Tag Archives: global poverty

Mother Teresa and silence: Finding God among the poor

Mother Teresa is a profound example of someone who chose to follow Jesus’ example of love and concern by caring for the needs of people living in poverty in Calcutta, India. Mother Teresa’s birthday today reminds us of her profound efforts of love, mercy, and kindness during her many years of service among the poorest of the poor.

Advocacy: Leaving no one behind

Kicking off our "Advocacy 101" series, World Vision's advocacy mobilization specialist, Amanda Morgan, digs into the basics of advocacy -- and the biblical model that forms the foundation of our approach to it.

Mother's day thoughts: An orphan's story

In honor of Mother’s Day coming up on May 12, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Leading up to Mother’s Day, we will feature four different bloggers to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today’s first post comes from Jessica Turner.

A child's daily journey to school: The face of reality in the Philippines

At the age of 9, Miljhon has already seen some of life's harsh realities. Growing up in poverty, this young boy, his sister, and his classmates face significant hardships just to get to school every day.

Despite their circumstances, Miljhon and the other children have such pure hearts that they share with their schoolmates -- even though they too have almost nothing.

[Infographic] How will you spend Valentine's Day?

Love is in the air this week as millions prepare to celebrate Valentine's Day. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to spoil your loved ones; we all do it occasionally.

At the same time, we wanted to ask the question: How much money do Americans spend each year on Valentine's Day -- and what impact could that amount make in fighting global poverty?

This isn't meant to induce guilt; instead, consider it a source of encouragement as to how effectively you can make a difference with the resources you have!

Dealing with "First World Problems"

My friends and I have a saying that we thought was unique -- until we discovered that it already has a popular Twitter hashtag and YouTube video.

"First World Problems."

At one time, we thought we’d create a blog based off the concept and make millions that we could donate to charities to save lives. But we weren't the first to think of the idea. Woe is us. Maybe our disappoint is, in itself, a drop in the bucket of #firstworldproblems.

An open letter to the presidential candidates

Dear presidential candidate,

I consider myself a good citizen and a patriot. I take pride in my country and care about the well-being of my fellow Americans. I want America to prosper. I hope that the United States will be a global leader for good, far into the 21st century.

Four things any church can do to address global poverty

Churches and pastors are often eager to respond to the problems of global poverty and injustice. Yet before they take steps to address these problems, pastors -- like anyone else -- want to know how they can make a difference. Because there are so many hurting people whose communities face complex obstacles, I’m frequently asked what one person or one church can do.

If you’re a fellow church or ministry leader, you know that God doesn’t promise that the odds will always be in our favor when accomplishing the work He has set before us.

When church leaders look today at the scale of global poverty, it’s easy to feel like the numbers are stacked against them.

  • 1 billion people suffer from a lack of adequate nutrition.
  • Half of the children in developing countries are born into poverty.
  • 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day.

Compared to those staggering figures, the size of the average church in America is just 186 regular attenders. Sounds a bit like Gideon facing thousands of Midianites, “thick as locusts,” with just 300 men.

What can a typical church in Michigan or Oklahoma do when poverty and justice issues are so big, global, and daunting? When pastors ask me what their church can do to help meet the needs of hurting people around the world, I give them four ideas.

A new way to give from the heart this Valentine's Day

Last October, we introduced our readers to GIVEN, the new line of apparel inspired by World Vision whose sales help support our global work. Thirty percent of revenue from purchases of the clothing items and accessories is donated to support our programs that serve children, families, and communities around the world.

Today, Kevin Murray, CEO and founder of Jedidiah and Made For Good, writes another guest post in which he shares new opportunities through GIVEN for supporters to honor the women they love by helping women in need this Valentine's Day. We're excited to share this unique gift idea with you!

Where should American Christians stand on foreign aid?

As an American Christian, I like to think I do a fair job caring for the world's poor -- those in my own neighborhood and those around the world who have greater financial need than I do. After all, Americans pride themselves on generosity. And Christians desire to be known for their service to others.

However, recent news (polls, studies, and political campaigns) suggest otherwise. How do we reconcile this?

