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Home > About Us > Press Center > Frequently Asked Questions

World Vision at a glance

Frequently asked questions

Updated: January 2008

What 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.

World Vision was founded in September 1950 by Dr. Bob Pierce, a Christian leader, in response to the needs of Korean War orphans.

What does World Vision do?

World Vision provides emergency and hunger relief, long-term community development programs, agricultural development assistance and leadership training. The organization also educates the public on poverty- and justice-related issues and advocates on behalf of the poor and children in crisis.

A worldwide staff of more than 31,000 assists about 100 million people in nearly 100 countries throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. For example:

  • Child Sponsorship: More than 3 million children are enrolled in World Vision child sponsorship programs. Of those, 921,000 are assisted by the monthly donations of U.S. sponsors.
  • Food Aid: World Vision is the largest aid distributor for the United Nations’ World Food Programme, and distributed 225,000 metric tons of food for WFP and U.S. government funded programs in fiscal 2006.
  • Clean Water: In 2007, World Vision dug 194 wells in West Africa, expanding access to clean water to an additional 118,000 people in the region.
  • HIV and AIDS: World Vision’s HIV and AIDS care and prevention work, started in 1990 in Uganda, is ongoing in AIDS-affected communities in 60 countries, including most of sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Emergency Relief: World Vision responded to 85 humanitarian emergencies in 2007 alone, providing food aid, basic supplies and child-protection centers. Rapid response teams reached major disaster sites within 48 hours of events such as the November cyclone in Bangladesh and the August earthquake in Peru.
  • Humanitarian Crises: World Vision is one of the few agencies still aiding displaced people in Sudan's Darfur region.
  • Development: More than 530,000 poor men and women in 47 developing countries are building their own businesses with small loans received World Vision’s microfinance programs.
In the U.S., World Vision connects and assists local leaders, churches and organizations to help families break the cycle of poverty in impoverished communities. More than 1.6 million children and adults received necessities like clothing, school supplies and building materials in 2007. Thousands of at-risk youth were mentored and tutored.

More than 95 percent of World Vision's staff are nationals of the countries in which they serve. When possible, our programs are carried out with local partners such as community associations, national development groups and churches. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

How is World Vision funded?

About 77 percent of resources are donated by private individuals, corporations, churches and foundations, with the remainder from public grants. Many donors learn about World Vision through public awareness programs, church and civic campaigns, television specials and mailings.

World Vision raised more than $2.1 billion globally in fiscal year 2006, with nearly half of that from U.S. donors, including gifts in kind, government grants and food commodities.

Some 3.1 million supporters, donors and partners in the United States make World Vision's work possible. Those include:

  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Cardinal Health
In fiscal year 2007, 86 percent of all donations to World Vision in the United States were used for current and future ministry programs, including overseas relief and development programs, as well as U.S. projects.

World Vision’s United States office is grateful for the generous support of nearly 1 million private individuals, thousands of churches and businesses and hundreds of foundations and organizations. In addition, approximately 23 percent of our funding comes from public grants. Beyond fundraising, World Vision mobilizes our donors and partners to speak out with us on behalf of children in need.

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.

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