When our writer/photographer team Kari and Jon travel to the field, their mission is to capture amazing stories so they can virtually take you with them to those places.
Through the World Vision Experience, see how an interactive tour brings their stories of children like Sonali in Bangladesh even closer! And how you can experience it, too.
“I wish I could take you with me.”
It’s one of my deepest desires as a reporter for World Vision.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve been privileged to travel to more than 35 countries to cover World Vision’s work and report back on how lives around the world are being changed.
Photographer Jon Warren and I try to go deep on these stories. That’s why, to see what hunger feels like, we once stayed in a hut with a family in Kenya, living on food rations for five days.
It’s why I strapped 70 pounds of water to my back and walked for two hours with Sabina to find out how challenging it is for a woman to fetch water.
It’s why I had a makeover in a brothel in Bangladesh. The women who worked there wanted me to look like them. It made them more comfortable telling me their stories.
Everywhere we go, we try to bring back stories and photos that will take you there with us. We try to capture the sights, the sounds, and the emotions. I call it “making a movie in my head.”
That’s why I’m so excited about the World Vision Experience truck. The truck features two stories Jon and I worked on last year, including the story of children who live in a brothel across the street from a World Vision Child-Friendly Space. It’s a little slice of heaven for these children who live a very challenging life.
In the truck, you’ll meet Sonali, whose name means “golden.” She is 7. There is something very special about Sonali. Maybe it’s that her name suits her so well. Her smile is as bright as the sun. She loves playing at the Child-Friendly Space, dressed in her orange uniform, her backpack carrying all of her school supplies. “My best friend is named Shan,” she tells me, then adds, “I like to play.”
But Sonali does more than just play at the Child-Friendly Space. She is the top student in the class. Her mother is so proud and wants to see Sonali go on for formal education.
Sonali’s mother has worked at the brothel across the street since she was only 10. Her focus is on her children—Sonali and her sister Rupali, which means “silver.”
“When I go to bed,” she says, “I think about World Vision and how happy I am to send my daughters here.” By here she means the Child-Friendly Space, a place you’ll feel like you’re visiting when you walk through the World Vision Experience.
The other story is one of the hardest we’ve ever reported—our work in Uganda fighting child sacrifice using an African version of the Amber Alert. Villagers are alerted that a child has gone missing by the beating of drums. In the World Vision Experience truck, you’ll hear the sound of those drums, a pulsating urgency you’ll never forget.
Finally, there’s a story Jon photographed with reporter Sevil Omer about the plight of the children of Syria, many of whom have witnessed things no child should see.
The World Vision Experience is a 20-minute journey through Bangladesh, Uganda, and Jordan. It fulfills one of my deepest desires—to take you with me. After you’ve been through the experience, you will never be the same.
To see the mobile experience or find out how to host the truck at your church, take a look at this video:
Mobilize your church! Learn more about the World Vision Experience truck and how your church can host it!
Sponsor a child like Sonali in Bangladesh.