World population reaches 7 billion: 7 things you should know

For some time now, the UN has estimated that today, October 31, the world’s population is set to reach 7 billion. That's a big number, but what does this mean for all of us? How much do we really know about how the rest of the world lives? If you're asking yourself these questions, start here: 7 things you should know...

1. The highest rates of population growth are in less developed countries. Too many people are born in poverty and live out their days with little hope for better lives.

2. Good news! In developing regions, the number of people living on less than $1.25 a day dropped from 46 percent to 27 percent from 1990 to 2005. Even with the economic downturn, the world is on track to meet Millennium Development Goal #1 -- to halve extreme human poverty by 2015.

French first baby already a winner in the geographic lottery

Maybe you're like me: You have a sudden feeling of joy every time you hear of a baby being born, or a newly announced pregnant mother-to-be. Two months ago, I sat in the hospital, awaiting the birth of my new nephew, ready to hear the sweet melody of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" that's played each time a baby is born.

It's the same feeling of joy I had earlier this week, hearing the announcement of the birth of the daughter of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. I recall when we heard the wonderful news in May that the Sarkozys were expecting -- around the same time G8 leaders gathered in France to discuss issues of economic and global development.

At the time, my colleague, Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz, was in France, representing World Vision at the G8 Summit. While there, she hand-delivered a baby gift basket intended for the French first lady. The basket included everyday items readily available to women in Western European or North American pharmacies and grocery stores -- such as hygiene supplies, safe birthing kits, and nutritious foods -- that are often inaccessible to pregnant women living in poverty in developing countries.

In a press release yesterday from my colleagues, World Vision congratulates the Sarkozys on the newest addition to their family.

GIVEN: The new line of apparel inspired by World Vision

When I interviewed Kevin back in April, he spoke of Jedidiah's unique ability to connect fashion with social causes, his heart for the child trafficking issue, and how combined, these two things have fueled a partnership between Jedidiah and World Vision. At the tail end of our chat, he mentioned Jedidiah's newest venture -- creating a brand consortium that will leverage the Made For Good mission statement and embedded generosity model. Today, he guest blogs to let us know exactly what he's been up to the last six months.... -Lindsey, managing editor, WV Blog

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A lot has been happening since the last time I interviewed on this blog.

We recently wrapped up our spring/summer partnership with World Vision, where we raised money to build a trauma recovery center in Cambodia for children exploited by sex trafficking.

The success of the world’s greatest to-do list

Every morning, I begin my day by writing a to-do list in my diary. I can’t remember when I started this habit, but I’m certain my productivity has increased exponentially as a result.

I write down irksome duties that nevertheless must get done; I break down complex tasks into several simpler ones -- and, whoa, what looked like an impossible mountain to climb suddenly appears as a series of manageable mole hills. Every time I complete a task, I put a check next to that item on the list.

I’d be lying if I said I manage to get everything done every day. If I did, I’d probably be running for president by now. All the same, at the end of the day, I have a record of achievements, plus an itemized account of what needs more work -- something that will inform the to-do list for the following day.

Perhaps the greatest to-do list of all time is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that all United Nations member states agreed to work toward in September 2000. The object of this to-do list is nothing less than the radical reduction of the most extreme forms of poverty by 2015.

The moral imperative of humanitarian aid

The following commentary is based on remarks Mr. Hill presented on September 5 at a forum entitled “Reforming Aid, Transforming the World,” hosted by Global Washington at the University of Washington. For more information on Global Washington, visit: www.globalwa.org.


“I think back to what Camus wrote about the fact that perhaps this world is a world in which children suffer, but we can lessen the number of suffering children, and if you do not do this, then who will do this? I'd like to feel that I'd done something to lessen that suffering.” —Robert F. Kennedy, in response to a question, a few weeks before his assassination, about how his obituary should read

From books to blogs, it has become fashionable to focus on the failures of foreign assistance. To be sure, there have been failures, and there is plenty of room for improvement.

That said, it would be a travesty to ignore what has been accomplished. In the early 1960s, preventable child deaths exceeded 20 million per year. In 2011, that number is around 8.1 million. While humanitarian aid may not have been the sole cause, I contend that it was a major factor in reducing these preventable deaths.

