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The net effect of deadly malaria

Marita Adelino is not your average 10-year-old.

In a world where children typically want so much, she wants only two things -- a best friend and a mosquito net. Yearning for a friend is sketched across her face, a portrait of loneliness.

And the desire for a mosquito net? Marita is terrified of the tiny, sinister creatures that spread malaria, the disease that killed her best friend, Marta João, last year.

JD the DJ reaches out

World Vision is partnering with national radio network K-LOVE -- which includes more than 400 contemporary Christian radio stations -- to help children around the world Survive to 5.

Today, Andrea Peer profiles JD Chandler, a DJ at K-LOVE who will host a radiothon on November 20 to help find sponsors for children in need.

A place to learn and call home

It’s been nearly three years since the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and many people there are still living in squalid conditions in camps. Families who had the means to leave the camps have now gone, and those remaining are among Port-au-Prince’s most vulnerable.

Knowing that even one child living in an unsafe and unsanitary camp is too many, World Vision is working on a project to help families move out of camps and into more durable accommodations. With World Vision helping to shoulder the burden of housing, families are able to invest their resources into their children's educations -- and most importantly, their futures.

The world through the eyes of a child

Violence. Hunger. Lack of education. Abuse.

Children are the most vulnerable to the consequences of global poverty -- but often, they don't have a platform by which to voice how these issues affect them.

When children do speak out, they often aren't taken seriously. Sometimes, they're dismissed by the adults who are charged with caring for them.

To address this problem, World Vision created a child journalist summit in India to give children the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Who's that girl?

"Who’s that girl?" I wondered while watching Carter’s Chord, a sister band who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to create a video of their song, "Love a Little Bigger."

I love the song and its message: how blessed we are and how a luxury, like drinking a $4 cup of coffee, can make us feel guilty, especially when we are confronted by pictures of the poor.

Being from Seattle, the coffee center of the universe, I can relate.

The video is beautiful. The Carter’s Chord sisters are lovely. Their voices are wonderful. The Dominican Republic is an astonishing country, dripping with tropical delight.

But the prettiest thing in the video is its little star -- a girl whose life they captured from her early-morning routine, waking up and rubbing the sleep from her eyes, through the moment where she seemed to take flight -- dancing with the Carter’s Chord sisters as they sang.

[Infographic] Is humanitarian aid really making a difference?

Is humanitarian aid really making a difference? The answer is yes! Child deaths have decreased by 41 percent over the past five years.

The following infographic explains major developments in global child health over the past 10 years.

Caring for two lives: Q & A with a midwife

“It is not an easy task to perform. I have [responsibility for] two lives at a time -- the mother and the baby,” says Aklima Begum, 48. Aklima lives in Bangladesh and is highly respected in her community. 

Thanks to World Vision, Aklima was able to be educated and certified as a midwife. Midwifery is an extremely important skill for her community, since many families can't afford to see a doctor or stay in a hospital. The lives of mothers and infants are put at risk when they don't have access to proper prenatal care or a safe birthing environment.

Through her education in midwifery, Aklima is able to provide skilled care to mothers who would otherwise have to go without it.

Biker mom makes the dough

Poverty affects almost every element of a family’s life. It often robs children of their childhoods and can hinder strong, sustainable communities from being built.

But as shown by the story of Sam Mai and her family in Cambodia, a microloan can provide hope for something more -- an independent, self-sufficient future.

A birthday celebration that will help change lives

Bethany Detweiler didn't want a ordinary birthday, so she did something extraordinary.

Instead of asking for presents, she set a goal to raise $12,000 through My Gift Catalog, a tool that gives users the opportunity to raise funds to donate items through World Vision's Gift Catalog.

Bethany shares what inspired her to help others -- and how she plans on reaching her goal.

How a water well helps open the door to education

We know that access to clean water can help improve the overall health of an entire community.

But how does it help children -- particularly girls -- to stay in school and receive an education? Read what happened in the village of Ganjure Chicho, Ethiopia, to find out.

A goat is more than just a goat

If you're considering honoring a loved one with a gift through the World Vision Gift Catalog this Christmas season, you may be wondering how a goat, chicken, or cow impacts the lives of the people who are on the receiving end.

The gift of a farm animal can equip and empower a family in ways that you might not expect. For example, a goat's milk, cheese, and yogurt can help nourish hungry children and families. A surplus of any of those items can be sold at market for extra income, as can the goat's offspring. The money earned can be used to help pay for school fees, medical bills, or other basics.

Check out the infographic below to get a better idea of how a simple gift through our Gift Catalog can become a sustainable means by which a child, family, and even entire community can escape poverty.

Handwashing: The greatest medical invention of all time

Today, believe it or not, is Global Handwashing Day.

I appreciate there are a ton of these kinds of days, and it’s sometimes tough to get excited about them all. So far this month we’ve had World Habitat Day, International Day of Older Persons, International Day of Non-Violence, World Teachers Day, World Post Day, World Mental Health Day, International Day of the Girl Child, World Sight Day, International Day for Disaster Reduction, and International Day of Rural Women.

Phew! What a list -- and we're only halfway through the month. One would have to be a saint to get passionate about them all.

On the other hand, commemorative days can focus attention on what might easily be a vital yet neglected topic. Handwashing happens to be one such issue.

Q&A with an [almost] child bride

Shapla in Bangladesh was devastated when her parents arranged a marriage that would force her to drop out of school.

But thanks to World Vision, when Shapla told her friends about her situation, they knew what to do. Shapla's friends had completed a life-skills education course, and they were able to contact community leaders, who advocated for Shapla.

Read on to learn how Shapla escaped what she calls the "cave of death" -- and how her story represents World Vision's efforts to create futures of dignity and hope for girls and women.

A girl's journey from brick factory worker to outstanding student

Today has been declared by the United Nations as the International day of the Girl. To commemorate this day, we're asking you to advocate on behalf of girls like Keota in Cambodia.

A brick factory is no place for an 11-year-old girl. But each day, Keota would spend hours stacking heavy bricks in a dusty, dangerous workplace to supplement her parents' meager income.

Now, thanks to World Vision, Keota is back in school, earning good grades and helping her little sisters with their studies.

New wheels get Gracious back to the classroom

Thursday is the first-ever International Day of the Girl. To commemorate this event, we're spending several days highlighting issues faced by girls who live in poverty around the world, such as early marriage and vicious exploitation. We're also talking about how access to an education can equip girls to live full lives and reach their God-given potential.

The story of Gracious illustrates just that. This 14-year-old girl has a passion for learning that has stopped at nothing -- even when her life was turned upside-down by an unforeseen tragedy.