World Vision International

FAQs

Who is World Vision?

Is World Vision formally tied to or a subsidiary of any other entity?

How long has World Vision been in operation?

What type of projects does World Vision do?

What does "child-focused" mean?

Is being or becoming a Christian a prerequisite for receiving help?

Is evangelism a part of World Vision's projects?

Do people living in project communities contribute to World Vision projects?

Do World Vision projects create dependence on outside resources?

What is World Vision child sponsorship all about?

Who is World Vision?

World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.

Is World Vision formally tied to or a subsidiary of any other entity?

World Vision is an independent private Christian organisation and is not formally affiliated with any government, denomination, foundation or corporation, though it maintains positive working relationships with all of these.

How long has World Vision been in operation?

World Vision was founded in 1950 by the Reverend Bob Pierce in response to the needs of Korean War orphans.

What types of projects does World Vision do?

World Vision projects may be grouped into three areas: 1) short-term emergency relief, such as providing food, shelter and medical care to victims of natural or man-made disasters; 2) 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 3) 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.

What does "child-focused" mean?

Children are the most vulnerable members of any community, so World Vision project 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 recognising 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.

Is being or becoming a Christian a prerequisite for receiving help?

We are a signatory to the International Red Cross Code of Conduct, which includes the imperative that “aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.” While the majority of our staff are Christian, our policy states that we will not select partners or children on this basis, nor insist on the delivery of Christian messaging, nor use aid to induce a person to change religion. We are inspired by Christian values and seek for our work to be our testimony to the example of Jesus Christ.

Is evangelism a part of World Vision's projects?

World Vision does not proselytise. The organisation does not demand that people hear any religious message or convert to Christianity before, during or after receiving assistance. Educational activities based on Christian values may occasionally be included in World Vision projects if appropriate and desired by the community. However, World Vision respects the religious beliefs and practices in countries where it operates, and seeks mutual understanding with people of all faiths. Whenever appropriate, World Vision works in partnership with local churches and other faith-based organisations in an effort to work inclusively and collaboratively within existing community structures. Our focus is to respond to human need, and our compassion and professionalism reflect our faith.

Do people living in project communities contribute to World Vision projects?

Communities always contribute to development projects and have a real sense of ownership and true participation. Community participation is integral to transformational development.

Do World Vision projects create dependence on outside resources?

No. Community development projects are designed to be sustainable with locally available resources, technology, materials and leadership. Families and individuals share in project leadership, responsibilities and activities from the start and are well equipped and motivated to continue in these roles when World Vision ends its direct involvement in a community.

What is World Vision child sponsorship all about?

Child sponsorship is an effective and fulfilling way to help give a child from a poor community the chance of a brighter future.

In order to thrive, children need to grow up in an environment that provides the essentials that they need today and hope and opportunities for tomorrow. Children need to enjoy good health and be cared for and protected. They need to be educated for life, be welcomed to participate in decisions that affect their lives and be free to choose to love God and their neighbours. That’s why sponsors’ contributions fund vital development work in their sponsored child’s community, so that over time the well-being of children significantly improves. 

World Vision works with community groups and the children themselves to plan and carry out changes so that more children will gain opportunities to fulfill their potential in life. Sponsors witness these changes through progress reports from the community and personal communication with their sponsored children. Sponsors can encourage the child they sponsor by writing or even visiting their sponsored child and their family.

By combining the donations given by many sponsors in a project area, World Vision works with a large community for an extended period – typically 15 years. This helps to achieve development objectives chosen by the community that will benefit sponsored children, their peers, all their families and the whole population. Typically these relate to quality education, health, nutrition and clean water.

Child sponsorship is, at its heart, a relationship-building tool. The community, the organisation and the sponsors all grow together as they struggle to identify and deal with the effects and deeper causes of poverty.

Sponsorships are arranged through a donor's home country office

For more information, see our sponsorship page.

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