has tripled the amount of food aid going into Haiti after storms created flooding and devastation there. But, as Kelly Cobiella reports, it's still not enough. World Vision featured.
In developing countries, 51 million girls younger than 18 are married. A report from World Vision, an international aid group, estimates that in the next 10 years, that number could double to 100 million. It is a common practice in South Asia, with nearly 50 percent of girls getting married before they turn 18. India's rate is almost 70 percent. Parents often marry off daughters at an early age for money to support their family.
As Hurricane Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast, two local relief agencies announced Friday that they are prepared to deploy truckloads of aid to the area. World Vision, a Monrovia-based Christian relief and development agency, and Operation USA, an international disaster relief agency based in Culver City, are pledging monetary and material aid, if needed.
It is a chilling statistic: 12 million children in sub-Saharan Africa have been orphaned by AIDS. But the figure alone cannot begin to convey the toll of a pandemic that continues to punish vast swaths of the continent. For that, consider the stories of four children featured in an interactive exhibit -- "World Vision Experience: AIDS" -- at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles.
A second U.S. cargo plane carrying relief supplies landed in this war-stricken country Thursday, bringing an American presence to help in what aid workers call a dire humanitarian situation. The few Americans here in the Georgian capital who didn't evacuate as fighting escalated between Russian and Georgian troops over the past week are finding ways to pitch in. "I've helped distribute food and non-food items like blankets and clothes and cooking utensils," says Dwayne Mamo, 31, communication director in Georgia for World Vision, the international Christian relief organization. . . . Thousands of Georgian refugees are waiting for beds, clothing, medicine and more food a week after Russian and anti-Georgian separatist forces drove them from their homes. "It is a massive humanitarian crisis," says David Womble, who directs World Vision's operation here.
Russia expanded its bombing blitz to the Georgian capital, deployed ships off the coast and, a Georgian official said, sent tanks from the separatist region of South Ossetia into Georgian territory, heading toward a border city before being turned back. . . . But residents of the provincial capital Tskhinvali who survived the bombardment by hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds of civilians had died. They said bodies were lying everywhere. "The reports from people is that it's an absolute nightmare. [Two kids] delivering food … made it out of South Ossetia but their parents didn't and they don't know if they are alive or dead because phones are down," David Womble of World Vision told CBS News.
Almost one million people who survived the deadly cyclone that ripped through this country in May remain vulnerable to food shortages until the October rice harvest, aid workers here said. Three months after Cyclone Nargis caused an ocean swell that left 138,000 dead or missing, the waters are yet to fully recede in many villages across the hardest-hit Irrawaddy River delta, the nation's rice bowl. . . . Aid workers also are concerned about a government decision to stop all U.N. helicopter flights into the delta beginning next week as the recovery effort gathers pace. Private aid groups have been relying on those flights to get aid to the swampy area. "It means now we have to truck all the food in," which is slower and costlier, said Judy-Leigh Moore, a senior relief associate with World Vision, a U.S.-based relief organization.
For more than 10 years, Ojok was held captive by the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group waging an insurgency in northern Uganda. ... Ojok was 12 years old when she and her sister Agnes were abducted as they walked to school one day in 1996. . . . Two years ago, the Ugandan military captured Ojok and her daughter and eventually freed them. But her sister Agnes and her baby were killed in a battle in Sudan. Ojok's first stop after returning from the bush was World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization that provides counseling and vocational training for former captives.
... as Germany has become more heterogeneous, children born to less-privileged, working parents and non-native residents have started falling through the cracks. Today the Hauptschule is often seen as a dumping ground offering graduates little hope of a job, and the gymnasium as reserved for the elite. Studies by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have said that in no other country is the academic success of children so dependent on their parents' socioeconomic backgrounds. . . . Sponsored by the nonprofit children's association World Vision in Friedrichsdorf, Dr. Hurrelmann's team of researchers interviewed 1,600 children, ages 6 through 11, and their parents, focusing in particular on 12 children representing different social groups. German children's social baggage weighs heavily on them, according to the World Vision study, which came out last fall.
Hip hop is the soundtrack of urban street life. Nightclubs that play the music can be a magnet for trouble. But a Christian social service group is convinced it can co-opt hip hop, and keep at-risk kids on the right path. KPLU's Tom Banse reports from Tacoma.
