History of World Vision

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World Vision International
Founder Bob Pierce
Type Non-Government Organisation
Founded 1950
Headquarters Monrovia, CA - U.S.(Partnership Office/Global Centre), Federal Way, WA - U.S.(US Headquarters), Geneva - Switzerland (International Liaison), Nairobi - Kenya (Africa Region), Nicosia - Cyprus (Middle East and Eastern Europe Region), Bangakok - Thailand (Asia Pacific Region), San José - Costa Rica (Latin America and Caribbean Region)
Key people Denis St. Armour (Chairperson Int'l Board), Dr. Dean R. Hirsch (President)
Area served 97 countries
Focus Well being of all people, especially children.
Method Transformational Development through emergency relief, community development and policy and advocacy
Revenue USD $2.6 billion (2007)
Employees 26,000 (2006)
Slogan Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness; Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.
Website www.worldvision.org www.wvi.org


World Vision, founded in the United States in 1950, is an international Christian relief and development organization whose stated goal is "working for the well being of all people, especially children." Working on six continents, World Vision is one of the largest Christian relief and development organisations in the world with a $2.6 billion budget (2007).



World Vision was founded in 1950 by Dr. Bob Pierce, a young pastor and missionary, who had first been sent to China and South Korea in 1947 by the Youth for Christ missionary organization. Pierce remained at the head of World Vision for nearly two decades, but resigned from the organization in 1967. Pierce also founded the evangelical organization Samaritan's Purse.

World Vision began caring for orphans and other children in need first in South Korea, then expanding throughout Asia and, eventually, in more than 90 countries, embracing larger issues of community development and advocacy for the poor as part of its basic mission to help children and their families build a sustainable future.


Organizational structure

World Vision International operates as a federation of interdependent national offices, each overseen by their own boards or advisory councils. A common mission statement and shared core values bind the partnership offices and members together. Each national partner abides by common policies and standards and holds each other accountable through an ongoing system of peer review.

The partnership offices – located in Geneva, Bangkok, Nairobi, Cyprus, Los Angeles, and San José, Costa Rica – coordinate strategic operations of the organization and represent World Vision in the international arena. Each national office, whether in the developed or developing world, enjoys an equal voice in the organization's governance of world vision.

An international board of directors oversees the World Vision partnership. The full board meets twice a year to appoint senior officers, approve strategic plans and budgets, and determine international policy. The current chairperson of the international board is Denis St. Armour of Canada. The international president is Dr. Dean R Hirsch



According to World Vision's 2006 Consolidated Financial Statements, around 40% of their revenue comes from private sources, including individuals, World Vision clubs in schools, corporations and foundations. 27% comes from governments and multilateral aid agencies such as USAID. 30% comes from other World Vision programs and nonprofit organizations as Gift in Kind. Aside from cash contributions, World Vision accepts gifts in kind, typically food commodities, medicine, and clothing donated through corporations and government agencies.

Approximately half of World Vision's programs are funded through child sponsorship. Individuals, families, churches, schools, and other groups sponsor specific children or specific community projects in their own country or abroad. Sponsors send funds each month to provide support for the sponsored children or projects.

World Vision Famine events like the 30 Hour Famine and 40 Hour Famine also help to raise money for impoverished countries. Typically, a group signs up to organize such an event, and then spends the next 30 or 40 hours abstaining from food, technology or other things that are taken for granted and increasing awareness about world hunger. Many schools and individuals are annually successful with this fundraising activity.

According to World Vision's annual report, in 2005, 87% of its funding was spent on programs, 8% on fundraising and 5% on management and general overhead. World Vision has announced a goal of reducing the fundraising and overhead costs from the current 13% to 10%.



World Vision aims to contribute to people’s needs in five major areas; emergency relief, education, health care, economic development, and promotion of justice. World Vision activities include transformational development, emergency relief, strategic initiatives, public awareness campaigns and promoting Christianity.

Transformational development occurs through focusing on improvement of children's lives. This process first helps people and their communities recognize the resources that lie within themselves to make change possible. With support from World Vision, communities transform themselves by carrying out their own development projects in health care, agriculture production, water projects, education, micro-enterprise development, advocacy and other community programs.

World Vision provides emergency relief to people whose lives are endangered by disasters or conflict and who need immediate, skilled assistance. World Vision attempts to respond to all major emergencies around the world themselves or in cooperation with their partner agencies. For example, World Vision has responded to famine in Ethiopia and North Korea, hurricanes in Central America, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean nations, earthquakes in El Salvador, India, Taiwan and Turkey, and war refugees in Kosovo, Chechnya, Sierra Leone, Angola, and East Timor.

World Vision also addresses the complex, systematic factors that perpetuate poverty by promoting justice. World Vision supports community awareness of the collective ability to address unjust practices and begin working for change. World Vision speaks out on issues such as child labor, debt relief for poor nations, and the use of children as combatants in armed conflict. World Vision International has endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child as fundamental expressions of the freedoms and responsibilities that should exist in every country. World Vision fosters opportunities to help reduce conflict levels and to contribute to the peaceful resolution of hostilities and reconciliation of disputes.

As a Christian organization, World Vision participates in strategic initiatives with Christian leaders and lay people of all denominations through conferences, consultations, training programmes and various educational opportunities. World Vision is an ecumenical organization willing to partner with all Christian churches. Yet, World Vision is respectful of other faiths.

World Vision encourages public awareness about the needs of others, the causes of poverty, and the nature of compassionate response. These efforts include collaboration with media and community participation in fundraising. In all its communications, World Vision upholds the dignity of suffering children and families in presenting explanations of the causes and consequences of poverty, war, neglect, and abuse.

World Vision believes witnessing from Christ is a fundamental part of their relief work. The organization believes that God, in the person of Jesus, offers hope of renewal, restoration, and reconciliation. World Vision seeks to express this message through "life, deed, word, and sign". World Vision's programs and services are provided without regard to race, ethnic origin, gender, or religion.

World Vision offices often hire non-Christian staff, and in some countries the majority of staff may be people of other faiths who are sympathetic to World Vision's ethos and objectives. However, in the US all staff are required to sign a statement affirming their belief in Jesus Christ and background checks are often made with a candidate's pastor or priest.




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