World Vision staff as hidden heros around the world

Hidden heroes, the foundation upon which World Vision's work is built

Ordinary people have been behind all of World Vision’s work over the last 70 years. We acknowledge these hidden heroes who have risen to meet the most critical challenges of every era.

From responding to HIV and AIDS crisis to taking crucial action in the Ethiopian famine to carrying out vital work in the Syria refugee crisis, hidden heroes have said ‘yes’ to making an impact on the lives of others.

Today, we face a new challenge, a crisis of global proportions. Across the headlines, the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the lives and futures of nations, communities, and families.

But behind the scenes, heroes are springing into action, lending a hand and raising their voice. One hidden hero is 9-year-old Lina in Colombia. Like many children, her daily routine of school, playing with friends and going outside has been completely disrupted because of COVID-19.

“I’ve been at home for more than a month without being able to go out. It’s difficult, because I just can’t see the outside through the window and the internet. Sometimes I feel very bored, but I do what I can to distract myself at home,” she said.

She constantly reminds her family, who must leave the house daily to work, thereby placing themselves at risk of infection, to take care of themselves.

Lina is also putting her talents to good use. The aspiring singer is also raising her voice to inspire people, including World Vision staff, who are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Lina has been singing out prayers for those who cannot stay home because they are instead on the frontlines of our response to the pandemic.

“These are hard times and they need support,” Lina said.

“I want people to have faith and hope. We’re going to overcome this together.”

Lilian, a committed national director in Africa, is another one of our heroes. Having worked in the international development field for more that 15 years, she is unable to turn her back on people in need. So she is working from home, ensuring the organisation meets the most urgent needs of families affected by the virus, all while continuing to help her own children who are learning from home. Not only her work ethic inspires her fellow employees, but so do her words of support and encouragement.

“Supporting, encouraging and inspiring an organisation’s most critical resource – its employees – especially during a time of crisis or uncertainty, is critical and cannot be overemphasised. We are going through unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to keep hope alive,” said the mother-of-four.

“The triple impact of COVID-19, locusts and floods on families, and especially the most vulnerable, in unimaginable. What motivates me to continue working during this difficult time is my love for children, for World Vision and what is stands for, and my firm belief that I am part of God’s bigger plan for His ministry in Kenya.”

Lilian takes time to send an encouraging message to other humanitarian workers around the world to help them remain strong while working in the face of the crisis.

No matter how difficult things get, true heroes always find a way to make a difference. Zhaolan is a World Vision staffer in rural China, is one of them. 

Her life has changed dramatically due to the unexpected outbreak since the beginning of the year.

"Both work and life have become inconvenient once we tried to stay at home and avoid gathering, which makes it hard to carry out work in the countryside," she said.

Although unable to leave her house due to restrictions on movement, she has continued to work tirelessly to help disadvantaged rural families protect themselves from Coronavirus. She has been resourceful - using whatever tools she had at her disposal to help fight the Coronavirus pandemic. During the height of China’s outbreak, when misinformation was rife and leading to deaths, she connected with young people in rural communities via Wechat to educate them about how to prevent COVID-19 infections. She ensured the youth passed this knowledge onto vulnerable community members, such as the elderly. As a result, she has helped share this important knowledge with more than 1,000 villagers at a critical time in China.

These women are ordinary people demonstrating courage and replacing fear with hope. And you can do it too.

Let’s come together to spread that hope. Take action on today’s most relevant issues like COVID-19 by learning about World Vision’s response and joining our hidden hero movement today.