Disaster Relief

Aid worker's diary: returning to Goma

During the recent conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, I was evacuated along with other World Vision colleagues to Gisenyi, Rwanda, a town a little more than a mile across the border.

We were later allowed to return to Goma to help civilians who had been displaced. Rebels of the March 23 (M23) movement were in charge of the city, and thousands of people had lost their homes and sense of stability.

Haiti: Rebuilding what has been broken

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake shook Haiti and shaped a generation. While its duration was brief, the devastation it caused continues to affect the people of this small country -- the poorest in the Western Hemisphere. Three years later, Haiti is still in repair, but not without hope.

A burden that children should never have to bear

An 8-year-old Syrian refugee child named Layla* shares, “I saw my cousin dying in front of me, so I always see this scene in front of my eyes.”

As children all over North America happily rummage through the cheerful remains of Christmas Day’s joys -- festive gift wrap strewn about, the latest version of Halo blaring from 40-inch television screens -- the existence of Syrian children presently seeking refuge in Lebanon is one far less carefree.

In this season of joy, it’s difficult to fathom that at least 66,000 children like Layla are coping with the loss of home and childhood as their families struggle to survive the displacement of war and onset of a cold, snowy winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Happy Thanksgiving from Rich Stearns

Dear Friends,

My hope for you this week is that you’ll experience the blessing of sitting at the Thanksgiving table with friends and family. I plan to enjoy Thanksgiving with my wife Reneé, several of my kids, and our grandson. One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table and each share something that we are thankful for.

Aid worker's diary: A cry for Goma

Congolese walk to a refugee camp in Gisenye, Rwanda. (2012 Reuters/James Akena, courtesy the Thomson Reuters Foundation – AlertNet).

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Rebel forces overtook Goma, the largest city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on November 20, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee for safety.

Much of the country and its borders are now under the control of this rebel group, known as the M23 rebels,  and the situation remains tense.

World Vision evacuated its staff to Gisenyi, Rwanda. Aimee Manimani, a World Vision aid worker in the DRC, shares her thoughts and feelings on leaving the city of Goma.

Superstorm Sandy: A Thanksgiving for gratitude and remembrance

IMAGE: Carmen Rodriguez and her daughter, Zulma Torruella, 17, acquired relief supplies, including a Family Food Kit, at the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, World Vision's local partner. (Photo: Laura Reinhardt/World Vision)

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Last month, World Vision's Laura Reinhardt reported on the devastation of Superstorm Sandy as it made landfall along highly populated areas of the U.S. East Coast, including New York City.

As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Laura remembers the families she met during that heartrending time -- and gives thanks for the World Vision supporters whose generosity enabled the assistance we've been able to provide.

Sandy survivor: "At night, we are so cold"

As parts of the East Coast continue recovery efforts in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, a nor'easter threatens to add to the misery of hard-hit areas.

World Vision's Laura Reinhardt shares the story of a family whose apartment flooded, leaving them to face bone-chilling nights without power or heat ever since.

Why did I pray?

World Vision's Kari Costanza traveled to Rwanda, where she met Solange, whose life was turned upside-down in a short period of time.

Fighting caused Solange and her family flee their home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After arriving in Kiegeme refugee camp, Solange lost her 3-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

Kari met Solange in a hospital, where she was staying with her baby, Esther. Kari shares her thoughts on meeting Solange and Esther -- and the tragic news she received after returning to the United States.

PHOTOS: Witness to history

September 22 marks World Vision’s 62nd anniversary of serving children, families, and communities in need.

World Vision photographs document the most tragic crises of the past six decades. Today, many of these places have seen healing and recovery, thanks to the work of nongovernmental organizations.

Mopping up again

Eleven years ago today, in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Americans came together to support and care for those whose lives had been torn apart by the incredible tragedy.

Today, in a similar spirit, Americans are coming together again to care for those left devastated by Hurricane Isaac, which swept across the U.S. Gulf Coast in areas severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina just seven years ago.

Hear how people have reached out to care for their neighbors in the wake of the storm's landfall nearly two weeks ago.

Remembering Hurricane Katrina, responding to Hurricane Isaac

After wreaking havoc across the Dominican Republic and Haiti, killing at least 21 people and forcing thousands to evacuate, Hurricane Isaac pounded the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and high winds on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's domestic disaster response director, remembers that fateful day seven years ago and shares her thoughts on our current response to Isaac.

Smiles, laughter in the midst of crisis

World Vision's Mariana Chokaa reports from Niger, a country left reeling from the drought and hunger crisis that has devastated Africa's Sahel region. At a local clinic, where one might expect to encounter the desperation of malnourished children, she instead observes a downright cheerful atmosphere.

What explains this? World Vision's early interventions amid increasingly dire conditions have helped save lives.

Flooding in Philippines causes devastation

Eleven days of downpour has caused flooding in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

Sixty percent of the city is now under water, and streets have turned into waterways. Close to 1.5 million people are affected by this disaster.

World Vision is on the ground, working to bring help to families in need.

You can help families in Alabama get back on their feet

Last year, a series of destructive tornadoes ripped through the American South, devastating families and communities. This year, World Vision is organizing a series of mission trips to come alongside survivors as they continue to recover and rebuild. Laura Reinhardt reports on one mother in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who has already seen the compassion and generosity of others firsthand.

Before disasters strike

There's a common misconception that, whether we’re ordinary citizens or professional disaster-responders, we’re all helplessly at the mercy of unexpected, random disasters, both natural and man-made.

The truth is, it’s rare for disasters to be totally random -- and they’re almost never totally unexpected!

Organizations like World Vision and professionals who engage in disaster response are increasingly investing time and energy into what we call “early warning/early action.” The more we can predict when and where a disaster will strike, the more we can prepare for it. And the more we prepare for it, the less traumatic and devastating it will be when it actually happens.

There are a number of different tools we have available to assist in the prediction of disasters. Let’s talk about two main types here.

[Infographic] Drought, food crisis, and famine: What's the difference?

Drought, food crisis, and famine: When the technicality of these terms is stripped away, we simply associate them with people not getting the food and water they need to survive. While this is easy enough to understand as a general concept, the "how," "why," and "what can I do" are a bit more complex.

In order to make these concepts easier to understand, we've broken in them down into an easy-on-the-eyes infographic. Click the image below to get the full scoop!