Good morning from Zambia! After traveling from Burundi by riverboat down Lake Tanganyika and then overland by truck, Billy and Grampa Goat have reached their final destination: Moyo, in southern Zambia.
This is a special place indeed—where goats change lives and are even business partners!
In 2010, Jeremiah tested positive for HIV, then lost his wife four days after she gave birth, leaving him with eight children to care for. Feeling alone and afraid, he sought counseling from World Vision.
Several years later, he is the happy beneficiary of World Vision's livelihood project and is able to take care of his family. Now, he dares to dream about his future.
Last week, we explored World Vision's WASH programs (water, sanitation, and hygiene), including the effectiveness of these programs in promoting better health in communities.
But World Vision's work in the health sector is much wider in scope than WASH programs alone! This week, we delve deeper into our impact in a wide variety of health issues -- including child and maternal health, HIV and AIDS, and malaria.
Have you ever met someone who just radiates the love, light, and peace of God?
Last month, while traveling in Swaziland, I had the privilege of meeting Nomsa, a World Vision volunteer AIDS caregiver. She is one of those people -- so full of the love of God that it can’t help but spill out to those around her.
This Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share her story. Nomsa presented me with a new way of looking at 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV): “Love is patient, love is kind…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
In a society that often equates the word "love" with romantic love, I had forgotten that this verse is talking about the way we should show love to everyone -- even the unlovely -- without condition, the way God loves us.
World Vision photographer Abby Stalsbroten traveled last week to Swaziland with a group of pastors from Austin, Texas, to look at the impact of sponsorship on children in rural communities. The country has a 24-percent HIV infection rate, but World Vision is working to feed and care for thousands of orphaned and vulnerable children across the country. Here are some of Abby's favorite pictures from the past week in the field.
I had the privilege last month of traveling with World Vision to the district of Sinazongwe, Zambia, where rolling hills covered in acacia, cacti, and fruit trees look remarkably like parts of Southern California. But tucked among them are mud brick huts with thatched roofs, small vegetable gardens by muddy pools, and high racks where cobs of maize dry beyond the reach of animals. We pass a small roadside market, where women sell tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and stalks of sugar cane beside a banana grove.
The statistics of this region belie the bucolic scene. Malaria plagues a quarter of children under 5, often fatally, and affects 9 percent of the overall population, according to Rose Zambezi, World Vision's technical adviser for health. HIV and AIDS persist, too, affecting 14 percent of Zambians. As a children’s book author, I’m especially interested in these statistics as I’m working on a story about an African family that strives to create a “healthy village.”
It’s been awhile since I’ve updated our periodic series, “News that matters,” but I’m heading out on maternity leave here in a few weeks and wanted to post about news coverage on some of today's most relevant humanitarian issues.
In this post: HIV and AIDS, South Sudan, and child and maternal health. I hope the coverage below can offer some insight into these issues and provide some good food for thought.
Back in October!
On June 5, 1981, doctors reported the first cases of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Over the past 30 years, HIV and AIDS have changed the way that many people -- both in the United States and around the world -- live their lives and speak out for the lives of others. Because this month marks the 30th anniversary of the introduction of AIDS into our national health discussion, I wanted to include some of this month’s coverage about the disease -- and efforts to stop its spread.
Factbox: HIV/AIDS numbers from around the world
Reuters, 2 June 2011
An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide had the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS in 2009, according to the latest figures issued by UNAIDS. There were 26.2 million in 1999.
In our ongoing series on Gifts-in-kind (GIK), today’s post covers how GIK resource fits into the broader work of community development programming. Specifically we’ll look at:
* Uses of GIK, including as match for grants
* Standards for managing GIK
* Evaluations of projects with direct provision of goods
Uses of GIK
World Vision operates in nearly 100 countries with 1,600 development programs and 1,200 sector projects that integrate education, health, economic development, advocacy, microfinance, agriculture, and water and sanitation. Our programs go through intensive assessments and planning, beginning with a country macro-assessment and strategy and continuing with local area assessments, a comprehensive design document, baseline survey, and regular audits and evaluations. These steps follow World Vision’s design, monitoring, and evaluation (DME) methodology and tools, which are all available online.
Program assessments and designs lead to planning processes....
One of my eccentric hobbies is discovering theological insights from animated cartoons. A favorite is “Road Runner.” The dastardly coyote is always devising ever-more fantastic means to capture the elusive bird, but his wicked schemes invariably and hilariously backfire, causing maximum pain and humiliation for the coyote....
On Sunday, many of us will be tuning in to watch the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers compete in Super Bowl XLV. The Super Bowl is always one of the most-watched events of the year, and I’m looking forward to gathering with friends to watch the game — and the commercials. But when I watch the big game this weekend, my mind will...