The United States and other members of the Group of Eight this week reiterated their commitment to doubling aid to Africa by 2010, seeking to assuage growing concern that they will miss the ambitious targets they set three years ago in Gleneagles, Scotland. . . . Kel Currah of World Vision International, a Christian relief and development organization, applauded the U.S. initiative but said the bigger problem is that the dollar needs for such issues as AIDS and food were much greater than the G-8 is willing to consider.
The 30 Hour Famine (video included)
BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Although the magnitude of the crisis can be overwhelming. The Christian relief group World Vision has come up with a creative way to help church youth groups understand the problem of world hunger and what they can do about it. It's called "The 30 Hour Famine" and we watched one at Trinity United Methodist Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
The storm didn't come. The wind didn't tear her home to pieces. The cyclone didn't sweep her mother and father away. In those brief moments, when she tunes out the questions, the 7-year-girl from Myanmar can step back in time -- before May's Cyclone Nargis took everything away. That's the girl aid workers from World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian group, found when they met Nway in her demolished village a month after the cyclone.
Peace talks between the Ugandan government and the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) further stalled this month in the southern Sudanese city of Juba amid reports of new atrocities being committed by the LRA in Sudan and Congo. . . . Other aid workers with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian aid organization whose supporters sponsor 112,000 Ugandan children, the United Nations and numerous other charities also continue to provide Ugandans with basic necessities, like water, sanitation and health care, as well as education and psychological aid. One challenge aid workers face is how to help families rebuild, said Geoffrey Kalebbo Denye, communications officer for World Vision in East Africa.
Millions of Zimbabweans face starvation as a result of the government's decision to suspend the work of aid organizations last week, an aid director said Saturday. A "humanitarian crisis is unfolding," said Sue Mbaya, advocacy director for World Vision's Africa region. "[The] capacity of communities to cope on their own has really been eroded over the last few years."
Opposition: Police ordered to bring Biti to court
A judge has ordered police to bring the No. 2 opposition leader to court Saturday and explain why he should not be immediately released, an opposition lawyer said Friday. Tendai Biti was arrested upon returning to Zimbabwe from neighboring South Africa Thursday. Police have refused to say where he was being held or when they might bring him to court, but have said he faces a treason charge, which can carry the death penalty. . . . Aid group World Vision, which has projects across the country, appealed to the government Friday to allow delivery of basic humanitarian assistance by reversing the suspension. "We hold grave concerns for the 1.6 million orphans and vulnerable children across the country who will now not receive critical assistance from humanitarian agencies operating in the country," Wilfred Mlay, vice president for Africa for World Vision, said in a statement.
Some 5,000 miles from Carmen's store in Ecuador, women in the West African nation of Mali are getting help from another microfinancing program. This one doesn't rely on individual lenders. Instead, it's led by a large organization. But it's much tougher to hand out loans in societies where women have very little power - including over money. Matthew Algeo reports on efforts to change that ancient and some would say unfair tradition.
MATTHEW ALGEO: A bank cashier carefully counts her till in a small Malian village near the Burkina Faso border. It's a scene typical of any bank, but this is not a typical bank. It’s one of 11 so-called microbanks scattered across Mali and operated by the international charity World Vision. The banks make low-interest loans as small as $10. Borrowers can use the money to invest in anything from goats to grain.
...Betsy King presented a check for $250,000 this week to World Vision, a relief organization dedicated to helping poverty-stricken children and communities worldwide. More than 60 LPGA players donated money and time to raise the funds, whether it came in the form of a check or the result of golf outings, tournaments, fundraisers and raffles. Others in the golf community, including Rolex, Ping, Golf Digest and the LPGA Tournament Owners Association, were major contributors, too.
... A small number of foreign relief experts have been allowed into the delta in the past few days. Steve Goudswaard, an expert in responding quickly to disasters and assessing immediate needs, was the first foreigner from World Vision to venture into the delta, which has been off limits to most foreign aid workers until recently. He says it took him almost a week after United Nations chief Ban Ki Moon's historic visit with Burma's leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, to finally get government permission to go beyond Rangoon, as local officials in the delta interpret the policy in their own ways.
Four weeks after a massive cyclone hit Myanmar, relief efforts are still lagging. Even though the country's ruling junta has just said that it would approve dozens of visas for international relief workers, Chris Webster of the international Christian aid organization World Vision says that efforts are "still in early-days response mode."
Logistical challenges have kept help from reaching much of Myanmar's cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy delta region, relief agencies reported Friday. . . . Chris Webster, a spokesman for the Christian charity World Vision, said his agency has seen "an opening up" by Myanmar officials as the ruling junta promised U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon when he visited last weekend.
