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.
Early childhood centers provide mothers with training in proper nutrition and hygiene. (Photo: Shanon Rise/World Vision)
I work as a part of the team that brings these important updates to sponsors, and the information I was so familiar with really came to life when I traveled to Ayacucho, Peru. Despite being acquainted with sponsorship, this was the first time I would see it in person.
What I encountered was the truth behind each bullet point that we share in Community News: Sponsors create precious room for hope in the hearts of real children and their families, many of whom otherwise live at the fringes of society.
Many of the families we serve in this particular area of Peru were once displaced by the violence of the Shining Path insurgency of the 1980s and early 1990s. At that time, World Vision served the displaced by providing meals. It was the only food to be had for a people who had left everything behind. More than 20 years later, we are still working there to strengthen the communities that formed around the displaced.
One visit particularly touched my heart. Many communities in Peru have early childhood development centers supported by World Vision. It was my privilege to see one of them. In Community News, the description of program usually reads something like “offered training in early childhood development for mothers, equipping them to provide stimulating learning activities for their children.”
But there is so much more to tell!
World Vision staff members work tirelessly, helping to monitor every child and meeting with mothers who volunteer at these development centers. They train the mothers in nutrition and preparing healthy meals; good hygiene practices; and games and activities that develop children’s social, cognitive, and motor skills. Some of these mothers become peer educators and pass along their learnings to others in the community.
Through their own efforts, they are reducing rates of malnutrition, anemia, and illness. They are preparing their children for reading in a country that has one of the highest rates of illiteracy in the Americas. It takes a lot of work and commitment from the staff and moms.
Someone asked one community volunteer why she does it. She said with pride, “I love my people.”
That love is certainly reflected on the faces of the children who greeted me with so much enthusiasm and played with such joyful abandon. They represent the many layers of blessings behind one simple accomplishment listed in Community News. But such is the case with every bullet point. Each has been distilled from the success and joy -- whether great or small -- of many.
Thank you so much for trusting us to help make this possible.
If you're already a sponsor, we encourage you to check out My World Vision today. Find information about your sponsored child, updates from his or her community through Community News, videos, and photos to help you connect better with what matters to you!
Not yet a sponsor? Consider sponsoring a boy or girl in need today. Sponsorship helps provide tangible support, like nutritious food, clean water, education, medical care, and more. But it also provides intangible blessings of joy and hope -- both for the child and his or her sponsor.