Child Sponsorship

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] To Sri Lanka with World Vision

Laura Tremaine -- or Hollywood Housewife, as her readers know her -- is going to Sri Lanka with the World Vision blogger team in just a few days.

Following the Bolivia Bloggers trip last year piqued her curiosity, and this year, she has decided to take the leap. Read her thoughts as she prepares for her trip, and follow her journey as we learn what really happens when you sponsor a child through World Vision.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let us bring you a momento from our Sri Lankan adventure!

As you might have heard, World Vision's bloggers are going on another trip. This time, we're headed to the island country of Sri Lanka.

Our hope and prayer is that you'll follow our journey, find hope and inspiration in the stories we share, and perhaps be moved to join the story by sponsoring a child from Sri Lanka through World Vision.

To celebrate this coming journey, we're having a little contest. We've put together four identical prize packages -- a collection of some of our favorite books, music, and World Vision apparel. To each of those four packages, we will add a unique prize made by the people of Sri Lanka.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] I’m scared, but that’s good

You may remember Joy Bennett from our Bolivia Bloggers trip last year. Joy has graciously agreed to travel with World Vision to the field again -- this time, to Sri Lanka.

This may be her second trip, but that doesn't mean it's not a step out of her comfort zone. Joy shares some of her anxieties about traveling and how she sees God working amidst it all.

At the same time, Joy's husband, Scott, has watched how she has been prepared for these trips -- and how they have shaped her. He is excited to see her through her journey a second time. Read thoughts from both of them below.

Birthday celebrations that mean more than just cake

I recently celebrated my birthday.

Although it wasn’t a milestone year, I still celebrated with cake and flowers with my family -- a far cry from the fanfare and festivities I enjoyed, even demanded, as a child, when our birthdays were all-day and sometimes all-week celebrations, with themed parties, favors, special food, and gifts.

I didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. Even so, as a kid, birthdays were a big deal -- celebrations were a common, expected occurrence. It never would have occurred to me at the time that there are millions of children in the world whose birthdays come and go just like any other day.

They don’t have a party. They don’t get gifts. They don’t eat special food. Most have never heard of or been to a birthday party, much less had one of their own.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Sri Lanka Sunday: Spice

From August 26 through September 1, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Darrell Dow brings a unique perspective to the Sri Lanka blogger trip. He spent his childhood growing up in the poorer areas of the Caribbean and experiencing life in the developing world firsthand.  After college, he began writing down some of his humorous experiences in the realm of Christianity.

Each Sunday, Darrell blogs about Sri Lanka in preparation for the trip. This past Sunday, Darrell asked for prayers for the trip in a unique way.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] Let's go to Sri Lanka with World Vision!

In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be traveling with a team of eight bloggers to Sri Lanka to experience firsthand how World Vision is using sponsorship to transform the lives of children, families, and communities who have been caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

Today's post comes from Allison Olfelt, who shares why she's decided to take the leap and travel with us to the other side of the world. Allison is a wife and mother of two little boys, so coming with us to Sri Lanka is no small sacrifice. Read why she is willing to make it.

A former sponsored child and decorated athlete turns heads, changes minds, and breaks stereotypes

Juan David, 22, is all smiles as he takes the podium to receive his second gold medal.

Winning isn’t new to Juan, a decorated athlete. He is the proud recipient of four Olympic medals: two gold, one silver, and one bronze.

Sure, he might not be the most decorated athlete of all time. His medal count doesn’t come close to that of Michael Phelps. And his 100-meter time doesn’t match that of Usain Bolt, the current Olympic record-holder from Jamaica.

But life isn’t just about the finish line.

To truly appreciate crossing the finish line, you must understand where the race started -- and what obstacles were faced along the way.

A sponsor's story of finding Samuel Isaac

Today's guest contributor is a child sponsor who told her inspiring story of faith as part of our "What Moves You" campaign -- a space where World Vision supporters share their reasons for joining our global efforts against poverty and injustice.

In order to protect her identity, we won't be sharing her name, but please read how her battle with infertility led her to a very special little boy named Samuel Isaac.

[Sri Lanka Bloggers] A firsthand look at sponsorship from Sri Lanka

Poverty: It's a word everyone has heard. Much of the world understands it firsthand.

