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.

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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.

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    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.

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      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?

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        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.

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            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.

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              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!

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                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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                  What a simple piece of paper is worth

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                  Protecting children starts at birth, with a simple piece of paper we all take for granted—a birth certificate. But around the world, as many as 45% of all children under the age of five don't have one.

                  The Girls Count Act is a new bill in Congress right now that can help address this gap, and help ensure that all children count and are protected.

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                  Protecting children starts at birth, with a simple piece of paper we all take for granted—a birth certificate.

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                    Mothers and the magic of number 5

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                    Many children can't survive past the age of 5 without a mother figure. And sadly, every day 18,000 children don't.

                    But many of these deaths are preventable … so we can do something about it! Stand with us this week and support child and maternal health.

                    Blogger Paige Ferrari explains how.

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                    Five is a magic number.

                    When a child is born, the first thing the parents do is check: 5 fingers on each hand. 5 toes on each foot. For some reason there is such perfection within the number 5.  

                    Unfortunately, every day 18,000 children around the world will die before seeing their fifth birthday and 800 women will loose their life in childbirth daily. This bond between mother and child is something that can only be divinely created. But like all things that grow, it must be nourished and sustained.

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