Tag Archives: Education

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.

Educate a girl, change the world

“What we are learning around the world is that if women are healthy and educated, their families will flourish. If women are free from violence, their families will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.”

—Hillary Rodham Clinton, September 1995, remarks for the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women

Equipping U.S. children for success in challenging times

Early last month, I’d been enthralled each night watching the Olympics. Now that it's September, my focus turns back to school and school shopping lists. You can’t miss the signs or commercials urging you to shop now while the specials are good.

However, as I began shopping for my three children, my heart was somewhat pained.

Our country is a world leader in many ways. The United States won an amazing 104 medals in the Olympics. But many American children who are seeking to take part in that greatness by learning and completing school face amazingly difficult conditions.

Some don’t even have access to basic school supplies.

PHOTOS: A new chapter for Amri Karbi, India

After 15 fruitful years, World Vision's work is coming to a close in the Amri Karbi region of India's Assam state.

Some 2,300 children have been sponsored in the area, and significant improvements have been made in education, economic development, infrastructure, and healthcare. World Vision sponsorship funds have bought books and furniture for classrooms, while helping parents pay for their children's school fees and uniforms. Women have been provided with training in entrepreneurship, as well as funds for start-up business efforts. A new chapter is beginning for the Amri Karbi region as the cycle of poverty is broken.

World Vision photographer Jon Warren gives us a glimpse of life there through the images below. Read the full story in World Vision magazine.

Helping my homeland: Why I sponsor a child in India

Aparna Sen, a World Vision sponsor, shares how her experience as a child growing up in Calcutta shaped her desire to help girls in India get an education and avoid discrimination and early marriage.

Recently, Aparna and her husband, Ritwick Dhar, had the opportunity to travel to India to meet 12-year-old Rebika, whom Aparna sponsored after becoming acquainted with World Vision and our work in her native country.

PHOTO BLOG: Tell it to the world

The high school dropout rate in Romania is unacceptable. According to a Romanian Ministry of Education report from 2009, 25 percent of teens in rural Romania do not attend high school.

Recently, a group of nine youth, six of them sponsored, were invited to participate in a photography workshop. The children learned the basics of photography and then were loaned cameras to take pictures highlighting the problem of school dropout rates in their community.

Their photos were used to create a local photo exhibition to raise awareness about the importance of education in their community. The show was called "Tell it to the World!"  Here are some of their photos.

PHOTO BLOG: Over the river and through the woods

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.

Millions of Melkas

More than 60 percent of Ethiopian girls will be married before they are 17. It's a startling fact.

But when we see and hear the story of a girl who was forced into marriage when she was just 14 years old, statistics are transformed from mere numbers to a face. To a voice. To reality.

Where are they from? A World Teachers' Day pop quiz

My grandmother was a teacher. My mom taught special education. My brother teaches middle school math. My sister is on the school board. Clearly, the importance of a good education was instilled in me from a young age.

Still, the teacher gene is not dominant in my DNA. I think it might have something to do with my patience -- or lack thereof.

Although teaching is not in my vocation, I understand and value the work of teachers across the United States and around the world. These dedicated servants are molding the future generations, often in difficult circumstances.

In my time working with World Vision, I have had the privilege of meeting and interacting with many teachers around the world. It is astounding to me that despite the geographic area, the culture, or the language, teachers around the world have so much in common -- the same dreams, the same motivations, and many of the same struggles.

The following are excerpts from interviews with teachers from three different continents. See if you can guess where they are from:

Still in the blessing business

When I first laid eyes on Holt -- a community just outside of Tuscaloosa, Ala. -- just a few days after the April 27 tornado struck, what had once been a vibrant neighborhood now looked like a huge open field. It was a field filled with splintered wood, crumpled metal, broken glass, and shattered dreams.

Families sorted through the ruins looking for anything they could salvage.

International Youth Day: 6 youth changing our world

Change our world -- that's this year's International Youth Day theme. It seems more than appropriate in a year of ongoing economic struggle, debt ceilings, radiation leaks and famines. And there are issues of injustice that fail to make headlines but distress so many people -- child abuse, abduction and trafficking, school drop-outs because of forced labor or need for income, neglect of children and youth, and an apparent lack of youth voice.

But there are youth out there advocating against such injustices, making real differences in their communities, and changing our world for good. This post is a reminder, on International Youth Day, that youth are to believed in because through them, great things are possible.

Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. -1 Timothy 4:12 (NIV)

Sponsorship 101 -- from a child sponsor

World Vision’s child sponsorship program has been part of my life for nearly two decades. My dad started working at World Vision when I was 9 years old. I’ve worked here for nearly five years now, and my husband and I sponsor three children of our own.

We love getting letters, drawings, photos, and progress reports from the children in our global family. And we love sending them cards, pictures, small packages, and the occasional extra gift.

But even as a staff person and a longtime child sponsor, I’ve still asked myself: What does sponsorship actually do? How does it actually work?

In putting this blog post together, I’ve learned that, in a nutshell, sponsorship connects you with a child in need and empowers the child’s community to become healthy, safe, and self-reliant, breaking the cycle of poverty.

It’s not a handout. It’s more like a hand up. By helping to provide access to life essentials, we, as sponsors, don’t just “give away” our money and cross our fingers. We actually help World Vision in giving the entire community of our sponsored child a “boost” up and out of poverty.

In order for children to experience life in all its fullness, they must have reliable access to all of the essentials for life: clean water, a secure source of food, healthcare, education, etc. That’s why World Vision takes an integrated approach to helping our sponsored children’s communities become whole, because each piece of this puzzle intertwines with the others.

[caption id="attachment_4665" align="alignright" width="162" caption="In Senegal, a World Vision water pump in Mballo's village gives her community clean water. ©2010 David duChemin/World Vision"][/caption]

Clean water: This is often where our work starts. Simply providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene can cut a community’s child death rate by more than half.

Food security: We help farming families learn better crop cultivation and food storage techniques, provide essentials like seeds and tools, and distribute food aid to help make sure that children get the nutrition they need.

Health care: We help to make basic health care accessible by stocking health clinic shelves with medicine, training parents and health workers to treat illness, and coordinating HIV-prevention education and care for those affected by HIV and AIDS.