Maybe you've personally experienced physical poverty at some point, with its life-depleting side effects -- lack of nutritious food, clean water, safe shelter, medical care, or education.

Or maybe poverty is a reality that feels distant to you -- something you've heard of but never experienced for yourself.

If you are in the latter category, you might have more questions than answers on the topic: What causes poverty? Why is it so complex? How does poverty affect families and communities? What can I do about it?

John Lennon: A sponsored child who imagines, too

There's one well-known John Lennon who wrote and performed a famous song about imagining. But another is a 15-year-old boy from the Philippines who imagines something of his own -- a better future and an opportunity to pursue his dream of becoming a teacher, thanks to his sponsorship through World Vision.

Change a community: Start with one child

World Vision is at work within 400 different communities in almost 100 countries. That’s where your support becomes food for people who are hungry, clean water, education to give children a better future, and care for the sick.

What you see when you visit these places is love in action. You see the manifestation of the love that sponsors have for people they’ve never met. You see it among World Vision staff serving those whom society has brushed aside.

While it might not be possible for you to travel to where your sponsored child is, we want to paint a picture of life within his or her community. It’s important to us that you know how your support is impacting the community and your sponsored child.

So each year, right around this time, World Vision sends out Community News. Look for it in your mailbox or email, or log in to myworldvision.org to see it. It's filled with updates on your sponsored child's community -- and how your support is uniquely impacting it.

From heartbreak to joy

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”

As a World Vision employee, I’ve grown quite familiar with the poignant prayer that our founder, Dr. Bob Pierce, scrawled in the margins of his Bible many years ago.

But on a busy afternoon last fall, as I sat at my desk in the World Vision U.S. headquarters, my heart was far from broken.

It was elated.

Surrounded by my coworkers, a giant bouquet of balloons, and even a photographer, I had received the surprise of a lifetime: My name had been selected in a drawing for a trip to see sponsorship in action! I had earned entries by recruiting friends and family members to become sponsors, and would soon be traveling to the nation of Ecuador to get an up-close look at World Vision’s work in the field.

PHOTOS: A new chapter for Amri Karbi, India

After 15 fruitful years, World Vision's work is coming to a close in the Amri Karbi region of India's Assam state.

Some 2,300 children have been sponsored in the area, and significant improvements have been made in education, economic development, infrastructure, and healthcare. World Vision sponsorship funds have bought books and furniture for classrooms, while helping parents pay for their children's school fees and uniforms. Women have been provided with training in entrepreneurship, as well as funds for start-up business efforts. A new chapter is beginning for the Amri Karbi region as the cycle of poverty is broken.

World Vision photographer Jon Warren gives us a glimpse of life there through the images below. Read the full story in World Vision magazine.

Helping my homeland: Why I sponsor a child in India

Aparna Sen, a World Vision sponsor, shares how her experience as a child growing up in Calcutta shaped her desire to help girls in India get an education and avoid discrimination and early marriage.

Recently, Aparna and her husband, Ritwick Dhar, had the opportunity to travel to India to meet 12-year-old Rebika, whom Aparna sponsored after becoming acquainted with World Vision and our work in her native country.

New MyWorldVision site: Tell us what you think!

Sponsoring a child and keeping in touch with them is a real joy. But until recently, sending letters or emails, changing giving records, and tracking project updates meant visiting several parts of our web site, calling us, or sifting through World Vision mailings.

A story of two Sams

Heather Althoff's family sponsors a Ugandan boy named Sam. Below, Heather shares her story of meeting Sam and his family. Wondering how sponsoring a child can bless your life and perspective just as profoundly as it does the life of the child you help? Here's a story for you.

A story of rooftops and buttercups

Members of Carter's Chord, a World Vision Artist Associate, recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to record the music video "Love a Little Bigger," shown above, and to meet their sponsored child, Franyely, who shares a tiny space on a rooftop with her father and brother. The three musicians got a firsthand look at the challenges faced by the family -- and how World Vision's presence in their community has created a reason for hope.

David’s bright idea

Do you give money to beggars? I can think of plenty of reasons why such giving is not a good idea. Then, I’ll see some destitute woman shivering in the cold, and I’ll feel compelled to press a few dollars in her hand.