South Africa

Why World Vision is in South Africa

The worst drought in more than a generation gripped South Africa in 2015 and poor harvests left 29 million people in southern Africa without reliable access to food, according to the United Nations. HIV and AIDS continued to ravage the area, as did high levels of violence against women and children. Both proved daunting tasks for South Africa to solve. World Vision responded to South Africa’s drought by working with farmers to increase their food and income sources. For example, we provided chickens to households so they could consume and market the eggs. We addressed the HIV and AIDS health crisis by empowering church leaders through a unique program called Channels of Hope. The program educates church leaders using a curriculum that focuses on preventing the spread of HIV, eliminating mother-to-child transmission, and caring for people living with the illness. We also joined in the nation’s commitment to increase child protection by conducting awareness campaigns on child protection laws and policies.

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.

Sponsor a child in South Africa ❯

SouthAfrica Child Protection
SouthAfrica Education
SouthAfrica Faith

Progress in South Africa

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.

  • Through the Citizen Voice in Action approach in South Africa, community dialogues were held with civil society organizations, local government committees, clinic committees, community leaders, and government officials. These dialogues were intended to result in action plans to ensure the needs of children and communities are met. The rights of children for health, education, and protection were promoted through radio broadcasts.
  • Through a collaboration in South Africa with the National Men's Parliament, we helped to facilitate a series of dialogues and marches targeting men, including a presentation to parliament on the need for the government to revitalize the Ministry of Women and Children.

Healthy Children and Families

Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.

  • Through a collaboration with student dieticians and community health workers, household level visits were facilitated to identify malnourished children, and provide referrals for immunizations or other care provided at a facility. Their caregivers were counseled on disease prevention through good hygiene practices and exclusive breastfeeding.
  • In South Africa, access to clean water and safe sanitation was improved by constructing latrines in schools. Schools were also provided with hand washing facilities and soap.

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.

  • Teachers in South Africa were trained in the Literacy Boost* model and were supported with teaching tools to improve students' literacy. We also mobilized and trained parent committees to work together with schools to provide quality education to their children. *Literacy Boost is a copyrighted tool designed, developed, and owned by Save the Children.

Prayer Requests from South Africa

World Vision's staff in South Africa are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:

  • Children to stay in school and expand their future opportunities.


  • Pastors to be effective leaders in the quest for child protection.


News from South Africa

Special Features

Pride and prejudice

FEB. 1, 2013, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa’s patriarchal society denies women a voice on issues affecting them most: gender equality, child abuse, rape, and high HIV rates. But now many are standing against the denial and prejudice associated with HIV by learning to live productive lives.


A doll named Alma

A World Vision sponsor shares gift ideas for sponsored children and how she lets them know they’re loved and cared for during the holiday season.