What is the Zika virus and how do you get it? The outbreak’s rapid spread began in Brazil in 2015 and has now spread to the United States. Find out how World Vision is responding.
Why World Vision is in Brazil
Brazil is at the center of a Zika virus outbreak that is sweeping through Latin America. Zika, which is spread by mosquitoes, may be linked to microcephaly—a severe birth defect that can cause brain damage. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a global public health emergency. We are working with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the international community to respond to the Zika outbreak and have started prevention efforts to reduce the spread of infection, especially among pregnant women and children. The stress caused by Zika is a further burden for families in the communities we serve, who are already suffering the effects of widespread crime and violence. Children are especially at risk; Brazil has the second largest number of murders of boys and girls under 19 in the world. We are focused on changing the culture of violence through child protection campaigns, youth advocacy groups, and extracurricular programs that encourage kids to stay in school and off the street.
We never give up on people
World Vision child sponsorship looks at all the things that prevent children from surviving and thriving in their community, and then works with that community to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to build a better life for all children. For sponsors, it’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need in a life-changing way.
Progress in Brazil
Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families.
Child Protection and Care
Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.
- Thanks to their participation in our child protection groups, children and adolescents have been encouraged to advocate more effectively for their rights to healthcare and education and to participate in decision-making processes in their communities.
- To improve community healthcare and education, we offered trainings to community members on how to advocate with public officials for quality services for children and families.
Healthy Children and Families
Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.
- We focused on creating campaigns to inform communities about the Zika virus in order to prevent the spread of this disease. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus than can cause birth defects in babies.
- To improve health and nutrition for children under age 5, parents have been trained on nutritious meal preparation, personal hygiene, and preventing and treating infectious diseases.
Education for Better Lives
Children have opportunities to learn and to develop their talents, young people are equipped for the future, and families and communities support children's education.
- To offer kids more opportunities to learn new skills and build relationships, we provided children and adolescents with after school sports and arts activities.
- We partnered with educators to improve children's reading skills by supporting libraries, inviting authors to visit, and encouraging kids to read at home.
Love of God and Neighbors
Children and families are growing spiritually, local churches are strengthened to demonstrate Christ's love in practical ways, and people are living at peace with their neighbors.
- Our local staff served children and families as a demonstration of God's unconditional love, seeking always to be faithful ambassadors of Jesus.
Prayer Requests from Brazil
World Vision's staff in Brazil are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:
Families raising babies suffering from microcephaly.
Children and youth learning to make their voices heard during community decision making.
News from Brazil
While in Brazil, Olympian cyclists Annette and Alex Edmondson finally met Vanessa, the sponsored child whose life story they’ve followed for 10 years.
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