A young woman stands in shadows, peering out from around a brick wall
28 December 2021

2021 story roundup

A look back at our most inspiring and challenging stories of the year.

One for sorrow & hope

2021: it’s been quite a ride. After the coronavirus storm hit in 2020, many of us were hopeful that life would return to normal in 2021. It didn’t quite work out that way, starting with school closures and ending with a fresh wave of the Omicron variant.

But in amongst all that, there have been some moments of joy, triumphs of both science and humanity, as well as other challenges to overcome.

At World Vision we see the best and worst and, in that sense, this year was no different. Here’s a roundup of 2021 through the lens of an international children’s charity with some of our top stories of the year.

collage of photos of friends, including World Vision staffer Tabeth, with friends and family
Tabeth is grateful for the people around her

January: Gratitude

World Vision staffer, Tabeth, started off the year with her inspirational personal story. Despite experiencing a deep loss, Tabeth’s faith has carried her through. Using that experience she had some words of wisdom for all of us as we navigate the strangeness, fear and grief of the pandemic.

Tabeth Phiri
I believe there’s always something to be thankful for, regardless of the situation – even when you can’t be thankful for the situation.

Tabeth Phiri

World Vision UK

Graphic including photo of a young Syrian woman with headscarf and face mask. Text over marks 10th anniversary of Syrian conflict.

March: Syrian crisis marks 10th anniversary

In March, women’s safety hit the headlines. In the UK, the shocking case of Sarah Everard sparked outrage and debate. Elsewhere, women who have fled violence in Syria, marked the tenth anniversary of the conflict.

We met Fatimah who was just 8 years old when the conflict began. Fleeing Syria for neighbouring Jordan, her family hoped to keep their daughter safe. But within a few years Fatimah’s father had died and she had been married – the safest survival strategy her family had.

Now 18 and a mother herself, Fatimah is finding ways to help other girls understand their rights, and how to keep themselves safe.

A young woman in work overalls and hardhat jumps for joy - blue sky and clouds behind her
Pauline is reaching for her dreams

May: A promising young woman

In May we spoke with another inspirational woman. Pauline is currently studying for her PhD at Coventry University. She hopes to one day put her learning to use helping to bring fresh water to remote communities in Kenya.

Growing up in one such village, Pauline wasn’t expected to complete school, let alone gain a doctorate. But through World Vision Child Sponsorship, and her own strength and determination, things changed.

A group of people hold placards and banners to demonstrate at the G7 conference
World Vision raised children's voices during the G7 in Cornwall

June: G7 and the world’s children

June saw the UK host world leaders at the G7 conference. As leaders gathered in Cornwall to discuss recovery from the pandemic, as well as ongoing challenges including conflict and climate change, World Vision made sure that the stories, voices and opinions of children directly affected were heard.

A young woman smiles for the camera
Student, Elin, found unexpected career inspiration over the summer

August: Career inspiration

In the summer, University of Warwick student, Elin, took on a work placement with World Vision. She discovered that working for an international development agency isn’t just a job – it’s a calling. Elin shared how she was inspired by the impact that projects are having on the lives of real children, right now.

3 World Vision staff, with orange World Vision t-shirts and umbrella, at the COP26 conference in Glasgow
World Vision staff at COP26 in Glasgow

November: COP26 and children

Another season, another global leadership conference. As world leaders arrived in Glasgow for 2021’s COP26 climate change conference, we were there. The effects of climate change are disproportionately damaging the lives and futures of children living in lower income countries. This despite the fact that they hardly contribute to causing the issue.

Find out how climate change is affecting children, what you can do to make a difference and what World Vision did at COP26.

A woman, with blue headscarf, holds a toddler, wearing yellow
World Vision Afghanistan's National Director, Asuntha Charles, plays with an Afghan toddler

December: Afghanistan hunger crisis

Over the summer, Afghanistan faced massive political and social upheaval. The country was already in the grip of drought and food shortage. So, as winter approached, more than 8 million people were on the brink of famine in Afghanistan as drought, conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic caused a catastrophic rise in hunger.

As part of the DEC (the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee) we launched an emergency appeal to help families facing a winter without food. And while this reality is stark and scary, the generosity that the UK public have shown will help so many families.

Hope in 2022

As we move into 2022, this generosity is a cause for hope and a reason to, again, start a new year with gratitude.

So, we send our sincerest thanks to everyone who has donated, prayed and taken action this year, walking alongside children and families who are going through the most difficult of circumstances. World Vision is blessed to have such wonderful community of supporters.

Thank you for everything you’ve made possible in 2021.
Let’s continue to work together to see communities create hope and a future for all their children.

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