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Monthly Archives: December 2012

[Photo blog] 12 moments from 2012

World Vision staff around the globe shot more than 10,000 photos this year. Working in nearly 100 countries, they documented the year’s most urgent humanitarian emergencies as well as moments of inner strength and joy. Here are 12 memorable photos from 2012.

A burden that children should never have to bear

An 8-year-old Syrian refugee child named Layla* shares, “I saw my cousin dying in front of me, so I always see this scene in front of my eyes.”

As children all over North America happily rummage through the cheerful remains of Christmas Day’s joys -- festive gift wrap strewn about, the latest version of Halo blaring from 40-inch television screens -- the existence of Syrian children presently seeking refuge in Lebanon is one far less carefree.

In this season of joy, it’s difficult to fathom that at least 66,000 children like Layla are coping with the loss of home and childhood as their families struggle to survive the displacement of war and onset of a cold, snowy winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

From Alabama with Love to India

Andrea Zahler wound her way along a narrow pathway in a small farming village near Sitapur, India, past oxen laying in the sun and mud-walled homes where chai is brewed atop small, open wood-fired stoves.

Andrea was a World Vision Child Ambassador in the truest sense that day. She was going to meet a sponsored child named Laxmi Ramhit, a 12-year-old Indian girl with a shy smile and deep doe eyes.

As Laxmi’s home came into view, Andrea saw a large group of women and children sitting on the floor, waiting patiently in a small courtyard outside the home. They pulled out a patio chair for her, the oldest girl brought her chai, and other children touched her feet as a sign of respect and welcome.

“I was very nervous about visiting [Laxmi] because I knew that it wasn’t just me, but I was representing an entire neighborhood of people,” Andrea says.

A picture of health

The mood is somber as babies wait to be examined and receive immunizations. I meet Purity, 30, and her 2-year-old son, Sheldon, while they were waiting to be seen. Sheldon suffers from high fever, poor appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Education for every child

“Education for every child,” says Anne Wachira. These words are the mission statement of the school where she has taught for 8 years. But these are not just words to Anne, they carry a much deeper meaning.

“As I came to this area, I was touched by the way the children were. They were illiterate. That’s why I started to work at this school.”

Anne was determined to see change in the lives of her students.

[Video] Sponsorship: a lifetime of change

Before sponsorship, Brian and his family didn't have a roof over their heads. They didn't have a lamp to see at night.

But all of that changed after Brian became sponsored and received a special gift from his sponsor in the United States.

Kris Allen, host of the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour, was able to meet Brian and his family -- and see firsthand how their lives had been changed.

"Sponsoring a child is something that is going to last them a lifetime, and is something that changes their whole community."

Praying for Turkana

During the True Spirit of Christmas Tour, we have seen how lives in Turkana, Kenya, are being changed through gifts like chickens and goats. While in Kenya, our team also had the chance to get to know John Okere, who helps oversee World Vision's work there.

John has worked for World Vision for six years because he believes in the positive impact of our work on communities.

“We touch people’s lives directly, and we see transformation almost immediately.”

John earned a degree in public health from Moi University in Eldoret, Kenya, and uses his knowledge to help families in the Turkana region.

Today, he shares with us how we can be praying for the people of Turkana.

Sponsorship: A light in Brian’s future

In the most beautiful, mountainous landscape you could ever imagine, the Rift Valley of Kenya is a land of contrasts.

While waterfalls, canyons, and wild monkeys complement glorious sunsets, not all who find themselves in this land have time to appreciate its beauty -- at least, not when basic needs aren’t met.