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13 September 2017

Member of the month: World Vision

Member of the month: World Vision

Rosemary and Tassy with World Vision Zambia staff member Agatha Mali

We catch up with Alliance member World Vision to find out more about how they're supporting children around the world to bring hope to the hardest places...

What does World Vision do and why?

World Vision was founded more than 65 years ago on the words of a simple but powerful prayer by missionary Bob Pearce: "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." Today, World Vision is the world's largest international children's charity, working to bring real hope to millions of children in the world's hardest places. And we do it all as a sign of God's unconditional love.

We see that poverty, conflict and disaster leave millions of children living in fear. Fear of hunger and disease. Fear of violence, conflict and exploitation. Fear that robs them of a childhood. And we know that as Christians, we are called to bring hope where there is fear, light where there is darkness. So our local staff work in thousands of communities across the world to free children from fear. They live and work alongside them, their families and communities to help change the world they live in for good.

Tell us about some of the projects World Vision are working on at the moment.

We're a very busy organisation – involved in many different projects in 100 countries around the world – from child sponsorship to conflict and humanitarian relief to development, food aid in refugee camps such as Bidi Bidi in northern Uganda, education, sanitation and gender equality. But everything we do is focused on improving the lives of the children we serve. Globally, World Vision is embarking on a bold new 15-year strategy called Our Promise 2030: Building Brighter Futures for Vulnerable Children. Since 1950 we have contributed to the well-being of millions of children by adapting to meet the needs that we have encountered. Now poverty is changing and being pushed into some of the hardest to reach places; the most fragile and unstable. We are working to change how we respond to these needs if we are to change the world for the most vulnerable children.

Closer to home, we are passionate about equipping the UK Church in its mission. One of the ways we are doing this is through Pumpkin Heroes – a resource for church and youth leaders – to enable children aged four to 10 in their churches to create a hope-filled Halloween while also thinking about the world's most vulnerable children. Pumpkin Heroes is a free pack of easy-to-use resources that help you have some hero-hunting, craft-making, Bible-reading, game-playing pumpkin fun with kids in your church.

What are some of the biggest challenges World Vision faces?

Sadly, the world is full of conflict and humanitarian disasters and where those take place there are millions of children whose lives are affected. Being able to make a real and lasting difference while keeping alert to the new crises that spring up means that we have to be wise in our approach and also wise stewards of the generous giving of our supporters. Our daily work in communities across the world tell us that the need is very great and that as Christians we are called to be generous, not looking out for our own interests, but to those of people who are in need.

Why is the World Vision a member of the Evangelical Alliance?

We believe that the Church is the greatest force for good in the world and that we play just a small part in that. We feel we're called to be very much part of Christ's body here in the UK and one of the best illustrations of the unity to which we're called is through being a part of the Evangelical Alliance.

How can Christians around the UK be supporting World Vision?

We would love you to pray for our work because at the heart of our theory of change is the idea that we are totally dependent on God and that prayer changes things.

But there are a number of other ways you could support us. Our worldwide presence means we're quick to respond to emergencies like conflict and natural disasters. At the moment, you can give to our appeals for Hurricane Irma and for the East Africa Hunger crisis where more than 25 million people are in need of food and humanitarian assistance, and around 3.5 million children are malnourished.

We believe that when we transform the lives of the children we serve, we ourselves are also transformed. We have seen thousands of people in the UK transformed through becoming child sponsors, beginning a lasting friendship with a child in need, sharing their love and encouragement as they watch them grow, and playing a special part in their childhood. As you exchange cards, letters and photos over the years, they will begin to feel like part of your family. You'll celebrate birthdays, Christmas and big milestones like finishing school, with them. If you'd like to change a child's live, then we'd love you to consider becoming a child sponsor today.

If your church would like to hear more about how you can partner with World Vision, please email  info@eauk.org