PHOTO BLOG: Child sponsorship reaches parents, too

Children, children, children. Everything we do at World Vision is for children. But when I visited a sponsorship area in northeast India earlier this month, program staff first wanted to show me the work they were doing with parents. They believed the most effective way to make a difference in the lives of children was to care about the whole family, improve parents’ livelihoods, and involve the entire community in long-term problem-solving.

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    Photo stories from Swaziland

    World Vision photographer Abby Stalsbroten traveled last week to Swaziland with a group of pastors from Austin, Texas, to look at the impact of sponsorship on children in rural communities. The country has a 24-percent HIV infection rate, but World Vision is working to feed and care for thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children across the country. Here are some of Abby's favorite pictures from the past week in the field.

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      Meeting Doctor

      Some of my new year resolutions are personal -- like finishing grad school and running another half marathon. But my resolution to keep sponsoring children through the organization I love gives me an outward focus.

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        The gift we can't wait to explain

        I'm often seeking beautiful stories of child sponsorship, because I know so many exist out there. When I find one, I eagerly await the author's permission to republish their words on our blog so it can be shared with so many more.

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          Congratulations, sponsorship trip winners!

          In September, World Vision introduced our first-ever travel sweepstakes: Supporters who found new sponsors for five or more children in a month's time were eligible to win a trip to Peru to witness the impact of child sponsorship firsthand. Just over a month has passed since the sweepstakes closed, and we are ready to officially announce our two winners!

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            [Photo blog] The other side of being a child -- through the lens of sponsored children

            Photography is an art.

            Photography is a skill.

            Photography is a form of communication.

            A single picture can tell a story that crosses cultural and linguistic boundaries. It can evoke emotion or engagement (think National Geographic, Afghan refugee), freeze a moment in history (think WWII), or even start a revolution (think Arab Spring).

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              Confessions of a sponsorship skeptic

              I confess that, until recently, the first thing that came to my mind when someone mentioned child sponsorship was Sally Struthers kneeling next to an emaciated African child, mascara running down her face, telling the TV that “if you can just save one life, won’t it be worth it?”

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                A network of prayer [infographic]

                About six months ago, as my team was putting together the autumn 2011 issue of World Vision Magazine, I asked our social media team if we could pose a question to World Vision Facebook fans -- and potentially use the responses in the magazine.

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                  5 tips for encouraging your friends to sponsor a child

                  From now through September 30, you can enter for a chance to win a trip to Peru with World Vision to see our work firsthand. It's as simple as finding new sponsors for just five children.

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                    Sponsorship -- and a chance to visit Peru

                    Dear World Vision friends, family, and supporters,

                    “Sponsorship takes love. Passion. Dedication. And partnership. By working together, we -- World Vision, our sponsors, and the families we serve -- can build healthy, self-reliant communities where children grow and thrive. Our child sponsors are an integral part of this partnership, and we’re so excited to share our work with them firsthand.”
                    —Lana Reda, vice president of sponsorship & donor management

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