With news reports continuing that Myanmar's government is stopping much cyclone aid from getting through, the question emerges: Are donations actually doing any good? Yes, Pacific Northwest-based agencies say. Supplies and people are getting through — although with limitations. World Vision, based in Federal Way, which has worked in Myanmar for 40 years and has more than 580 people there — most Myanmar citizens — is one of a handful of international agencies that has been granted relatively free access by Myanmar's ruling junta.
Myanmar agrees to allow all foreign aid workers, civilian ships and small boats into the country to help survivors of the cyclone. Chris Webster of the emergency aid organization World Vision tells Michele Norris how this news will affect those most in need of help.
Myanmar's ruling junta agreed Friday to "allow all aid workers regardless of nationalities" into the country to help cyclone survivors, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said. . . . Steve Goudswaard, Cyclone Nargis response manager for the Christian charity World Vision, called the junta's decision to open the doors to more aid workers "excellent news" if true, but added it was also important that relief staff be given unhindered access to survivors. "There is not a moment to lose in terms of needing to scale up our response," he said. "Large numbers of survivors have not so far received adequate assistance and many of them are in an extremely vulnerable situation. Allowing international staff into the country will also ensure our physically and emotionally exhausted national staff have additional support.
The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, had a firsthand look on Thursday at some of the damage caused by Myanmar’s cyclone, as a limited program of international aid gained momentum....
... relief agencies in Bangkok said that they were finally breaking through a logjam created by Myanmar’s suspicious government and that a small but steady flow of aid had begun.
South Africa's violence against foreigners took a turn for the worse on Wednesday as beleaguered foreign immigrants organized themselves to fight back. . . . "Everybody is baffled why this is happening now," says Carole Njoki, World Vision's advocacy advisor in Johannesburg. "But locals see foreigners taking their jobs, and they see that the allocation of low-income housing is inequitable. With high inflation and high unemployment, people's patience has reached the breaking point."“we>
UN chief seeks to persuade Myanmar to open for aid
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sought to persuade Myanmar's ruling generals Thursday to let in a torrent of foreign assistance for cyclone victims rather than the current trickle. . . . But some thought just the visit of Ban, the first secretary-general ever to visit Myanmar in an official capacity, could make a difference. "His presence as a senior U.N. official is significant. It means there is enough concern in the international community to raise this to that level. Open up all the channels to allow international assistance to the country. That should be his message," said Richard Rumsey, a senior staffer of the aid agency World Vision in Thailand.“we>
Editor’s note: World Vision is a Christian-based humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide. Laura Cusumano Blank works for the organization. Here is how she found out she would be traveling to the region to help the victims.“we>
Humanitarian relief charities, confronted with back-to-back natural disasters, are scrambling to raise money from Americans and corporations. . . . Aid group World Vision said Chinese employees in U.S. companies might also be playing a part. "There are a growing number of Chinese employees in U.S. corporations, and companies want to show their employees that they care," said Randy Strash, World Vision's strategy director for emergency response. Strash noted that the influence and income of Chinese-Americans is steadily growing and their support is evident in the current crisis.“we>
While the death toll in Myanmar continues to climb, international aid agencies are warning of a new kind of threat to the most vulnerable survivors, children. Child protection workers are trying to offer some refuge for the children by setting up what they call child-friendly spaces where children can mingle and play safely and attempt to overcome their traumas. “They get a bit of informal education and they play with each other and have fun,” said Laura Blank, a spokeswoman for World Vision, which is opening up 37 centers in Yangon, the main city of Myanmar. “Through that process we are bringing a little bit of joy into their lives.”“we>
A tropical depression is bearing down on southern Myanmar. And in countless villages like this, where no one has received outside aid, the clock is counting down to another potential disaster. In what was seen as a huge concession by the junta, the United States finally got the go-ahead to send a C-130 cargo plane packed with supplies to Yangon on Monday, with two more air shipments scheduled to land Tuesday. But aid group World Vision, which has a big presence in Myanmar, said relief material delivered so far is a fraction of what is needed.“we>
A trickle of aid shipments arrived in Myanmar on Sunday, more than a week after a powerful cyclone smashed the country, but the ruling military junta continued to bar major shipments to more than a million of the storm’s hard-hit survivors. The United Nations World Food Program said that only one visa had been approved out of 16 it had requested and the aid group World Vision said it had requested 20 visas but received two.“we>
Americans are responding to the devastation wrought by the cyclone in Burma last week with an outpouring of support to U.S. charities and disaster relief groups, but geopolitics are complicating their efforts. World Vision, a Christian charity, has issued an appeal for $3 million to fund its work in Burma. The group has been distributing rice and water as well as tents, tarps and medicines. "We've had plenty of people donating online and calling," spokesman Casey Calamusa said. "Obviously, people here care about it, and it's something they want to act on."“we>
