Recent Posts By Kari Costanza

A modern-day slave’s second chance

The International Labor Organization estimates that at least 20.9 million men, women, and children around the world suffer in forced labor, though the actual number could be closer to 27 million. Further, 55 percent of victims of forced labor are women, and girls comprise 98 percent of sex trafficking victims.

Chanty* was one of them -- but now she has a second chance.

The gossamer thread, part 2: A different story

Today is World Malaria Day! Join World Vision in remembering the lives devastated by this preventable, treatable disease -- and in our mission of eradicating it from the world.

Yesterday, part 1 of "The gossamer thread" brought you into the lives of three families who have seen malaria's tragic effects firsthand. Today's story is decidedly more hopeful: It highlights the miraculous change a few square meters of netting has brought about for another Mozambican family.

The gossamer thread, part 1: Three families

Tomorrow is World Malaria Day -- a moment to remember the lives of children, families, and communities devastated by this preventable, treatable disease that we can stop.

Today, we open a two-part series with the stories of three families in Mozambique who have been affected by malaria. Make sure you check back tomorrow to read about a family whose lives have been transformed by the simple miracle of bed nets.

The net effect of deadly malaria

Marita Adelino is not your average 10-year-old.

In a world where children typically want so much, she wants only two things -- a best friend and a mosquito net. Yearning for a friend is sketched across her face, a portrait of loneliness.

And the desire for a mosquito net? Marita is terrified of the tiny, sinister creatures that spread malaria, the disease that killed her best friend, Marta João, last year.

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.

Why did I pray?

World Vision's Kari Costanza traveled to Rwanda, where she met Solange, whose life was turned upside-down in a short period of time.

Fighting caused Solange and her family flee their home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After arriving in Kiegeme refugee camp, Solange lost her 3-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

Kari met Solange in a hospital, where she was staying with her baby, Esther. Kari shares her thoughts on meeting Solange and Esther -- and the tragic news she received after returning to the United States.

Malaria: The disease that silences laughter

Today, I bought a coffin.

We spent the morning in a village in Mozambique visiting Marita, a dear little girl whose best friend had died of malaria last year.

Marita was still grieving. She sat quietly while the rest of the children played in high spirits, shouting and laughing through a game of soccer.

Marita’s mother invited us to come back later for supper. Hospitality can never be refused, even when the givers have so little. Marita’s father makes just $48 a year in a country to which both people and nature have been unkind.

International Women's Day: Having it all in Cambodia

Today is International Women's Day. We honor the remarkable achievements of women like Konitha, a mother and entrepreneur in Cambodia who used World Vision business loans to build a life of dignity and hope for herself and her children.

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When I was 12, my mother bought me Helen Gurley Brown’s book, "Having It All." The book offered advice on how a woman could succeed at everything -- love, work, and family. My mother knew even then that her overachieving daughter would have difficulty choosing between having a family and having a career.

Made possible by water

It’s been a tough two weeks for the World Vision family. Our 40,000 staff work in nearly 100 countries, so when there is a devastating event in Japan, with its 75 World Vision staff members, it affects our entire family.

The stress level around here has been so high that today I decided....