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Ugandan refugees, mother and son smiling

International Day of Charity 2022

We transform children’s lives by tackling the root causes of poverty

It’s International Day of Charity on 5 September, a perfect opportunity to reflect on our social responsibility to protect the most vulnerable.

Did you know? The date of 5 September was chosen by the United Nations to commemorate the death of Mother Teresa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

What does World Vision do?

For more than 70 years, World Vision has been committed to protecting and caring for children living in the world's hardest places. We believe that every child deserves life in all its fullness.

To help children, we listen to communities to identify and set their own goals for transformation. Through empowering children and their communities, the changes we make together last.

Too many children live in poverty across the world

We work with the most vulnerable children, even in the most dangerous places, to help them overcome poverty.

Children like Joel, who was nine when World Vision met him in Uganda.

Ugandan mother looking at son's leg
Joel and mum looking at healed leg

Joel’s leg had developed a small wound that kept getting bigger, making part of his leg swell. His mother, Margret, mistook it for a minor skin injury that would heal over time. “Joel’s misery coincided with everyone’s suffering in South Sudan,” says Margret. “The leg gave him sleepless nights as the civil war that displaced thousands of us intensified. As everyone fled for safety, my brother-in-law helped to push my son on a bicycle for two days to the Uganda border.

“Every day, the leg could swell bigger and bigger,” says Margret. “I was given a letter for free medical treatment, but because of the emergency situation, we never settled in one place to allow the leg to heal. He could not play; neither could he go to school. All my attention was on him.”

Worried my son would die

At the refugee reception centre Joel was registered as a child-at-risk who needed urgent medical attention. Margret began to hope when they were referred to a medical partner for support.

The support did not come through as timely as I had anticipated,” says the single mother. “Joel’s condition started worsening. I felt helpless. I had no money to seek proper treatment. I got worried that my son would die.”

She tried local herbs but there was no change. Joel’s skin started rotting away. During a field monitoring visit, a World Vision staff member saw Joel and brought the case to the attention of health partners working in the settlement.

I met an angel in a World Vision staff [person] - Margret

“I met an angel in a World Vision staff [person] called Lawrence,” says Margret. “Lawrence acted so fast and supported me. He never rested until Joel got treatment. He found us when we had covered the exposed bone with a piece of cloth.”

Lawrence worked with the family on their recovery journey for about 10 months, when Joel fully recovered.

“When I saw Joel in pain, I cried. He was in excruciating pain,” says Lawrence. “I talked to my supervisor, and he allowed me to dedicate time to support Joel [to] find specialised treatment. After several tests, the doctors found out that he had … a severe, persistent, and sometimes incapacitating infection of bone and bone marrow. He was operated on and that marked the beginning of his recovery journey.”

Uganda refugees mother and son holding a goat
Joel and mum, Margret, holding a goat

Joel can play football 

Lawrence did not stop there. He initiated the process of having a Child Friendly Space near Joel’s home because the village didn’t have one. This meant that Joel could play with other children in the local area. 

Lawrence adds, “I was happy because he was going to play and [have] fun, something the wound had robbed him of for long. When his leg fully recovered, he [was able] to play at the centre just adjacent to his home.” 

Margret says that when she saw her son play again, she could not hold back her tears.  

“I couldn’t believe it. My mind raced back to the rotting skin, the pain and the walking stick he used to move.”  

Although Joel moves with a limp that may be permanent, he can walk again. Joel says that Lawrence is his hero and contributes his walking again to him. “He saved me. I can’t thank him enough. He enabled me to join school again, play football and visit my friends.” 

Every 60 seconds … a family receives the tools to overcome poverty.

Joel is one of millions of children that World Vision has impacted by tackling the root causes of poverty using different interventions, like food assistance, child protection services, livelihoods support, and water and sanitation (WASH).   

World Vision also boosted the livelihood of Joel’s family with cash grants. Margret was given a grant to meet the basic needs of Joel and his siblings, and money to start a business.  

I bought two goats and used the rest of the money to hire land in the host community for farming,” Margret says. “The garden has turned my life around. We can’t go hungry. Even with the reduction in the food ration, we have enough food.” 

When schools closed due to the pandemic, Joel joined his mother in digging to increase food production. “The garden keeps me busy as we wait for schools to open. We have enough food at home, and I enjoy eating vegetables.”  

World Vision equips communities so that progress made is sustained, and continued, long after we’ve left. With your help, we can provide families with long-term transformation.

Boy and goat in India
Balachandran delighted with his goat

I have World Vision family 

India is where Balachandran, 11, lives with his mum and younger brother. Being a single mother, Kalaiselvi takes care of her two children and her elderly parents. 

After his father left, Balachandran’s family were in deep trouble and distress. But with a little help from World Vision, the family now has hope. 

“Often I think that nobody is there to help our family then I realise that I have World Vision family,” says Kalaiselvi. 

It was a happy day when the family received two goats from World Vision, as well as chickens and a cow.  

The family can now generate income to live fulfilling lives. Looking after goats is also a source of joy for Balachandran. He says, “My goat is very naughty and funny, she tries to hit me often with her small horns, she comes and try to disturb me by scratching me when I sit.” 

World Vision has changed the lives of millions of children from various backgrounds to experience fullness of life. Your donations help us contribute to the well-being of children, especially the most vulnerable children and their communities. 

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