The United Nations estimated 1.5 million people have been "severely affected" by the cyclone that swept through Myanmar, as the United States expressed outrage with the country's junta over delays in allowing in aid. Some (aid) is getting through," World Vision Australia's chief executive officer Tim Costello told reporters in a conference call from Yangon. "But it's a trickle when it needs to be literally a flood."“we>
Frustration mounted Wednesday as humanitarian groups waited for Myanmar's government to grant visas and allow more relief flights into the country, steps deemed essential to easing the plight of as many as 1 million left homeless by a cyclone last weekend. World Vision, which has 580 full-time staffers in Myanmar, said it has been distributing water, rice and blankets in the area around Yangon but needs supplies that it has stored in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, if it is going to help the worst-hit rural areas.“we>
Myanmar's cyclone survivors do not have enough fuel to burn the rotting corpses of the dead as the country's military junta continues to drag its feet over access for aid groups. Relief agencies said decomposing corpses littered ditches and fields in the worst hit Irrawaddy delta area as survivors tried to conserve fuel for the transporting of much needed supplies. One of the hardest-hit areas is Pyinzalu, a small town on the tip of the Irrawaddy delta, which has not fully recovered from the 2004 tsunami, according to World Vision health advisor Dr. Kyi Minn in Yangon.“we>
MARGARET WARNER: But, just to be clear now, when these planes fly in now, so just the four World Food Program planes, I mean, they're only allowed basically to deliver the aid to whoever is there on the ground to distribute it; is that right? You're not allowed to leave people, additional people, there? AMBASSADOR JOHN HOLMES: That is the -- mostly the position at the moment. We will be having -- getting some people in tomorrow. So, it's not a completely closed book. But, of course, there are, for example, World Food Program staff on the ground already. They already have a substantial program in Myanmar, albeit in different parts of the country. So, there are substantial numbers of U.N. staff already there. There are NGOs on the ground. World Vision are very big, a U.S. NGO, has people on the ground.“we>
Aid groups worldwide wait for Myanmar's repressive government to accept help. Video includes interview with World Vision's Steve Matthews.“we>
Food, clean water and medical supplies could still be days away for victims of a cyclone that devastated Burma and may have killed more than 10,000 people. The relief and development organization World Vision, whose donors sponsor 42,000 Burmese children, estimates the cyclone has put 2 million people in need of food, shelter or other help, says Rachel Wolff, spokeswoman for disaster response.“we>
World Vision, a non-profit relief and development organization, has worked in Burma for decades and has 580 staff members throughout the country, says Rachel Wolff, spokeswoman for disaster response.“we>
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide by tackling.poverty and injustice. The organization is distributing Family Survival kits containing crucial supplies such as food, clean water, blankets, temporary shelter, and cooksets.“we>
As this year began, the United Nations reported that nearly 31 million adults and 2.5 million children were living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Sub-Saharan Africa is by far the hardest-hit region. With just over 10 percent of the world's population, it is home to more than two-thirds of all people living with HIV. More than 1.5 million Africans died of AIDS last year. While the statistics themselves are dramatic, a Christian humanitarian organization is trying to dramatize the issue in a more personal way. World Vision is taking two portable African villages on tour across the United States. As Tom Banse reports, the exhibit designers confront the question of how to get everyday Americans to care about AIDS in Africa.“we>
Interview with Rich Stearns
Join host Dennis Wholey for a personal conversation with Richard Stearns, President of World Vision (U.S.), a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children.“we>
NFL gear not going to waste
Through a partnership between the NFL and World Vision, millions of dollars worth of the incorrectly titled, losing team’s licensed Reebok apparel is shipped out of the country to be distributed to children and families in need. ESPN follows the 2008 Super Bowl merchandise to Nicaragua.“we>
Helping AIDS orphans – with free throws
"People think that kids can't really make a difference and that they should wait until they are older but that's totally wrong you can do something as a kid," said Austin Guttwein, who sounds a lot wiser than his 13 years. After an African pen pal encouraged him to find out about the continent, he learned that 12 million African children have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. "I just kept thinking about what it would be like if I lost my parents," he said. "I just kept thinking about that and I just decided, you know what, I just have to go out and do something." So Austin created Hoops of Hope, a charity for African Orphans that in just four years has raised $350,000 - one foul shot at a time.“we>
Displaced Ugandans face peace problems
Sitting under a mango tree in Lamola, an Internally Displaced Persons camp in northern Uganda, a group of women said they wanted to go home. They're among the more than a million people displaced by the long-running conflict between the Ugandan government and the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army. In Lamola, residents said they received aid from groups such as Oxfam, the U.N.'s World Food Program, the Norwegian Refugee Council and World Vision. The women in Lamola supplement charity with meager and unsteady sources of income, such as selling bamboo in the nearby town of Kitgum and brewing sorghum beer.“we>
Hoops of hope
... Austin founded "Hoops of Hope" and raised $3,000. A year later, the ten-year old from Phoenix, Ariz. enlisted 1,000 kids from his hometown to shoot baskets, this time they raised over $38,000. In the spring of 2006, Austin announced that with the money raised they would attempt to build a high school for orphaned children in the region of Twachiyanda, Zambia, an area where there was not a high school within 60 miles. It is also one of the regions hit hardest in the world by the AIDS pandemic. Hoops of Hope would need to raise $100,000 to meet their goal and see Austin’s dream come true.
