World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization that is dedicated to working with families, children and the communities around the world to overcome injustice and poverty. They serve over 100 million people in close to 100 countries across the globe. They serve everyone regardless of religion, race, ethnicity and gender.
World Vision works with the poor in areas around the world where the people are oppressed by demonstrating that they have unconditional love and hope for everyone. The organization helps to provide the daily needs of the people, promote justice, work at promoting peace and partner with local churches to encourage spiritual following.
The organization has offices in nearly 100 countries. Each office is interdependent meaning they work independently in each county, however are linked together with a Covenant of Partnership. Covenant of Partnership is a biblically based agreement that enables the organization to work in a complementary and unified manner with those the organization serves.
The staffs employed are experts in different technical specialties that range from microenterprise development, hydrology and public health. There are over 40,000 worldwide employees with over 97% that work in their country of origin or region. Since they are familiar with the language, culture and traditions they give the organization a better understanding of how to help the local area children and families.
World Vision has more than three million supporters, donors, and volunteers that includes over 500,000 child sponsors, thousands of religious meeting places, hundreds of different corporations, and certain government agencies around the world. With the help of monthly contributions through sponsors World Vision provides access to nutritious food, clean water, health care, education and economic possibilities.
World Vision's corporate headquarters is located in Washington, D.C. It helps to organize the network of worldwide offices in order to provide the best service they can for the needy and those that are oppressed throughout the world.
Through following Jesus and his principles with the powerless, poor, oppressed, marginalized, the afflicted and by showing special concern for worldwide children, the organization tries to gain respect and dignity for all, equality for all women and men and to change the unjust systems and attitudes around the world.
World Vision serves the neediest in order to try and relieve the suffering and promote the transformation of each and every one. The organization stands united it its solidarity of search for justice while understanding the poor and their plight, while working next to them.
World Vision tries to create dialogue between the affluent and poor in order to create a transformation. They try to make sure the poor are active in their participation and not just passive recipients in their relationship with the affluent. Transformation is common amongst everyone therefore World Vision believes that both the poor and affluent can learn from one another as well as give something to one another.
World Vision regards everyone as equals. The organization gives priority first to the world's people before money, systems, structure and other institutional systems. They are dedicated to respecting the dignity, intrinsic worth and uniqueness of each person and that includes the poor, staff, donors, volunteers, and the different boards.
In the different working relationships World Vision practices an open, participative enabling style and they promote personal, professional and spiritual growth in their staff as well as those they help. They consider themselves as stewards and what they have at their disposal is not theirs. They feel they are a link between God and donors on behalf of the oppressed and poor. They demand the highest standards of professionalism in their staff and the utmost in financial accountability.
Dr. Bob Pierce started World Vision in the 1950s for children that had been orphaned by the Korean War and in 1953 started their first sponsorship program for long term care of the children in Korea. They were soon sponsoring children in other countries in Asia and eventually expanded into Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
World Vision got a boost in the 1960s with global relief efforts by delivering clothing, food and medicines to those that suffered from disaster. They also started to ask for clothing and others items needed by the poor or in areas following disasters.
In the 1970s they continued to expand the number of people they helped and changed their strategy by starting to work with entire communities to try and help families and children to become free of poverty. They started to also incorporate agricultural and vocational training into their sponsorship efforts for families. Micro-business first started with parents learning to earn money by farming and other businesses.
These types of efforts that affected sustainable change evolved into what is today the community development program for World Vision. Helping communities to become self-reliant is the goal. When the 1980s came famine struck the country of Ethiopia and because of a huge media coverage, their needs became known around the world. World Vision was instrumental in donating millions of dollars' worth of medical assistance and food and saved thousands of people from dying.
The "Hope Initiative" was launched by World Vision in 2000 to call for help with HIV and AIDS. Before the end of 2006, the program has sponsored over 400,000 children and orphans in communities that were hardest hit by AIDS. Today World Vision continues to be one of the World's leaders in helping the poor by trying to help with the civil wars that have decimated Africa, by deterring the sex tourists from preying on children and pleading for the end of child soldiers in parts of Uganda.
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