Contortion -- the art of flexing and bending your body into jaw-dropping positions -- is a highly-respected, centuries-old tradition in Mongolia. As part of its development program in the area, World Vision supports a contortion class to help children have fun and develop social skills.
World Vision staff around the globe shot more than 10,000 photos this year. Working in nearly 100 countries, they documented the year’s most urgent humanitarian emergencies as well as moments of inner strength and joy. Here are 12 memorable photos from 2012.
World AIDS Day is December 1. Dean Owen, senior adviser for communications at World Vision International, shares his experience with how AIDS has affected a community in South Africa -- and how this pandemic has shaped humanity since its discovery in the 1980s.
LEFT: Lopez Lomong shares with students at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, Washington. (Photo: Lindsey Minerva/World Vision)
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Steve Haas speaks on behalf of World Vision about the important issues that affect communities and churches, offering ways for his audiences to make a difference in the global arena.
This past summer, Steve had the unique opportunity to work closely with Olympic runner and World Vision partner Lopez Lomong. Today, Steve reflects on how his relationship with the Olympic athlete helped him to see God at work.
SPOILER ALERT: If you do not yet want to know the results of Lopez Lomong’s final race, stop reading now.
Any mom would be proud to see her son compete in the Olympic Games, but I can’t help but think that for Barb Rogers -- the woman who, together with husband, Rob, adopted Lopez Lomong -- the experience must be especially moving.
Now, we want to show you what a day looks like for Lopez as he trains for the Olympics. World Vision photographer Jon Warren traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona, to spend a day with Lopez before he left to compete in London.
Lopez's preliminary race will be televised today. Check your listings for the men's 5,000-meter run, and cheer Lopez on.
SPOILER ALERT: If you do not yet want to know the results of Lopez Lomong's preliminary race, stop reading now.
In the third part of the Lopez Lomong series, Lopez shares his thoughts as he races at the 2007 NCAA 1500m championships. As he runs, Lopez reflects on the role that running has played throughout his life. Previously, running meant escaping rebel soldiers and the harsh realities of life within a refugee camp. As a student and athlete at Northern Arizona University, he dreams that running will be the key to a better life for the lost boys and the people of South Sudan.
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Every two years, the world waits in anticipation for the Olympic Games. It is the height of athleticism, competition, and pride in one's country. For athletes who compete in the games, this event can be the realization of dreams or the disappointment of a lifetime.
All of this fanfare, built around games.
While the Olympics represent the upper echelon of games, for many, games are simply a way to pass the time, connect with others, and have fun. The Olympics utilize the best in facilities and technology, but many games for people in developing nations involve found objects and a heavy dose of creativity and ingenuity. These games will never make it to the Olympics -- and that's okay. The joy they bring to their participants is worth more than a gold medal.
In the first installment of the Lopez Lomong series, we shared Lopez's terrifying experience of being ripped away from his parents by rebel soldiers at the age of 6. After his kidnapping, Lopez was taken to a camp where boys were forced to become rebel soldiers, killing other people, or dying themselves.
From there, a series of miracles occurred. Lopez was befriended by three older boys in the camp, who rescued him and fled the camp on foot at night. After running for three days and nights, the boys found themselves at a refugee camp in Kenya.
Lopez lived there for the next 10 years, dreaming of what else life might hold and growing closer to God each day. He prayed that one day he would be able to leave the refugee camp and find a new life. His prayers were answered when a family in the United States near Syracuse, New York, decided to adopt him as their own.
Part 2 of the series picks the story up after Lopez moved to the United States. It was only a short time that Lopez had been here when the 9/11 terrorist attacks occurred. As his new home was under attack, Lopez struggled to reconcile the haunting memories of wars and violence in Sudan with the expectations of new life and safety in America.
Read on to learn how this experience shaped him.
Today's post is the first in a series that recounts the life story of Lopez Lomong, who will run with Team USA in the London 2012 Olympics, with dreams of bringing home a gold medal.
While his current life sounds like a dream come true, his childhood was more like a nightmare. Born in war-torn South Sudan, Lopez was kidnapped by rebel soldiers at the age of 6 with two foreseeable futures: being forced to kill as a child soldier, or being killed himself.
Part one of the series tells the story of this dark chapter of Lomong's life. Follow along as we hear from him on his abduction, being adopted into the United States, and the realization of his Olympic dreams through his new book, "Running For My Life."
Today's post comes from World Vision blogger Matthew Paul Turner, who traveled to Bolivia on our blogger trip last August to experience the work of World Vision and the impact of child sponsorship. Here, he shares one of his encounters from that trip -- and how it changed his perspective on the idea of fatherhood.
One father in Burundi struggles to feed his child, but lays down his pride and begs his neighbors for help to feed his son. Another in Mexico leaves his gang and opens a tattoo studio to teach his son and friends about the importance of a non-violent lifestyle. Yet another father in Cambodia starts a new chapter by giving up his alcohol addiction in order to be a better dad and husband.
The challenges of fatherhood may be diverse and broad in scope -- but love, care, and self-sacrifice are traits that dads all around the world have in common, regardless of their circumstances. In honor of this upcoming Father's Day, June 17, these images show some of the precious moments fathers around the world share with their children.
Looking at the photo of 5-year-old Abner and his violin, you might think, “How cute!”
But don’t let his gap-toothed smile fool you. Abner is what you might call a child prodigy.
Before he could read or write, Abner could play the violin. He picked it up when he was 3, and from that day on, practicing for an hour a day wasn’t a chore -- it was a joy.
Leon McLaughlin’s story might make a script for a feel-good kids’ movie.
The plot goes like this: A humble shoeshine man operates from a stand in an important city building. As he shines the shoes of top city officials and business people, he shares his passion for bringing clean water to children around the world.
Oscar buzz often has less to do with film awards than with the pageantry of the event -- especially what the stars wear on the red carpet.
In honor of the Academy Awards this past weekend, World Vision celebrates our stars -- children -- and their cultural pageantry and expressive styles of dress.
I have worked with World Vision for nearly three years -- yet I am still amazed by the things I see and the stories I hear. I am equally inspired by the drive and determination of people living in poverty to overcome their circumstances and build a better world for their children, their communities, our country, and the world.
Recently, I experienced firsthand the struggles children in remote communities face just to get to school, and I wanted to share this experience with you.