Valentine's Day: The power of love
Give a meaningful gift this Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day. It’s been around for hundreds of years. A bit like Marmite: some love it, some hate it, but either way it’s here to stay.
Whether you go all in or all out, Valentine’s Day can be an opportunity to celebrate love in a meaningful way.
Love is a verb
We often think of love as just a feeling, but it’s so much more! Love causes us to act. It can inspire us to be creative, brave, compassionate… and maybe sometimes a little bit crazy. Ultimately, when you love someone, it shows!
The language of love
No, we’re not talking Shakespeare. There are said to be five love languages that people use to communicate their feelings. These are: words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving, quality time, and physical touch.
Why is this important? Well, in a relationship, chances are your other half is going to have a different love language to you. An expensive gift might not go down as well as asking how their day went, while a kiss and a hug might be preferable to a compliment about their cooking.
Looking for something a little bit different for your loved one? Check out our Valentine’s Must Have Gifts gifts catalogue to find the perfect gift for your loved one...
Our love language
At World Vision, our love language could be defined as acts of service. We exist to help the most vulnerable children overcome poverty and experience fullness of life. We do this in many ways, from providing food, clean water and other essentials during conflict or disaster to investing long-term in communities.
Abdul* is a good example of how love can make a tangible difference.
His hearing impairment was discovered when he was two, but because his family lived in displacement camps in Syria, they couldn’t get him the help he needed.
“We were displaced from the village of Kafr Nabudah three years ago, after suffering from continuous heavy shelling,” Abdul’s mother recalls. “I feared for my children that we may die.”
Because they were moving from camp to camp, Abdul’s parents were unable to get him help from a medical professional.
“Abdul’s hearing began to deteriorate gradually,” shares his mother, “affecting his speech capacity and having difficulty pronouncing some words and letters.”
Isolated and alone
By age six, Abdul had barely left his mother’s side. He spent most of his early years isolated and alone, afraid to experience a world he couldn’t hear. Other children would bully him and call him names like "The Deaf”, making him feel sad and ashamed. Because of this, school didn’t seem to be an option and his parents feared he’d never be able to live independently.
“I could barely imagine him growing up and going out into the world,” says his mother. “I just couldn’t see him colliding with the reality and the cruelty of life.”
When Abdul and his family were forced to move to another camp. it turned out to be a blessing because it led them to receive medical help.
A neighbour, who had attended the Parenting Skills Programme held by World Vision, told Abdul’s mother about the Bakri Ahla Centre. Established by World Vision partners, the centre provides a safe space for women and children. It offers social and protection services to children who need help.
“You can’t imagine the joy I felt when I heard that my son would get help too,” shares Abdul’s mother after discovering the centre and learning that there was help for her son.
The World Vision team, along with Syria Relief Development, began assessing Abdul’s needs. He received a medical examination, and it was discovered that in addition to his hearing impairment he had an underlying condition that meant he was not growing at a normal rate. He was immediately put on a special diet to help him gain weight and maintain health.
Abdul has also been included in the child friendly spaces and has participated in several activities that have helped him develop his social and interpersonal skills. Slowly, he has begun making new friends, playing and feeling part of the group.
The case management team conducted several follow-up visits at home and by phone to find out how Abdul was adjusting to his new life. With his new hearing device and loving support, Abdul has started to make friends, go to school and learn like all the other children.
The power of love
Abdul’s story is the perfect example of the difference love makes. He, and so many other children experiencing extreme hardship across the world, is why World Vision exists.
Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you get a gift that speaks your language and brings you joy.
*Name changed to protect child’s identity