World Vision International is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Founded in 1950, World Vision works with children, families and communities in close to 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by addressing the causes of poverty and injustice. With private, government and multilateral funds World Vision supports worldwide implementation of child-focused, community-based multi-sector initiatives.
World Vision projects may be grouped into three areas:
- short-term emergency relief, such as providing food, shelter and medical care to victims of natural or man-made disasters;
- long-term sustainable community development focusing on helping communities meet the needs its members identify, like clean water, education, health care, agricultural improvements and sanitation; and
- working with policymakers and the public at the national, regional and global level to build awareness around poverty and to address the unjust systems that help perpetuate it.
Many relief projects transition into development activities. For example, World Vision began working in the Ansokia Valley of north central Ethiopia during the massive famine of the mid 1980s. World Vision provided food and other necessities, but also helped transform the valley into a region that actually exports agricultural produce.
Children are the most vulnerable members of any community, so World Vision activities are designed to have maximum benefit for them. This means improving the lives of children by dealing with the causes of their suffering, not just the symptoms. It also means recognizing that children live in a larger context of family and community, so sustainable development work needs to impact all of these.
For example, if children are hungry in a community, World Vision aims to resolve the underlying food insecurity issues affecting the community, investing in projects like improved irrigation systems, seeds and training. This way children get the food they need, not just this year, but sustainably into the future. Microfinance and other projects that seek to improve adults' livelihoods are very much a part of this child-focused strategy. An economically-stable community can care for its children long after development projects have come to fruition.