"People think kids can't really make a difference and they should wait until they are older. But that is totally wrong, you can do something as a kid," said Austin
Austin has made a difference. In October of 2007, Hoops of Hope, working in conjunction with World Vision, an international relief organization saw the school celebrate its grand opening.“we>
She applies that same attitude toward her acting. Newton has been in 1998's Beloved, 2000's Mission: Impossible II and 2004's Crash. But, the actress says, "I'm not as fascinated by this job anymore, and I know it has to do with the material. I'm not going to chase it." Take Crash, in which she played Terrence Howard's enraged wife, who gets groped by a racist cop. It's one of the rare parts that engrossed Newton, but, she says, "Crash was two weeks of my life. The roles that fascinate me have been teeny. Some people get to do great work and be really impressive and wonderful — Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep, Isabelle Adjani. And then, there's a lot of (junk). I'm not moaning, because that's how it is, so I've built up life to compensate." She recently traveled to Mali with the World Vision relief organization, calling it "deeply satisfying." Though she may find acting less gratifying, she keeps at it.“we>
Relief agencies: Somalia too dangerous for us to work
Nearly 40 relief agencies serving Somalia said Tuesday they can't help millions of Somalis, blaming the existence of too many checkpoints, danger that aid workers face and "a lack of respect for international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict."
"The crisis engulfing Somalia has deteriorated dramatically, while access to people in need continues to decrease," said a statement signed by organizations including World Vision, Oxfam International and Cooperative Assistance for Relief Everywhere, among others.“we>
It was an unexpected journey by attorneys for the elusive Joseph Kony, a Ugandan rebel commander with messianic delusions and a ghoulish human rights record. The legal delegation went on an exploratory mission earlier this month to the International Criminal Court, which wants Kony tried on war crimes charges for his role leading the Lord's Resistance Army. ...
Humanitarian groups such as World Vision, which has a large presence in Uganda's refugee camps, have argued that the court should step aside to allow a peace agreement to take hold across the distressed territory where they work.“we>
An unusual store in Elgin that sells classroom supplies, clothing and other items to charitable groups and schools has begun offering building materials at bargain prices -- everything from doors and windows to kitchen sinks. Participating groups can save more than 75 percent on new merchandise, all of it donated. Qualified public schools -- those where most students receive free lunch -- are eligible for free supplies. An outreach of World Vision, a Christian poverty-relief organization, the Elgin Storehouse provides an alternative for suppliers who might dump unwanted materials into landfills, official said.“we>
A free exhibit at the First Baptist Church in Lodi tells the story of Babirye and other children who live with the horrors of AIDS in African nations, where 25 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.
The touring exhibit, "World Vision Experience: AIDS," opened Thursday in the church's gymnasium and runs through Monday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.“we>
SENEGAL: A day in the life of the 'talibe'
In Senegal up to 100,00 children roam the streets begging for money and scraps of food in order to survive, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF, 2004). Many of these beggars are ‘talibes’ or Koranic students, who follow a religious teacher or ‘marabout’ to whom they are entrusted to learn the Koran. ...
