Breaking cycles of poverty
Around the world, the impact of extreme poverty on children’s development is devastating. World Vision is working to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by 2030 so that the most vulnerable children can reach their full potential. Because of our community-focused solutions, for every child helped, four more children benefit, too.
A world where all children live in sustainable communities
Poverty is complex. It is far more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Solutions are equally complex and interlinked, but at a basic level economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
The impact of extreme poverty on children’s development is significant. The prevalence of malnutrition among young children from developing countries is approximately 2.5 times higher in the poorest families compared with the richest. These facts are further compounded by the predictions that climate and disaster risk impacts will push an estimated 325 million poor people further into extreme poverty in some of the poorest and most fragile contexts over the next decade.
Economic empowerment: a path to hope
- Our livelihoods work extends to more than 53 countries through at least 821 programmes, investing more than $200 million annually to promote productive and resilient livelihoods benefitting approx. 12 million people.
- WV Sri Lanka's 2 year graduation programme impacted over 240 000 children and their families resulting in big nutrition gains including: underweight decreasing from 25% to 23%, stunting from 27% to 25% and wasting from 20% to 14% amongst children under age five.
- Our projects provided 1.44 million small loans to 1.2 million families, benefitting nearly 4.3 million children and creating more than 1.8 million jobs from small business enterprises.
 Morgan R. ed. 2016: The Global Child Poverty Challenge, Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK, p. 2
 ODI 2013: The Geography of Poverty, Disasters and Climate Extremes in 2030, ODI, Met Office, RMS Report, London. p. vii
Building Secure Livelihoods
Children whose basic needs are being met can look to the future with hope. Our goal is to break the cycle of poverty for the most vulnerable by strengthening families’ capacity to provide well for their children. Most of the world’s extremely poor are smallholder farmers. Our Building Secure Livelihoods approach focuses on equipping and empowering them.
Our intensive two-year programme called ‘Ultra-poor Graduation’ (UPG) equips the most vulnerable families to be self-reliant once World Vision has moved on to help others. We provide access to temporary food and cash assistance, savings for transformation, training, and marketing expertise to help families’ kickstart a small business or access employment. Families also learn about health, nutrition, and hygiene practices to ensure that economic gains are translated into better care for their children.
We focus on strengthening families’ ability to build a secure livelihood both on and off farm business enterprises in order to gain more nutritious food and a regular income to meet their children’s basic needs. Disasters often push families backward so we encourage them to build resilience by saving and managing water and natural resources more effectively.
Savings for Transformation (S4T) is an approach being used by over six million active participants, many of whom are women, to facilitate savings and credit in a small-scale and sustainable way. S4T instils hope and contributes to child well-being by enabling community members to plan ahead, cope with household emergencies, develop their livelihoods and invest in the health and education of their children.
We work with community members to develop relevant skills for them to bring into the workplace. This not only provides a potential and sustainable livelihood for the future but also instils hope and aspirations for a better life. Our microfinance arm, VisionFund, works with potential employers by providing small loans to promote market and employment opportunities.