How sound policy can silence the sound of suffering

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30 years ago, bad policies, drought, and the resulting famine led to mass starvation and the deaths of at least 400,000 people in Ethiopia.

Today, as parts of Africa face a new drought, we have the opportunity to put in place a good policy that could help prevent another worst-case scenario.

Learn about the bill that's in Congress right now and what you can do to help.

***

I will never forget that sound as long as I live.

It woke me from a dead sleep at 5 a.m. In a half-dream state, it sounded like an air-raid siren had gone off, and I momentarily thought of diving under my bed for safety. As I clamored to consciousness, I realized it was a cacophony of noises mingling together, floating away across the predawn fog in the Northern Ethiopia town where I had passed a fitful night.

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    The “Francis Effect”

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    Today, Pope Francis is addressing the UN during their annual General Assembly.

    Hear what our Senior VP Kent Hill has to say about the pope's visit to Congress this week, and the power of the "Francis Effect" to inspire concern about "the least among us":

    "We are hard-wired to never know peace or happiness apart from loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves … and this pope helps us remember that fact."

    ***

    I stood in line with thousands in the pre-dawn darkness on Wednesday in front of the White House, many hours before Pope Francis arrived for his official welcome to the U.S. by President and Michelle Obama.

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      Finding hope in Kenya

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      Today through August 7 is World Breastfeeding Week!

      Pediatric dietitian Connie Warner recently traveled with us to visit our maternal and child health programs in Kenya!

      See how her experience lead her to ask, “How can I stand-up for the poor and vulnerable?”

      … and how she plans to answer that question.

      ***

      I felt my eyes close and I struggled to fight off the fatigue. I opened them again just a little confused as my body bounced up and down in a 4-wheel-drive Land Cruiser as it navigated over a dirt road full of large rocks and ruts. The people were wedged in the truck like sardines and next to me sat a local wearing a t-shirt with an orange World Vison emblem.

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        Motherhood in difficult places

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        Mothers in the most difficult parts of the world need help to have healthy pregnancies and healthy children.

        Read what it was like for Felistus in Zambia to give birth to her twin boys by candlelight at an understaffed and under-supplied clinic, and how World Vision maternal and child health programs are bringing help and hope to mothers in communities around the world.

        ***

        When you’re a new parent, there are always surprises … finding out that you’re having twins in the delivery room is usually not one of them!

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          PHOTOBLOG: Secretly incredible people

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          Last fall, photographer and storyteller Branden Harvey traveled with our Advocacy team to visit our maternal and child health programs in Zimbabwe!

          Today's photoblog captures his journey and the "secretly incredible people" he met along the way.

          ***

          My name is Branden Harvey and I’m a storyteller and photographer based in Portland, Oregon. This past November, World Vision invited me to join them on an adventure of a lifetime to Zimbabwe. While I was there I learned a lot about the challenges woman are facing in West Africa and how some secretly incredible people are devoting their lives to making a change.

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            Justice as a theological necessity

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            Pastor, author, and founder of The Justice Conference, Ken Wytsma writes today about the phrase "theology of justice," which means that "our understanding of God should compel justice."

            Does this mandate from God also include social justice?

            ***

            I often use the phrase “Theology of Justice.”

            In fact, it was one of the founding ideas and goals of The Justice Conference—to discuss and promote a theological understanding of justice.

            But what does a “theology of justice” mean?

            Simply put, it means that our understanding of God should compel justice. And our understanding of justice is one of the ways by which we are meant to understand God more clearly.

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              Motherhood, loss, and hope in Zimbabwe

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              After losing a child, and even after childbirth, mothers need time to heal. In Zimbabwe, they don't always get that time, which endangers their health and the health of their families.

              Guest blogger Diana Stone writes today about her recent World Vision trip to visit mothers and children in Zimbabwe and to see how World Vision is working to keep them healthy!

              ***

              Several months after I gave birth to extremely premature twin boys in 2012, who only lived a short time, my husband and I asked our doctor about having another baby. We were told it was up to us, but recommended waiting six months or perhaps until the twins’ due date had passed. She explained this would allow us time to grieve and me to heal physically.

              We waited seven months, carrying to full term a baby boy who was born in 2013, and at five days old was found to have severe cardiomyopathy, and passed away at three weeks old.

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                More than social justice

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                “There is no tool for development more effective than the education of girls and the empowerment of women.” –Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

                ***

                World Vision is on mission to create a protective environment around children, not just so that they survive but also thrive in their communities. Our programs aim to provide for the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of the most vulnerable children.

                Millions of children around the world are vulnerable to a wide variety of hazards and obstacles to their well-being — abuse and exploitation, dirty drinking water, poor nutrition, lack of education, to name a few — and among the most vulnerable are girls.

                Why?

                A few examples …

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                  The Millennium Development Goals: 500 days to go

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                  The Millennium Development Goals are the most successful global anti-poverty push in history!

                  With 500 days left to the 15-year target date, learn about the progress that's been made toward these goals so far, what work still needs to be done in the fight against poverty, and where we're headed beyond 2015.

                  ***

                  In 2000, the world's countries united with a common objective: to eliminate extreme poverty. They set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) along with a deadline of December 31, 2015.

                  Today, we’re 500 days away.

                  After thirteen and a half years of work toward these goals, more girls are attending school, mothers are receiving the medical care they need, and more children are celebrating their fifth birthdays. The MDGs are the most successful anti-poverty push in history!

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                    Celebrating fifth birthdays and beyond

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                    Since 1990, preventable deaths of children under five have dropped from over 12 million to 6.6 million!

                    Celebrate 5th birthdays with us this week as we renew our commitment to helping children live past the age of 5. Read how you can help!

                    ***

                    In the United States, we often celebrate birthday milestones. A child's first birthday, a girl's Sweet Sixteen, and turning the big 4-0 are significant events that we celebrate with parties, cake, and balloons. 

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