Accompanying slideshow includes photos from Ann Birch, World Vision's communications team leader, based in Dakar, Senegal“we>
Sugarloaf United Methodist Church who participated in the 30 Hour Famine, a nationwide event held to raise money to fight hunger. Students pledge to go without food for 30 hours — most also perform community service and learn more about world hunger — to raise money. World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization coordinating the event, estimates 852 million people are hungry.“we>
There was something not quite authentic about the Super Bowl victory celebration here last week…. The crowd was not rowdy football fans; it was a group of shy local women and children who are unlikely to have seen the game, but came anyway to get a free Super Bowl T-shirt or hat… Due to NFL regulations that prohibit the sale of the losing team's "championship" apparel, the T-shirts and hats were donated to needy Nicaraguans by World Vision, in conjunction with the NFL and Reebok.
ALSO SEE VIDEO: The T-Shirt graveyard, TIME.com“we>
Interview with Vince Edwards, National Director of World Vision, Bangladesh: “World Vision moved over 30,000 families in 33 cyclone shelters prior to the cyclone.” … Non-government organizations, especially faith-based ones, have been key to relief efforts in a country known for ineffective governance. The Christian organization World Vision has been helping people put their homes together temporarily with corrugated iron sheets. It will take years to build sturdier homes.“we>
Nicaragua poor get Pat’s T’s
The Giants may be America's Super Bowl champs, but there will still be one place in the world where the Patriots' sorry dreams of a perfect season live on: Nicaragua. Thousands and thousands of unsold caps and T-shirts printed with "19-0" and "Patriots Super Bowl Champions" have been donated to a charity that will ship them next week to the impoverished Central American country.
As soon as the gear arrives, poor children across Nicaragua will be transformed into unwitting members of Patriots Nation. "It will be a parallel universe, where the Patriots had a perfect season," said Karen Kartes, a spokeswoman for World Vision, the charity that will be delivering the items.“we>
Thousands of frightened Chadians took advantage of a lull in fighting Monday to flee N'Djamena when rebels withdrew from the capital after two days of heavy clashes with government troops ....
At daylight Monday, a crush of panicked civilians began evacuating, creating traffic jams on all major roads and a bridge spanning the Chari River toward neighboring Cameroon.
"There was a lot of overcrowding on the bridge, and some people abandoned their cars and walked," said Ann Birch, spokeswoman for World Vision in Dakar, Senegal, after speaking to one of the charity's staffers in N'Djamena.“we>
Pats lose their shirts for others’ gain
Tedy Bruschi, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, and the rest of the Pats may have lost Super Bowl XLII, but to people in Zambia, Romania, and Nicaragua the Patriots will soon be known as the world champions. Huh? Well, all those T-shirts and caps printed in advance with the Pats proclaimed the Super Bowl winner aren't tossed out. The NFL and the Christian relief group World Vision send the unused, losing half of the Super Bowl victory apparel to countries where people are in need of clothing.“we>
Fighting has stopped in the Chadian capital of N'Djamena, French and Chadian officials said Tuesday, after a rebel uprising that has forced more than 20,000 people from their homes in the past few days. World Vision spokesman Levourne Tassiri said he had already been to Kousseri, where he said the situation for refugees was desperate. "I saw people who are living without shelter, without food, without blankets," Tassiri said from Maroua, Cameroon, just across the border from Chad. He said many were without drinking water. "To see a human being suffer like this -- you know, it's not good," he said. "I am wondering after a few days, what people will do.“we>
Super Bowl XLII may set sales record
The New York Giants aren't the only winners in the team's upset victory over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Hats, T-shirts and other gear bearing the Giants logo started flying off the racks ...
Children far removed from the game benefit as well, thanks to a partnership developed in 1994 between the NFL and the relief organization World Vision. By next week, World Vision will have delivered the pre-printed -- and incorrect -- Patriots champion gear to underprivileged children in Nicaragua.“we>
Chad government troops and rebels clashed in fighting that involved tanks and helicopters in the capital N'Djamena today, as President Idriss Deby fought to retain power and France evacuated more than 700 foreigners. ``Many civilians have been killed,'' said Levourne Passiri, national director in Chad for aid organization World Vision, in an e-mailed statement today. "I fear that the entire capital could be destroyed.''“we>
Impact Your World: Crisis in Kenya
The CNN special feature "Impact Your World" offers background information and resources for learning about current disasters and emergencies, along with opportunities for readers to effect change through partnership with some of highest-rated charities by CharityNavigator.org. Information is provided as an inspiration for readers to explore the best ways for you to impact their world. World Vision was listed as one of the organizations through which readers could help.