Monthly Archives: April 2012

In South Sudan, a connection between conflict and hunger

With more food on the planet than ever before, it's difficult to believe that people still go hungry every day. You might assume that natural disasters, drought, or a lack of access to necessary farming equipment are to blame for a lack of food. What may surprise you, though, is that conflict is a leading cause of hunger.

Currently, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is causing food shortages affecting millions, leaving children most vulnerable. While it is easy to see the role that a natural disaster or drought plays in hunger, the connection between conflict and hunger can be complicated. To make this complex issue easier to understand, World Vision's James Addis outlines some key questions below.

30 Hour Famine: A crash course in global hunger

This weekend, thousands of students across the country will participate in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine -- an event where teenagers fast for 30 hours, learn about global hunger, and raise funds to feed and care for hungry children around the world.

Nicole, a home-school mom and youth leader, started doing the Famine when she was 16. Nicole offers some incredible insight, having seen the Famine from the perspective of both a student and a leader. We asked her to share why she does the Famine.

Building the best shelter for the displaced

Late last week -- after months of hard work, design, and planning -- students from three different schools gathered at John Brown University to present their solutions to the growing need for shelter of displaced people worldwide.

World Vision has been on the front lines, responding to the challenge of providing contextually appropriate shelter that offers privacy, security, and refuge from the elements -- all while being resistant to future disasters, like flooding and earthquakes.

As a part of the World Vision team that responds to emergency situations, I have firsthand knowledge of the importance of temporary shelters and was called upon to judge the student's designs.

Malaria: Battling the "plague of the poor"

Today is World Malaria Day. One of the top killers of children globally, malaria remains a serious threat in African countries like Mozambique -- even though it's completely preventable and treatable, and even though it was eradicated here in the United States more than half a century ago.

Tom Costanza, a World Vision videographer, shares reflections from a trip to Mozambique, contrasting the elimination of malaria in the United States and its continued devastating effects, both on children and adults, in developing countries.

But simple solutions exist that save lives. And you can help.

When half a camel is enough

Today's guest contributor, bestselling author Debbie Macomber, shares her story of teaching her grandchildren a powerful lesson on charity and compassion. Her publisher, Random House, made a generous donation to support World Vision's work to improve education here in the United States.

Caring for God's creation on Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, an opportunity to step back and appreciate the care and detail God put into creating our universe. God is an amazing artist, and He has set creation before us to show us His glory and remind us of His love.

Psalm 95:3-5 tells us: "For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land."

In Seattle, where I live, this verse comes to life all the time -- natural beauty is evident all around me. Lush green trees, beautiful mountain ranges, numerous lakes, and the Puget Sound remind me of God’s creativity and craftsmanship daily. Spring has brought cherry blossoms and daffodils in abundance. Everywhere I look, I see His awe-inspiring creation.

New MyWorldVision site: Tell us what you think!

Sponsoring a child and keeping in touch with them is a real joy. But until recently, sending letters or emails, changing giving records, and tracking project updates meant visiting several parts of our web site, calling us, or sifting through World Vision mailings.

A story of two Sams

Heather Althoff's family sponsors a Ugandan boy named Sam. Below, Heather shares her story of meeting Sam and his family. Wondering how sponsoring a child can bless your life and perspective just as profoundly as it does the life of the child you help? Here's a story for you.

Uganda: Visible progress for children

Uganda is one of 16 poor countries that are considered "trailblazers" for the progress they’ve made toward eliminating poverty and improving health. The nation is on track to meet at least half of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Progress is hard-won, but encouraging. Here are some accomplishments to celebrate.

Global child malnutrition needs global response

My son, Joshua, recently turned 16 months old. (As a new parent, I’ve learned that we track our young children’s ages by months or even days rather than by years.) As Joshua grows, I witness him becoming increasingly independent and stubborn, particularly when it comes to eating.

Malaria: The source of a mother’s torment

World Malaria Day is coming up on April 25. This preventable, treatable disease was eradicated in the United States in the early 1950s -- but even today, it continues to devastate lives in places like Kenya, where simple interventions could end suffering for mothers like Elizabeth. Read her story below and consider how you can take action to help accomplish what was done in this country decades ago.

PHOTOS: Desperate struggles amid hunger crisis in Niger

As is the case throughout much of West Africa's Sahel region, children and families in the village of Tabouche, Niger, are taking extreme measures just to survive. An ongoing drought continues to fuel a hunger crisis that shows no signs of letting up.

The images below provide a glimpse into a part of the world that desperately needs our attention and assistance. (Photos by Chris Sisarich for World Vision.)

Uganda: Invisible child killers beyond Kony

For the past month or so, Uganda has seen attention in the media and among the American public that it hasn’t experienced in several years, thanks to the viral video phenomenon “Kony2012.”

But this story was no surprise to those of us who have worked at World Vision for a while.

A story of rooftops and buttercups

Members of Carter's Chord, a World Vision Artist Associate, recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to record the music video "Love a Little Bigger," shown above, and to meet their sponsored child, Franyely, who shares a tiny space on a rooftop with her father and brother. The three musicians got a firsthand look at the challenges faced by the family -- and how World Vision's presence in their community has created a reason for hope.

Big advocates can come in small sizes

In the weeks leading up to World Malaria Day on April 25, we're calling attention to this deadly but preventable disease and sharing simple ways by which everyone can be involved in stopping it for good. And by "everyone," we mean exactly that -- including a 7-year-old boy from Missouri, whose unique story we hope will inspire others to take action.

Child trafficking is no joke

For more than a year, World Vision has advocated for reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). The law, which represents the cornerstone of U.S. policies to fight modern-day slavery, expired on September 30, 2011, because Congress did not vote to reauthorize it in time.

As a result, U.S. efforts to combat trafficking are essentially on hold until the law is reauthorized.

Here is an update from World Vision's child protection policy advisor, Jesse Eaves.

Give yourselves fully

I always enjoy Easter for its atmosphere of wonderful, joyous celebration.

While Christmas might be described as special, Easter is triumphant. We celebrate the astounding miracle of a man, the Son of God, risen from the grave. But like a parade after any victory, Easter’s celebration is more than the festivity following an unexpected triumph.

We also celebrate what Jesus’ victory over death has freed us to do: to work for the kingdom of God.