World Refugee Day: Highlighting a global crisis

Earlier this month, Collins Kaumba, a World Vision communicator in Zambia, shared his experience visiting a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan. His words were jarring: "Indelible memories of the suffering I saw in Darfur have followed me since the day I left Sudan...I have seen suffering and poverty in Zambia and other places in Africa -- but not of the magnitude I saw when I visited Darfur’s camps..."

A reader in Israel commented on the post and made note of the thousands of Sudanese refugees there who are watching the situation in their homeland as the South prepares for its independence in just a few weeks.

Years of conflict in this African country have caused millions to flee for their safety -- not just to other places within Sudan, but internationally as well. This is one global hotspot recognized as an origin of refugees. But the problem is much larger.

Hard facts about labor trafficking

When I was 15 years old, I got my first job as a lifeguard. Before I started, I had to obtain a work permit with my parents' consent and the consultation of my school. There were strict rules governing the hours between which I was allowed to work, as well as how many hours I was allowed to work per week while school was in session. All of these regulations were in place because I was a minor.

I resented them at the time. As an adolescent who longed to be treated as an adult -- and who wanted to earn my own money -- I thought the state had no business telling me when, where, or for how long I could work. It seemed deeply patronizing.

I didn't realize that labor laws in the United States are enforced to prevent workers, especially children, from being exploited. And I certainly didn't understand that in other parts of the world, where such laws either don't exist or are inadequately enforced, the effects of labor trafficking are devastating. I was a middle-class suburban kid. The notion of children, my age or younger, toiling in dirty, dangerous conditions, unable to go to school while earning little or no compensation, was foreign to me.

But it happens -- to hundreds of millions of children and adults around the world. It can tear apart families and ruin children's futures. That's why World Vision is committed to fighting it.

In recognition of World Day Against Child Labor, June 12, World Vision has released a new report, "10 Things You Need to Know About Labor Trafficking in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region." Though focused particularly on Southeast Asia, the report highlights truths about exploitative labor that are relevant worldwide. How much do you know about it? Read these facts. Then, take action.


1. Men are trafficked onto fishing boats and held as prisoners. Though trafficking has historically been associated with women and children, men are equally vulnerable in Southeast Asia's fishing industry. Hard, dangerous conditions on the job create a labor shortage that leaves men at risk of being held captive at sea for months or years at a time.

Fast facts: Hunger

Editor's note: June is National Hunger Awareness Month. This weekend, more than 8,000 students across the country will participate in World Vision's 30 Hour Famine. They'll experience hunger firsthand, while raising funds to care for children who face this stark reality every day -- going to bed hungry.

In the past half-decade, global food prices have reached historic highs. The grocery store -- and restaurants, when we can afford them -- account for greater portions of our paychecks. Eating in or eating out costs more now than it did even seven or eight years ago.

But where increasing food prices are merely a source of frustration for Americans, they can be devastating to people who live in poverty in other parts of the world.

In places like sub-Saharan Africa, where staple foods like grains account for nearly half of all calories consumed, rising food prices can cripple families and communities. The price of maize increased by 80 percent in just two years. Wheat prices shot up 70 percent, while the cost of rice increased by 25 percent.

Bad news... good news

Editor's note: This article originally appeared in the first-ever issue of Reject Apathy.

Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Nuclear disasters. Crazed dictators. War. Sex trafficking. Blood diamonds. Rape. Poverty. Racism. Disease.

The stark reality of all the “bad news” in the world can leave you reeling. Like a high school physics equation with a minute amount of force working against a massive, immovable object, at times it can feel impossible to make a significant impact.

But consider one more piece of bad news: According to World Vision, 24,000 children die each day around the world from preventable causes. Preventable causes.

We may not be able to stop a tsunami, but we can prevent malaria deaths by providing inexpensive mosquito nets. We may not be able to halt a tank, but we can end the fatal transmission of parasites by equipping impoverished communities with sanitary water for drinking and cooking. We may not be able to cure AIDS (yet), but we can supply medicines that prevent transmission of HIV from a pregnant mother to her unborn child and that extend the lives of AIDS patients so their children aren’t left orphaned.

There are many things we cannot do—but there are countless things we can. And there’s a new opportunity to directly provide medicine and clean water to impoverished children around the world that may surprise you...