Raising a family after disaster

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Bellanda was 10 years old when the 2010 earthquake struck Haiti. Afterward, she and her family are still able to pursue their big dreams for the future:

“I want to be a children’s doctor one day because I like babies,” Bellanda said.

See how World Vision's programs in the quake's aftermath set this family on the road to recovery.

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After the earthquake that shook Haiti five years ago, Bellanda—10 years old then—and seven members of her family left their broken home near Port-au-Prince and moved into a World Vision camp for internally displaced persons.

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    Day 25: Baby Jesus, child refugee

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    Merry Christmas!

    Today we celebrate Jesus' birth. Soon after the first Christmas, Jesus himself and his parents became refugees in Egypt, fleeing King Herod.

    Today, Rich Stearns—president of World Vision USA—reflects on refugees, then and today, our spiritual exile from God, and the longing for us all to come home.

    ***

    One of the most striking things about Jesus’ birth—in poverty and amidst suffering—are the parallels between his world and the world today where so many are still suffering. This year I’ve been reflecting on Jesus as a refugee.

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      Day 6: A second typhoon in the midst of healing

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      Typhoon Hagupit is making landfall in the Philippines right now, in a region that is still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan 13 months ago.

      Blogger Matthew Paul Turner was with us in Tacloban just 4 weeks ago and witnessed the devastation of the last storm, the fragility of many people's current living situations, and the rebuilding efforts now threatened by this new storm.

      See how World Vision is preparing, and how you can help.

      ***

      On November 8, I walked the streets of Tacloban City in the Philippines, photographing a candlelight vigil to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan’s deadly rage. With more than 100,000 people participating in the memorial, it was an emotional experience to behold.

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        Q&A: Winter in Iraq

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        Photo: Iraqi children Oulah, 5, and Zareh, 7, play cat's cradle with a piece of twine. While children often claim that their greatest needs are toys, their parents' priority is preparing for the fast-approaching winter in which temperatures will drop below freezing, and many are protected only by tarpaulins. (©2014 Mark Kate MacIsaac/World Vision)

         

        Chris Palusky, a vice president here at World Vision, recently traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan to meet displaced families, aid workers, government officials, and church leaders.

        Today, Chris answers a few questions about his visit and provides an update on the needs of families far from home, and World Vision’s response to this crisis in northern Iraq.

        ***

        During his trip, an Iraqi father named Hazem told Chris of his family’s ordeal. “We had a choice to either flee or be killed,” the father of four said. From Mosul, his family walked for five days until they found a place to stay where they would be safe from violence. Now they’re in Dohuk, facing another danger: a cold, wet winter.

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          Rebuilding after a monster typhoon: One year later

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          What does it take to survive a disaster? What does it take to thrive and build back better?

          Matthew Paul Turner is with the World Vision bloggers in the Philippines this week. He describes how the people of Tacloban are no longer defined by the monster of Typhoon Haiyan.

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          The Filipino people are survivors.

          That’s what they want you to remember: that they are surviving the hell that Typhoon Haiyan brought to their shores one year ago.

          Haiyan’s fury—most specifically, its unprecedented storm surge—killed more than 6,400 people, displaced 4.1 million, and damaged or destroyed more than 11 million homes. One humanitarian worker described Haiyan’s aftermath “to look like a bomb had gone off.”

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            New homes recreate shattered lives

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            After Typhoon Haiyan, survivors were living in tents and makeshift shelter; some still do today.

            World Vision is building new homes for the most vulnerable families, and providing building supplies and training workshops for thousands more!

            Our bloggers are in the Philippines this week, marking the year anniversary of the storm. See the recovery through their eyes ...

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            At everyone’s most basic level, we all want somewhere to lay our head every night. Filipinos living in the path of last year’s Typhoon Haiyan’s early morning storm surge and over 300km/hour winds lost everything within a 30-minute span, including their homes, and many, sadly, lost loved ones.

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              Witnessing recovery in Tacloban

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              In our work to fight against the root causes of poverty, it often takes a whole community to come to the aid of another community in need. That’s what you made happen a year ago for communities like Tacloban in the Philippines that were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

              Our World Vision Bloggers are in the Philippines this week marking the one-year anniversary of the storm and witnessing first-hand the remarkable progress that’s been made this past year and what’s still to come. Follow their trip right here!

              ***

              A year ago today, I remember watching the radar maps of the Western Pacific and the fat, white, somewhat bagel-looking cloud that blotted out whole seas and countries – trying to picture what was about to happen for people in the Philippines.

              I didn’t, fully.

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                Missed harvest today, famine tomorrow

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                Today is World Food Day, a day dedicated to coming together in a global movement to end hunger.

                One of the hungriest places in the world right now is South Sudan, where conflict has displaced 1.4 million people and created a dire food shortage for nearly 4 million.

                Food aid provided by World Vision and other relief organizations has held off an official famine, but there is still a big question mark looming over 2015.

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                Right now, “every night more people than the population of the city of Los Angeles go to sleep hungry,” according to Perry Mansfield, program director for World Vision in South Sudan. The fact that South Sudan has not reached the official famine status that had been expected by this fall, though a positive sign, does not mean that the food crisis is over or that famine won’t still come.

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                  Why we’re going into Iraq

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                  1.8 million children, mothers, and fathers have been internally displaced because of the conflict in Iraq. World Vision has recently begun relief operations to help them.

                  "We are going into Iraq," writes Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U. S. "Difficult, challenging, and risky as it might be."

                  Why? Read more to find out.

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                  This month, World Vision is starting relief operations in northern Iraq. It will be the second country this year in which we have restarted or begun new operations following a crisis.

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                    Opening our hearts to the little children

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                    Reflecting on the humanitarian crisis of vulnerable children along the U. S. border, Rich Stearns – president of World Vision U.S. – writes that, following Jesus, "the best solutions come from a compassionate heart."

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                    “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” –Matthew 19:13-14 (NIV)

                    When I read the Gospels, I’m often quick to wonder how the disciples so often got things wrong. Like the time that little children were brought to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them. The disciples heartlessly drove the children away.

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