Monthly Archives: February 2012

Top five Valentine’s Day gifts that give back

Need some last-minute Valentine’s Day gift ideas? Chocolate hearts are so cliché -- we can do better than that. Let’s show some love to the special people in our lives, and share God’s love with children and families in need around the world. That’s a win-win! Here are my top five ways to give -- and give back.

Hunger in West Africa: Putting you in their shoes

You are in a small health clinic in southern Chad. It is 9 a.m. The air is hot, dry, and filled with cries.

You are amidst 40 mothers sitting on the ground or on the clinic’s porch, babies in their laps. Under brightly colored headscarves, their faces look tired, drawn, sad. You catch glimpses of the babies. Their skin is stretched over their chests like paper over wire frames. Their legs are long and thin. Their bellies are protruding. Four of the mothers, clearly malnourished themselves but still trying to breastfeed their babies, are sitting on a wooden bench. In front of them is a row of tall, yellow roses.

You have never seen so much color and sadness in the same place. The contrast is unbearable. But you try to cope.

Then, your name is called out. You look up. But it’s not you who is being called. It is one of the mothers. She struggles to get onto her feet. She walks with her baby into the consultation room. Tears flow down the baby’s face as he is measured, weighed, and the nutrition-monitoring band is wrapped around his arm. You don’t need to wait to hear the results to know that he is severely malnourished.

South Sudan: Transformation, progress in the world's newest nation

Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, has changed. Even before my plane from Kenya touched down here yesterday, I could tell that the world’s newest nation is undergoing transformation. It is definitely not where it was this time last year.

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.

Freedom from poverty: The key to life in all its fullness

This past August, I had the honor, for the first time, of visiting World Vision's field programs in Guatemala. This Latin American country is a gorgeous place -- a lush, beautiful landscape, and equally beautiful people.

In stark contrast to such beauty, however, is the presence of poverty across much of the country. Malnutrition is a major problem here -- 45 percent of Guatemala's population is stunted. Particularly in rural areas, families struggle with limited access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities.

But poverty does not define the people of Guatemala. Nor, as I discovered, does it undermine their ability to find joy and hope. And World Vision is working to help families and communities overcome it -- for good.

10 financial tips to help make the world a better place

Today's guest blogger is Casey Slide, who writes about lifestyle topics on Money Crashers and is particularly passionate about personal finance. Here, she offers her thoughts on what can be accomplished simply by focusing on financial stewardship.

Check out her ideas, and watch the video above to find out how far your donated dollar goes at World Vision.

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!