Living to serve others

Post Summary: 

Karona Kang from Cambodia began working with World Vision as a volunteer. Later, in 2009, she became a housemother at a World Vision Trauma Recovery project for girls who have survived trafficking and abuse.

Today, she tells her story.

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“Mum! Mum!” This is how girls have called me. It means that I have more responsibility to take care of them. It is not easy to be a mother, since I am a woman who has no biological child. I have to listen to them carefully and help them to solve issues.

Thanks to God who teaches me to love others, especially children. I have learned about their issues and my heart is broken when I listen to their stories. I am in their situation when they are happy, angry, and joyful.

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    Letter: I wouldn’t have today without World Vision

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    Powerful letter to World Vision's American donors today from Srey Mom in Cambodia who, ten years ago, was a victim of trafficking, and thanks to World Vision and to you, was delivered into safety, a bright future, and a life with God.

    ***

    Ten years ago, writer/photographer team Kari Costanza and Jon Warren reported on the sex trade in Cambodia and World Vision’s remarkable Trauma Recovery Center in Phnom Penh where victims came to heal.

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      Getting kids out of the sugarcane fields

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      Marking the World Day Against Child Labor today, Jesse Eaves – our policy advisor in D.C. – writes about his recent trip to the Philippines, where World Vision is working with communities to stop hazardous child labor in the sugarcane fields.

      Meet 12-year-old Oscar, and read how he's helping to prevent the job that he might have had without this program.

      ***

      Oscar* swings the machete into the ground and twists the blade, leaving a hole where the sugarcane shoot will go. He’s small for 12 but he’s strong – bent over at the waist, moving forward, making the same motion again and again. The Philippine sun is relentless. It’s summer and Oscar has only made a few swipes, but just standing outside is enough to drench him with sweat. He stands up to wipe his brow. Then he swings and twists his machete one more time. This is how you plant sugarcane.

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        Dreams of soccer and a better life

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        The World Cup starts this week in Brazil!

        In Brazil, World Vision works with many children, like Márcio, who come from a background of violence. By incorporating activities like art, music, and sports – like soccer! – into school curricula, World Vision encourages children to stay in school and off the street.

        Read Márcio's story!

        ***

        A bed and a video game are the presents that Márcio dreamed of having last Christmas. With an infectious smile and a curious look, this 10-year-old boy is attentive to details and interested in learning about new things, such as the camera that snapped his picture.

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          Good Friday: Thirsty for justice

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          On Good Friday, Jesus' next to last words were: "I am thirsty."

          Today, Kari Costanza writes about Obed, a young man in Uganda who is also thirsty — thirsty for justice. “If a life is saved,” he says, “there is no greater good than that.”

          Read how this Ugandan superhero's initiative and tireless work within his community are helping to save children from the evil of child sacrifice.

          ***

          It’s Good Friday.

          I know exactly when it will happen tonight — when my throat will constrict and when I will begin to fight back tears.

          It’ll be about 7:40 in the evening. I’ll be sitting in a dark church — our beautiful stained glass window covered with black tar paper to block out the light.

          My pastor will be reading the last words of Jesus on the cross. When he gets to that particular phrase — it’ll happen.

          “I am thirsty,” Jesus says.

          He’s been on the cross for some time at this point. In agony. Watched by people who mock him as he dies.

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            What Disney’s Frozen teaches us about childhood

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            “Do you want to build a snowman?”

            What Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated musical Frozen teaches us about childhood, love, and the importance of protecting children.

            ***

            I’ve seen Disney’s Frozen at least four times now. I like it even more each time; I still get chills every time “Let It Go” plays on the radio.

            So many of my adult friends — who don’t even have kids — love this movie, and it’s got me thinking about childhood. We talk about there being a kid inside each and every one of us, but the more I think about it, the more I think we’re still the same people we were as kids — just older and with more responsibility.

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              Salmina escapes from early marriage

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              16-year-old Salmina lives in Mozambique. Last year, at only 15, she felt that her life was at stake when she was forced to marry a 58-year-old man and leave school.

              Thanks to a community member who was trained in child protection issues by World Vision, she escaped from the nightmare. Now she is looking forward to going back to school and pursuing her dream – of teaching mathematics. Read how World Vision is helping to raise awareness around this important issue.

              ***

              "The man came [to] our home one afternoon and found us sitting after lunch,” recalls Salmina. “He told my father that he wanted to marry me.”

              Salmina woke up to a destructive truth: she would be one more child with broken dreams in Mozambique, one of 10 countries around the world with high rates of early marriage.

              Here, one in two women gets married before age 18 and one in four gets married before 15.

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                Protection through pierced ears in Uganda

                Post Summary: 

                In certain districts of Uganda, child sacrifice is a real danger. Today, Kari Costanza writes from Uganda about 3-year-old Sharon, whose ear piercing may protect her.

                Read how a World Vision-supported amber alert program is helping to recover children that have been taken.

                ***

                I didn’t realize when I became a mother to a beautiful little girl that we would one day do battle. I thought she’d eat the food I set before her. I thought she’d wear the school clothes I laid out so carefully upon her bed. I never expected resistance. And I never expected a battle over pierced ears.

                Claire wanted pierced ears more than anything — from the time she was little. I wasn’t ready. I was worried she wouldn’t be able to take care of them. I didn’t want her to grow up. So, we battled. I finally gave in, wincing as I watched.

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                  World Poetry Day: “Childhood Lost” by Propaganda

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                  In honor of World Poetry Day today, we’re featuring our partner, spoken-word poet Propaganda, with a video of his poem “Childhood Lost.”

                  “Childhood is worth saving, because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

                  Watch this powerful video, and learn more about Childhood Lost.

                  ***

                  There’s nothing lovely about injustice. Nothing elegant about children being harmed, demoralized, wronged. If only everyone felt this way.

                  We know you hold “childhood” to be as sacred as we do. You believe it should be protected. When you learn about the tragedies of what happens to these children, you want to act. We all want to act—and we can.

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                    Protecting the poor from the plague of violence

                    Post Summary: 

                    Today, our friends at International Justice Mission write about the everyday violence that is plaguing the developing world … and the new book they're launching today!

                    ***

                    Between the Super Bowl yesterday and the Winter Olympics opening ceremony this Friday, human trafficking has been in the spotlight recently. And it should be. There’s a common belief that major sports events exacerbate trafficking, and while that may not be true, it also doesn’t mean that trafficking isn’t a problem at those events.

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