Recent Posts By World Vision field communicators

Sponsorship provides supplies for back to school

Another school year means advancing a grade level further, but sponsored child Evalyn in the Philippines is most excited to learn new lessons and meet new friends and teachers.

Her new school supplies, given by World Vision, inspire her to excel in her studies. Read on for Evalyn's first-person account of her first day back at school.

Flooding in Philippines causes devastation

Eleven days of downpour has caused flooding in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines.

Sixty percent of the city is now under water, and streets have turned into waterways. Close to 1.5 million people are affected by this disaster.

World Vision is on the ground, working to bring help to families in need.

Something miraculous at Christmas

The follow post was written by Narine Ohanyan, World Vision field communicator in Armenia.

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Do you believe in miracles?

For a mother in Armenia, something miraculous is happening at Christmas.

“I love the ornaments and the lights. I love to stare at them,” says 4-year-old Narek Qotanjyan.

Coming from a child in the United States, this statement wouldn’t be so surprising. However, Narek lives in Armenia with a disability.

Covering Somalia: Are we doing enough?

Over the weekend, I read a memoir of the life of Ahmed Ali Haile, a great Somali whom I was blessed to meet earlier at Daystar University in Kenya, where I attended my undergraduate studies. Haile taught a course I took on understanding Islam -- a course that would positively influence my relations with the Somalis with whom I work.

In his memoir, Haile narrates his experience of famine in 1965, as a 12-year-old boy in central Somalia. His family and community had coping mechanisms that they practiced. But the continued conflict there has clearly cut off this pattern -- and the consequences are devastating.

Since I started working for World Vision three years ago, I have met many malnourished children in Somalia. On few occasions, our teams were not able to save these children.

But I have witnessed just as many success stories of children who literally came back to life after staring death in the eyes.

Fullness of life: A new father's story

Editor's note: In honor of Father's Day, Pato Isquierdo, a communications officer in Ecuador (pictured above with his wife, Karly, and son, Matias), shares with us how becoming a new father has changed his perspective and lent new meaning to his work with World Vision.

The bus was already entering Quito, Ecuador, at 9 p.m. I was fully loaded with cameras, a laptop, and back pain.

But it was OK -- I was finally arriving home. It was my first trip to a World Vision development community since I became a father. I just needed to get home and rest for the next day.

But while riding the bus home, I found a whole new level of understanding of the depth of a part of World Vision's mission statement: “life in all its fullness.”

Yes, I know that this is our goal with everything we do at work. But what about "fullness of life" for my own son? Then, it all made sense! Everything I've learned during my time with World Vision had a new angle.

Prayers for Japan from around the world

Three months ago on Saturday, a deadly earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan killed more than 14,700 people, leaving the country's northeastern coastline devastated. Our colleagues in Japan have spent the weeks and months following the disaster organizing and implementing a full response plan, supported by the World Vision global partnership.

As part of an international initiative to encourage quake survivors and those involved in relief efforts, children around the world who are supported by World Vision sponsors in Japan send their love and prayers. Children and sponsors in Japan's tsunami zone have since received drawings, cards, and origami art messages from sponsored children in El Salvador, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mongolia, Kenya, China, and Ethiopia.

This post is a collection of those messages, gathered with the help of World Vision field communicators in each of the above countries.

To our colleagues and those affected by the disaster in Japan -- we continue to pray that God's comfort and provision would be with those who need it most, and that survivors will continue to heal physically and emotionally as they rebuild from the rubble.

[caption id="attachment_5517" align="aligncenter" width="470" caption="Drawings and messages of hope from Kenya.  ©2011 World Vision"][/caption]

Easter in Colombia

Editor's note: Celebrating Easter, including its preparation, is distinct to religious tradition and cultural custom. Candelaria, a World Vision community volunteer, and her daughters Martha and Mara describe how their family prepares and celebrates Easter according to Catholic tradition in Colombia. The following post was written by World Vision field communicators Ivon Curevo and Astrid Zacipa.

There is a Wednesday ever year in which Candelaria, 29, and her husband Carlos, 46, go with their daughters Marta, 11, and Mara, 7, to the nearest Catholic Church to receive from the priest the imposition of the "Cross of Ashes”.

"You are dust and to dust you shall become," says the priest, while drawing the symbol of the cross on their foreheads with ashes. This day is known as "Ash Wednesday” and marks the beginning of Lent -- forty days of preparation for Easter.

"Lent is the time to get together as a family, to feel at peace with God. It is a time to reflect on the positive as well as the negative aspects of our lives and to repent ourselves," says Candelaria.

[caption id="attachment_4130" align="alignright" width="246" caption="Candelaria with her daughters Martha and Mara outside their home in Colombia. (Zacipa & Cuervo/WV)"][/caption]

Especially at Easter, Candelaria and her family abstain from eating meat, except fish, like many of those of Catholic faith. "From what my mom taught me, we do not eat meat [so as] not to desecrate the suffering of Jesus on the cross," says Candelaria.

Because it is Easter, Carlos saves money from his bricklaying work so Candelaria can prepare a special meal for the family on Thursday or Friday. "Mom prepares fish from the river, beet salad, rice with beans and fresh fruit for dessert," says Mara.

As learned from her grandmother and her mother, Candelaria has taught her daughters the Catholic traditions of the Holy Week. The first Sunday of Easter recalls the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem at the beginning of Passover and was acclaimed by the people. That day the custom is to "take a bunch of palm to the church for the priest to bless it," says Mara.

Children are our hope -- notes from a Japan aid worker

Editor’s note: The following note is from Mitsuko Sobata, World Vision Japan communications and advocacy officer, on the ground with World Vision relief and assessment teams.

March 18, 2011- Yesterday, World Vision Japan relief teams .....

Notes from a Japan aid worker

The following notes are from Mitsuko Sobata, World Vision Japan communications and advocacy officer, on the ground with World Vision relief and assessment teams. March 17, 2011- Today, our relief items arrived with two trucks with diapers, blankets, water and wet wipes....