Meet Our Guatemala Bloggers
I'm going on this trip because children are waiting for sponsors in Guatemala. I'm going on this trip because I want my boys to know that every child, every life, is beautiful and important. I'm going to Guatemala because I can do this small thing: I can tell a story. And I want to tell that story to you.
I genuinely love the work World Vision does around the world providing everything from disaster relief to basic healthcare and education to children and families in need. Having supported World Vision for several years, I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to see all the amazing things they are doing in Guatemala.
Matthew Paul Turner
I love World Vision. I've witnessed the multitude of ways in which they represent the hands and feet of Christ to thousands of kids around the world. My wife and I sponsor five kids, and each one has affected how we live. And by God's grace, our small sacrifice overwhelmingly affects how they live.
This is my first experience with World Vision and I am so excited to see them in action. Their commitment to children, partnered with a long-term model of holistic community development, is admirable. When you choose to sponsor a child, you're offering that child hope and a future.
Through World Vision, we are shown a real, tangible way for all of us to help end poverty and social injustice. I'm excited to see the work that World Vision has done in Guatemala, put faces and names to a community, and share their stories.
Not only is World Vision able to empathize with "the other," but they focus on holistically helping the weakest, the most helpless … the children. They are doing what I imagine Jesus would be doing if he was walking the world today, which is why I'm so excited to join their efforts in Guatemala!
World Vision sponsorship is wonderfully streamlined. You can immediately send an email and upload a photo to be sent to your child, which really is perfect in this digital age. I love World Vision’s community based approach as they empower others to get involved in bettering their own communities.
Meet Our Trip Leaders
Matthew is the blog manager at World Vision USA. A seasoned traveler, Guatemala will be his seventh trip to Latin America, including mission work with orphans in El Salvador, and he is a translator of Mexican poetry. He is a novelist and widely published short fictionist as well as a blogger and editor. He lives with his wife in Olympia, WA.
Laura has been a writer and photographer for World Vision since 2007, but has worked with World Vision for 17 years, including as a web producer. She has traveled extensively in both the U.S. and around the world. Her passion is being able to tell stories through both word and image. She lives in Seattle with her husband of 11 years.
The Blessings of Sponsorship
Connect With Your Child
Sponsoring a child is just the beginning of an amazing adventure. There are many ways to get to know her and let her know that she is special.
- Send letters and cards
- Give special gifts and packages
- Email the child
- Visit the child
Watch Your Child Grow
With your help, a child will have the opportunity for a healthier, fuller life. We'll send you updates so you can see how she is growing and developing. Each year you'll receive:
- New photos of the child
- Her progress report
See Community Progress
As a sponsor, you'll be helping change the lives of a child, her family, and her community. You'll receive updates each year to show how your support is strengthening her entire community, including:
- A newsletter of accomplishments
- New photos of the community
Learn About Sponsorship
1. Who is 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.
We work in nearly 100 countries and offer sponsorship in more than 50 of those countries.
Our vision statement says: “Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness. Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.” World Vision aims to address the underlying causes of poverty by improving the well-being of children in sustainable ways alongside donors and the communities who have the “will” to achieve this vision.
Trustworthiness and stewardship are foundational to our work. We are accredited by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance. We are a founding member of the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).
2. Does my monthly gift go directly to my child?
World Vision child sponsorship is an amazing model that allows for a one-on-one relationship with a sponsor, while pooling the gifts of all sponsors who support children in the same community so that we are able to provide long-term resources for lasting change.
A child does not receive direct cash benefits like a welfare system. Giving the family of the child money does not ensure responsible spending or that the community will be able to sustain itself once World Vision is no longer working in the area.
Effective development that releases people from long-term poverty lies in helping people discover their God-given potential as human beings, then working together to realize that potential. Spiritual transformation that instills hope and promise for the future is a fundamental key.
Clean water, health care, agriculture, education, and income generation are important, but are secondary to the basic work of getting the community to take ownership of these projects long-term. The needs and participation of children are paramount.
