Hey friends, today’s post is near to my heart and I’ve been looking forward to sharing this with you for a while now. I realize that this post is a longer read, but please stay with me today.
I’m headed to Ecuador with World Vision this week to experience their new Chosen program and I’m near tears just thinking about it. The best part about it is that you can be there with me via this awesome internet. We’re going to work together to help as many families as we possibly can.
Join me in being chosen and find out how you can open a child’s eyes to their value and purpose. Read the post and watch the video below to see how World Vision has transformed sponsorship.
Are you familiar with World Vision? They are a humanitarian organization helping children, families, and their communities overcome poverty and injustice for almost 70 years.
I remember the first time I heard of World Vision as a teenager. I was heartbroken imagining all the families who didn’t have enough food to eat and even on my rather small part-time income, I decided then to start donating just a little portion of my paycheck towards sponsoring a child.
(Side note – I am beyond thrilled to share with you the changes World Vision is making to benefit the whole community in these vulnerable areas and not just the sponsored child and/or their family.)
As you know, I grew up in a large family and my family was often blessed by charity food gifts. I didn’t grow up eating the kind of recipes that I share here on this website.
I learned a lot from countless meals of plain beans and rice. More than anything else, I learned to be actively grateful for every single thing in my life. And though I grew up poor by some American standards, I was richly blessed and I never went to bed hungry.
Today, I’m passionate about feeding the hungry and Barefeet In The Kitchen partners with Feeding America to help make sure that food pantries around the United States are stocked with food for those who otherwise might not be able to feed their families.
I feel deeply honored to be partnering with World Vision as well now to help families around the world. And this is where our awesome community comes together to help as many children as we possibly can.
World Vision partners with communities around the world to develop programs at the community level.
Most of their aid is focused directly on helping the community whether that’s through a clean water program, farming, building schools for the children, or any number of different ways the community can benefit as a whole.
The children and families selected to be part of World Vision’s programs are chosen based on their vulnerability. Vulnerable children are nominated by their community for the child sponsorship program. Each child is matched with only one sponsor.
The mission is to reach the most vulnerable, so that is the primary criteria. Once children are registered for the sponsorship program, they begin benefiting from World Vision’s work right away, regardless of when they may get sponsored.
So, if they’re already benefitting, you may be wondering what makes being a sponsored child unique? A big part of that comes down to the relationship they build with their sponsor.
As a sponsor, you’re able to write/email with them, send small packages, pray for them, and make extra financial gifts that do contribute directly to that child’s and family’s specific needs.
There is huge power in knowing that someone loves and believes in you.
World Vision’s Chosen Program
In a dramatic change from the traditional sponsorship model where a sponsor might select a child from a list of photos, World Vision’s “Chosen” program is turning that around. The focus is still on that connection between child and sponsor, but for the first time now, it is more of a two-way street.
The power to choose a sponsor is now in the child’s hands.
Poverty steals choices from kids. It’s time to give those choices back. Empower a child to take hold of their future – starting with the chance to choose you as their sponsor.
When you decide to sponsor a child through World Vision today, you apply to the program and send in your own photo. As World Vision goes into an area, the children in the program are able to choose YOU.
The children and their families decide if they want to be sponsored AND by whom.
This is why I’m so excited. You can join World Vision (and me!) in empowering children living in poverty to take hold of their future, starting with the chance to choose YOU as their sponsor.
The first time I saw this video and witnessed the children choosing their people to be connected with, I was floored. It’s a significant change that puts the choice and the power behind it in the hands of the children. I’m not going to deny that I shed a lot of tears watching this.
Sign up now to be chosen by a child while we’re in Ecuador next week! The deadline to sign up for this choosing event is the 25th of September – sign up now so you can partner with me!
Join me in being #chosen and find out how you can open a child’s eyes to their value and purpose. Watch the video below to see how World Vision has transformed sponsorship.
How Does World Vision Work
When World Vision begins an Area Program, the first 1-2 years are spent creating a plan with the community leaders to address the needs that they identify within their community. The plan is to stay on the ground with the local community for about 15-20 years.
When World Vision steps away from that community, the goal is that the community will be able to own and maintain the development that has been accomplished.
Each sponsor’s monthly gifts don’t necessarily go directly to the child they sponsor, but rather to broader programs that will benefit both the child as well as their community.
Each country models this plan a little differently, but one example is the school that was built in Uganda last year. About half of the kids at that school were part of the sponsorship program, but every child attending that school was benefiting from the education programs World Vision had implemented.
Similarly, when a clean water well is built, the entire community, including the sponsored children, benefit from having clean water.
You can explore more about how World Vision works, the sponsorship model, what it means to be community-centric, and more HERE.
How Can We Help?
Today, we have an incredible opportunity to work together to sponsor as many children as we can. And I will be there in person in Ecuador when these children choose YOU as their sponsor.
For $39 a month, you can make an immediate difference in the life of a child.
Can you sponsor more than one child? Absolutely.
YOU can be chosen right now by these kids who need you so much and I am so very honored to be able to be there to see it happen.
Barefeet In The Kitchen will be matching sponsorships for the first 5 readers who apply to sponsor children today. My kids and I will be the ones writing letters, sending small gifts, and praying for the children sponsored through Barefeet In The Kitchen.
Please join me in praying for the children and for their sponsors, in addition to following along as I visit Ecuador next week. I’ll be sharing more here on the website, as well as on Instagram and Facebook every day.
Here are a few questions I asked World Vision that you might also be asking:
World Vision is at its core a Christian humanitarian organization. Is being or becoming a Christian required in order to receive help?
No. We are a signatory to the International Red Cross Code of Conduct, which includes the imperative that ‘aid is given regardless of the race, creed or nationality of the recipients and without adverse distinction of any kind. Aid priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone.’
While the majority of our staff are Christian, our policy states that we will not select partners or children on this basis, nor insist on the delivery of Christian messaging, nor use aid to induce a person to change religion. We are inspired by Christian values and seek for our work to be our testimony to the example of Jesus Christ.
Is evangelism a part of World Vision’s projects?
No. World Vision does not proselytize. The organization does not demand that people hear any religious message or convert to Christianity before, during or after receiving assistance.
Educational activities based on Christian values may occasionally be included in World Vision projects if appropriate and desired by the community. However, World Vision respects the religious beliefs and practices in countries where it operates and seeks mutual understanding with people of all faiths.
Whenever appropriate, World Vision works in partnership with local churches and other faith-based organizations in an effort to work inclusively and collaboratively within existing community structures. Our focus is to respond to human needs, and our compassion and professionalism reflect our faith.”
When was the model changed from sending money directly to the children’s family?
A few decades ago, the former model where a donor’s gift went directly to a child was found to lead to a few problems. First was that it led to jealousy between people who were or were not in the program, sometimes even siblings. And second, once a program ended, people sometimes found themselves back where they’d started because the community was not empowered to continue that progress.
Experience something that’s never been done before. Through World Visions’s Chosen Program, kids have the power to choose their own sponsor — and one of them can be you! Sign up to be #chosen.
I am excited to be partnering with World Vision for today’s post. World Vision is bringing me to Ecuador to work with them on spreading the news about the #Chosen program, but I am not being compensated for this post or my time. All opinions in this post are my own, but the photos here are provided by World Vision ©2019. You can follow along on my trip day-by-day on Instagram and Facebook and I’ll be back here to share more of my photos from the experience.