In 2010, Jeremiah tested positive for HIV, then lost his wife four days after she gave birth, leaving him with eight children to care for. Feeling alone and afraid, he sought counseling from World Vision.
Several years later, he is the happy beneficiary of World Vision's livelihood project and is able to take care of his family. Now, he dares to dream about his future.
Last week, we explored World Vision's WASH programs (water, sanitation, and hygiene), including the effectiveness of these programs in promoting better health in communities.
But World Vision's work in the health sector is much wider in scope than WASH programs alone! This week, we delve deeper into our impact in a wide variety of health issues -- including child and maternal health, HIV and AIDS, and malaria.
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.
Have you ever met someone who just radiates the love, light, and peace of God?
Last month, while traveling in Swaziland, I had the privilege of meeting Nomsa, a World Vision volunteer AIDS caregiver. She is one of those people -- so full of the love of God that it can’t help but spill out to those around her.
This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share her story. Nomsa presented me with a new way of looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
In a society that often equates the word "love" with romantic love, I had forgotten that this verse is talking about the way we should show love to everyone -- even the unlovely -- without condition, the way God loves us.
World Vision photographer Abby Stalsbroten traveled last week to Swaziland with a group of pastors from Austin, Texas, to look at the impact of sponsorship on children in rural communities. The country has a 24-percent HIV infection rate, but World Vision is working to feed and care for thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children across the country. Here are some of Abby's favorite pictures from the past week in the field.
Last week, the world commemorated the 23rd annual World AIDS Day -- a day in which we remembered the 30 million lives that have been tragically lost, showed solidarity with 34 million people around the world living with HIV, and, most importantly, rededicated ourselves to the cause of ending the epidemic.
I had the privilege to attend a forum sponsored by ONE and (RED) at George Washington University entitled “The Beginning of the End of AIDS” that was simulcast live by YouTube. Among the participants were President Barack Obama, former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Kay Warren, and Bono.
It's an odd thing to commemorate a day like World AIDS Day, during which time more than 1,000 babies will be born with HIV.
World Vision's 2011 World AIDS Day global theme is “Getting to Zero -- Zero New Infections; Zero Discrimination; and Zero AIDS-related Deaths.” It’s an ambitious goal. But we at World Vision see this as a hopeful rallying cry, motivating us to remain true to our commitment to fight the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
This year also marks 10 years since World Vision began its Hope Initiative, our groundbreaking effort to engage U.S. donors and churches around the tragic effects of the virus, especially in sub-Saharan Africa -- the area hit hardest. (This region, which has only 12 percent of the world's population, is home to 68 percent of all people living with HIV.) The Hope Initiative led World Vision to devise new child-focused programs that continue to help AIDS-affected communities deal with the loss of a generation of men and women in the prime of life.
Fortunately, the epidemic appears to have turned a corner. The 2011 report by UNAIDS (pdf) shows the number of newly infected children is down to 390,000 from its peak of 560,000 in 2002, and 22 African nations have seen their HIV incidence decline by more than 25 percent.
My name is Ange, and this is my story.
The first time I stepped into Africa was in 2004. It was in Kitale, Kenya, on a mission trip. I met a young boy named Andrew. He captured my heart and my soul, and I still think about him often.
The first time I “Stepped into Africa” was in 2007. It was at my church in Southern California. I met a boy named Kombo. He captured my heart and my soul, and I think about him often.
I know both of these kids’ stories. I've seen where they live. I've seen their families. I've learned their stories. And I feel a strong connection and compassion for both of them.
But what's the difference between these two children? Andrew has seen my face. Kombo has not.
I had the privilege last month of traveling with World Vision to the district of Sinazongwe, Zambia, where rolling hills covered in acacia, cacti, and fruit trees look remarkably like parts of Southern California. But tucked among them are mud brick huts with thatched roofs, small vegetable gardens by muddy pools, and high racks where cobs of maize dry beyond the reach of animals. We pass a small roadside market, where women sell tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and stalks of sugar cane beside a banana grove.
The statistics of this region belie the bucolic scene. Malaria plagues a quarter of children under 5, often fatally, and affects 9 percent of the overall population, according to Rose Zambezi, World Vision's technical adviser for health. HIV and AIDS persist, too, affecting 14 percent of Zambians. As a children’s book author, I’m especially interested in these statistics as I’m working on a story about an African family that strives to create a “healthy village.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated our periodic series, “News that matters,” but I’m heading out on maternity leave here in a few weeks and wanted to post about news coverage on some of today's most relevant humanitarian issues.
In this post: HIV and AIDS, South Sudan, and child and maternal health. I hope the coverage below can offer some insight into these issues and provide some good food for thought.
Back in October!
On June 5, 1981, doctors reported the first cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Over the past 30 years, HIV and AIDS have changed the way that many people -- both in the United States and around the world -- live their lives and speak out for the lives of others. Because this month marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of AIDS into our national health discussion, I wanted to include some of this month’s coverage about the disease -- and efforts to stop its spread.
Factbox: HIV/AIDS numbers from around the world
Reuters, 2 June 2011
An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide had the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS in 2009, according to the latest figures issued by UNAIDS. There were 26.2 million in 1999.
Editor's note: This month is the five-year anniversary of the World Vision U.S. Caregiver Kits program -- an initiative that equips volunteers with kits containing simple items that assist in caring for those affected by HIV and AIDS.
To honor the outstanding difference this program has made in the lives of caregivers and their clients, we asked Miyon to describe how World Vision volunteer caregivers are an asset to their communities.
The thing I love most about Zambia is the people. Sure, the landscape is beautiful -- big open land dotted with crops and thatched roof huts, blue skies with fluffy clouds. The wildlife is fantastic -- lions, giraffes, leopards, hippos. But it’s the spirit of the people who call this poverty-ridden country home that has truly captured my heart.
This spirit is especially evident in the volunteer community caregivers whom I have the privilege of working with every day as part of a World Vision program. These men and women are living out Christ’s command to love their neighbor in very tangible ways. And they do it willingly and with joy.
They visit those who are HIV-positive and those dying of AIDS, using Caregiver Kits to clean sores. They care for orphaned children by providing parental counseling. They gather firewood and water, and they clean homes. They support grandmothers -- praying with them, helping with house chores and being a listening ear to women who are struggling to care for their grandchildren.
In our ongoing series on Gifts-in-kind (GIK), today’s post covers how GIK resource fits into the broader work of community development programming. Specifically we’ll look at:
* Uses of GIK, including as match for grants
* Standards for managing GIK
* Evaluations of projects with direct provision of goods
Uses of GIK
World Vision operates in nearly 100 countries with 1,600 development programs and 1,200 sector projects that integrate education, health, economic development, advocacy, microfinance, agriculture, and water and sanitation. Our programs go through intensive assessments and planning, beginning with a country macro-assessment and strategy and continuing with local area assessments, a comprehensive design document, baseline survey, and regular audits and evaluations. These steps follow World Vision’s design, monitoring, and evaluation (DME) methodology and tools, which are all available online.
Program assessments and designs lead to planning processes....
One of my eccentric hobbies is discovering theological insights from animated cartoons. A favorite is “Road Runner.” The dastardly coyote is always devising ever-more fantastic means to capture the elusive bird, but his wicked schemes invariably and hilariously backfire, causing maximum pain and humiliation for the coyote....
On Sunday, many of us will be tuning in to watch the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers compete in Super Bowl XLV. The Super Bowl is always one of the most-watched events of the year, and I’m looking forward to gathering with friends to watch the game — and the commercials. But when I watch the big game this weekend, my mind will...