3. Can I send money and other gifts directly to my sponsored child?
Yes! You have the opportunity to send a specific extra gift through World Vision above the amount of your monthly sponsorship that can go directly to the child and his or her family. Your gift will be sent to the World Vision office near them, where staff in the field help them determine and purchase the items they need the most, such as farm animals or school supplies. You can give these extra gifts at my.worldvision.org.
You may also send your sponsored child small gifts and cards. The recommendations regarding what can be sent are in the sponsor’s guide you will receive and at my.worldvision.org.
4. What benefits does my sponsored child receive by being sponsored? How are my sponsorship donations used?
The goal of World Vision’s child sponsorship is to make life better for children. Our child sponsorship programs have four basic aspirations that guide our work and on which our work is measured. Children have the right to enjoy good health; be educated for life; be cared for, protected, and participating in their communities; and experience the love of God and their neighbors.
Poverty is complex and rarely solved by one intervention. Depending on each community’s needs, a sponsored child—and his or her entire community—benefit from things like clean water through new or renovated wells, school fees and supplies, better education due to restored schools and teacher training, improved nutrition due to agricultural training, as well as health care clinics and immunizations.
In areas where permitted, World Vision works with local churches to ensure that a sponsor's gift will also help provide a Christian education program to give children the chance to learn about Jesus and his love.
The costs of keeping records on sponsored children, translating and forwarding letters, and meeting emergencies are also covered through the monthly sponsorship gifts. A portion of these funds supports doctors, teachers, agricultural officers, auditors, and other specialized staff members who serve sponsored children in their communities.
5. Will my sponsored child learn about Jesus?
We work in a wide range of contexts and communities, from those where Christians are free to express their faith, to others where they face imprisonment or even death for speaking about Christianity. World Vision practices and communicates its faith in ways that are sensitive and appropriate for the audience and the cultural context in which we work without ever denying our Christian faith.
In communities where Christianity is welcome, we are able to partner with local churches. In communities where Christianity is restricted, we are able to share the message of Christ on a relational level. Wherever World Vision works, we identify ourselves as representing a Christian organization.
Often sponsored children and their families, after being touched by the love and care of World Vision staff, have asked questions about our faith; many have come to share it. Our role in the kingdom is to be faithful to His command to serve the poor, and World Vision believes that only God can change hearts.
6. What makes a child eligible for sponsorship? How are children chosen for sponsorship?
Sponsorship is a program that the whole family decides to participate in. World Vision workers meet with community representatives and present the sponsorship program. These representatives then present this opportunity to the families in their area. The families are informed that not only their children will benefit from this program, but that benefits will be shared throughout the community.
7. How long is my commitment? When do children “graduate” from the sponsorship program?
Your sponsorship may last several years, depending on the needs of your sponsored child.
The goal of World Vision sponsorship is to help your sponsored child and his or her community to break the cycle of poverty so they can step into the future with hope. Throughout our approximately 15-year involvement in communities, we manage, monitor, and evaluate progress toward the community’s goals.
When these goals are met, World Vision can move on to other communities to serve other children in need of help.
8. What do I receive when I sponsor a child?
About 10 days after you sponsor a child, you’ll receive your Welcome Kit in the mail with a photo and more. Within 6 to 12 weeks, be looking in the mail for your first letter from your sponsored child. You can email and write back!
Every year, you'll also receive an annual progress report with a new photo of your sponsored child and details about the progress that your child is making, as well as a newsletter of accomplishments in his or her community.
9. If I sponsor today, when will my child be notified of my sponsorship?
It depends upon many variables, such as staffing availability and location of the child to our offices. However, you should receive a letter from your child within the next 2-3 months.
10. How can I correspond with, meet, and even visit my sponsored child?
The relationship you build with your sponsored child changes both their life and yours. You can email your child at my.worldvision.org or find out there how to send letters and cards.
You may also choose to visit your sponsored child for a life-changing adventure neither of you will forget. Please note that due to the time involved, we need to begin planning a visit at least three months in advance of your proposed visit date. You can email your child at my.worldvision.org or find out there how to send letters and cards.