World Vision Hong Kong Sponsorship Outcomes in Albania

World Vision is aware of the online conversation about a Hong Kong child sponsor’s interaction with an Albanian youth, a sponsored child who is graduating from the programme. We are grateful to the sponsor, and so many like him, for their commitment to children and youth, and their long-standing support of the communities in which they live. 

We have been working in this sponsored youth’s community since 2009. Since then, 6,111 children in 31 villages have benefitted directly from sponsorship programming. In 2021, our programmes for economic empowerment, child protection and development, and inclusive education directly benefitted 8,190 community members. 

The youth’s village has a population of 2,400, of which 146 are participants in our child sponsorship programme. His family makes a living through smallholder farming and seasonal work, and the family has benefitted from direct World Vision interventions including an irrigation pump, 150 kilograms of fertilizers to improve their farm’s productivity, 36 chickens to feed the family and to add to income through sale of eggs and chicks, digital equipment (a tablet), and food, cleaning and PPE supplies to help them through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Every year, we also support the school where he studied. We provide teaching material, stationery and sports equipment and help organize holiday celebrations, summer activities and other events that encourage children to participate in the school community – a need the community itself has identified. We also provide books for the school library. And we constructed a playground and an outdoor sports facility for football games as well as designing and setting up well-resourced, multipurpose classrooms. 

World Vision’s sponsorship model helps to change children’s lives by addressing the needs of the community that they identify in discussions with us. We do not send donations directly to individual children but pool them for projects that benefit the whole community, including each child. This way, the improvements made in the community endure in the longer term. 

Our field offices achieve minimal overhead costs, largely toward the salaries of local nationals (not expatriates), which contributes to the local economy and the community’s livelihood skillset. Globally, in the 2020 financial year, the proportion of revenue spent on programming work with a direct impact on vulnerable children’s lives was 87%. We have established policies, procedures and processes to help ensure standards of excellence in our work serving children and families and World Vision conducts regular audits of field programmes and the performance of our field offices.  

We make every effort to give children the best start possible by coming alongside their families and communities. The children themselves are responsible for the choices they make, particularly as they graduate and become adults.  

World Vision provides various means for sponsors and sponsored children to communicate, and even organises visits to the child’s community for some sponsors. For child protection and privacy reasons, we ask sponsors and children to correspond only through World Vision’s established channels. Our staff review all correspondence. This also helps to prevent any inappropriate solicitation of funds. 

As soon as we learned of the post, we immediately investigated the complaint. Our staff in Albania have contacted the family of the sponsored youth. Our Hong Kong office will continue to enhance communication between all sponsors and the children they support. 

World Vision began working in Albania in 1999 as a response to the Kosovo refugee crisis. Since then, we have shifted our focus toward long-term development and support for the most vulnerable children and communities in the areas where we work.