Monthly Archives: October 2012

Who's that girl?

"Who’s that girl?" I wondered while watching Carter’s Chord, a sister band who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to create a video of their song, "Love a Little Bigger."

I love the song and its message: how blessed we are and how a luxury, like drinking a $4 cup of coffee, can make us feel guilty, especially when we are confronted by pictures of the poor.

Being from Seattle, the coffee center of the universe, I can relate.

The video is beautiful. The Carter’s Chord sisters are lovely. Their voices are wonderful. The Dominican Republic is an astonishing country, dripping with tropical delight.

But the prettiest thing in the video is its little star -- a girl whose life they captured from her early-morning routine, waking up and rubbing the sleep from her eyes, through the moment where she seemed to take flight -- dancing with the Carter’s Chord sisters as they sang.

[Infographic] Is humanitarian aid really making a difference?

Is humanitarian aid really making a difference? The answer is yes! Child deaths have decreased by 41 percent over the past five years.

The following infographic explains major developments in global child health over the past 10 years.

Caring for two lives: Q & A with a midwife

“It is not an easy task to perform. I have [responsibility for] two lives at a time -- the mother and the baby,” says Aklima Begum, 48. Aklima lives in Bangladesh and is highly respected in her community. 

Thanks to World Vision, Aklima was able to be educated and certified as a midwife. Midwifery is an extremely important skill for her community, since many families can't afford to see a doctor or stay in a hospital. The lives of mothers and infants are put at risk when they don't have access to proper prenatal care or a safe birthing environment.

Through her education in midwifery, Aklima is able to provide skilled care to mothers who would otherwise have to go without it.

Biker mom makes the dough

Poverty affects almost every element of a family’s life. It often robs children of their childhoods and can hinder strong, sustainable communities from being built.

But as shown by the story of Sam Mai and her family in Cambodia, a microloan can provide hope for something more -- an independent, self-sufficient future.

A birthday celebration that will help change lives

Bethany Detweiler didn't want a ordinary birthday, so she did something extraordinary.

Instead of asking for presents, she set a goal to raise $12,000 through My Gift Catalog, a tool that gives users the opportunity to raise funds to donate items through World Vision's Gift Catalog.

Bethany shares what inspired her to help others -- and how she plans on reaching her goal.

How a water well helps open the door to education

We know that access to clean water can help improve the overall health of an entire community.

But how does it help children -- particularly girls -- to stay in school and receive an education? Read what happened in the village of Ganjure Chicho, Ethiopia, to find out.

A goat is more than just a goat

If you're considering honoring a loved one with a gift through the World Vision Gift Catalog this Christmas season, you may be wondering how a goat, chicken, or cow impacts the lives of the people who are on the receiving end.

The gift of a farm animal can equip and empower a family in ways that you might not expect. For example, a goat's milk, cheese, and yogurt can help nourish hungry children and families. A surplus of any of those items can be sold at market for extra income, as can the goat's offspring. The money earned can be used to help pay for school fees, medical bills, or other basics.

Check out the infographic below to get a better idea of how a simple gift through our Gift Catalog can become a sustainable means by which a child, family, and even entire community can escape poverty.

Handwashing: The greatest medical invention of all time

Today, believe it or not, is Global Handwashing Day.

I appreciate there are a ton of these kinds of days, and it’s sometimes tough to get excited about them all. So far this month we’ve had World Habitat Day, International Day of Older Persons, International Day of Non-Violence, World Teachers Day, World Post Day, World Mental Health Day, International Day of the Girl Child, World Sight Day, International Day for Disaster Reduction, and International Day of Rural Women.

Phew! What a list -- and we're only halfway through the month. One would have to be a saint to get passionate about them all.

On the other hand, commemorative days can focus attention on what might easily be a vital yet neglected topic. Handwashing happens to be one such issue.

Q&A with an [almost] child bride

Shapla in Bangladesh was devastated when her parents arranged a marriage that would force her to drop out of school.

But thanks to World Vision, when Shapla told her friends about her situation, they knew what to do. Shapla's friends had completed a life-skills education course, and they were able to contact community leaders, who advocated for Shapla.

Read on to learn how Shapla escaped what she calls the "cave of death" -- and how her story represents World Vision's efforts to create futures of dignity and hope for girls and women.

A girl's journey from brick factory worker to outstanding student

Today has been declared by the United Nations as the International day of the Girl. To commemorate this day, we're asking you to advocate on behalf of girls like Keota in Cambodia.

A brick factory is no place for an 11-year-old girl. But each day, Keota would spend hours stacking heavy bricks in a dusty, dangerous workplace to supplement her parents' meager income.

Now, thanks to World Vision, Keota is back in school, earning good grades and helping her little sisters with their studies.

New wheels get Gracious back to the classroom

Thursday is the first-ever International Day of the Girl. To commemorate this event, we're spending several days highlighting issues faced by girls who live in poverty around the world, such as early marriage and vicious exploitation. We're also talking about how access to an education can equip girls to live full lives and reach their God-given potential.

The story of Gracious illustrates just that. This 14-year-old girl has a passion for learning that has stopped at nothing -- even when her life was turned upside-down by an unforeseen tragedy.

When girls pay a terrible price for living in poverty

The United Nations has declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl. As illustrated by the tragic story of Mao* in Cambodia, extreme poverty often prevents girls from getting an education and leaves them vulnerable to the worst kinds of exploitation.

World Vision works globally to help change this reality -- and to empower girls and women to reach their full, God-given potential.

The 2012 True Spirit of Christmas is coming!

Last year, hosts Kirsten Stearns and Alex Boylan traveled to Sri Lanka and Zambia with World Vision's True Spirit of Christmas team to show you how lives were being changed by items donated through the World Vision Gift Catalog.

This year, a brand-new adventure awaits. Where will the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas tour take us? Who will be our celebrity hosts? Stay tuned to find out!

Educate a girl, change the world

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.”

—Hillary Rodham Clinton, September 1995, remarks for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women

Securing the future of Turkana

Having witnessed ghastly scenes of malnourished and hungry children and mothers in Turkana, Kenya, in 2011, I returned a year later and witnessed a total transformation.

World Vision is busy working on recovery and resilience-building programs that are rapidly changing the picture of this region of East Africa.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] What you're not supposed to say after visiting the Third World

Laura Tremaine, who traveled to Sri Lanka with World Vision in late August, reflects on her visit there -- and how it differed from her expectations.

This post originally appeared on Laura's blog, Hollywood Housewife.

Lopez Lomong: Still running

U.S. Olympic long-distance runner Lopez Lomong trotted down the aisle at Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, high-fiving cheering World Vision employees as the Olympic theme blared over the speakers.

He bounded up the stage toward moderator Steve Haas, who was interviewing him for World Vision’s annual Day of Prayer.