The work we do has a deep and lasting impact on children’s lives thanks to our amazing supporters worldwide. Here are just a few of the incredible success stories we’ve been a part of.
Lives transformed forever - after natural disasters, poverty and abuse
Children caught in emergencies
Arsenij and Victoria's story
In Bucharest, Romania, Ukrainian refugee families can choose food, clothing and other necessities at a repurposed centre, where World Vision provides food, hygiene items, baby supplies and more.
Victoria and her son Arsenij, 10, went to the centre. She says they had been forced to flee Odesa, Ukraine.
“It was a very difficult decision to leave our home, we had a regular life with jobs and our children were in school. But we had to leave because of the growing danger. There were warships off the coast of Odesa and military planes and drones were flying over the city. We could hear bombs and explosions near our home, the children were very afraid. We had to leave my husband behind. We got on a bus and travelled to the border. There was a large crowd of people trying to cross. We had to wait in a line for more than 12 hours.”
Victoria came to the RomExpo with her older son to receive a food parcel, as well as clothing and toys for her children. She says she has been able to continue working remotely. “The centre is so helpful to us, we came in the winter and the children need clothes for warmer weather. I’m also here to get toys for my younger son, we couldn’t bring any with us. The food is also very helpful.”
Children living in extreme poverty
Just a few years ago, eight-year-old Chileleko and her family, from Zambia, were barely surviving.
"We couldn't afford to eat more than one meal a day,” shares mum Vivienne. “The daily income we earned from odd jobs was insufficient to provide us with a decent meal." There were days when Chileleko’s parents didn’t eat. With seven children to care for, the little income they had wouldn’t stretch far enough to feed everyone. Some days dinner was wild fruits and unknown leafy green plants, which they hoped and prayed wouldn’t make them ill. Additionally, the children were often sent home from school when the fees were unpaid.
Today, things couldn’t be much more different, thanks to World Vision training and the gift of some goats. The goats multiplied and the couple decided to sell some in order to purchase farming materials. They began growing vegetables in their garden – cabbages, tomatoes and onions. And they used goat manure to fertilise the soil.
“Unlike in the past when we would go to the bush to look for food, nowadays I just walk to my garden and pick any vegetables I want,” Vivienne explains.
A few years ago, she joined a savings group in her community. Today, she is helping other members understand the importance of saving. She has also been able to purchase land, build and rent out a house, and buy cows. And she has given some of her goats to another family, whose story has been similarly transformative.
“Our lives have changed,” shares dad Martin. “We are here now because of World Vision and the goats we received. My children are in school. We have enough food and we now have livestock that has continued to generate income for us.”
Today, they own 70 goats, 43 chickens and 15 cows. They never have to miss a meal or forage in the wild for food. Vivienne smiles, "Worry about almost everything is now a thing of the past…we have food, we have more livestock and we have proper access to education.”
Children facing abuse and exploitation
After being abducted, Grace* and others were forced to walk for days without rest. “[It] was a horrifying experience. We [were] forced to attack and rob, trained to … shoot people without thinking twice, for self-defence.”
After a year of living in the bush, Grace, from South Sudan, managed to escape home, though she lived in hiding for a year, afraid of being abducted again. A peace deal with the government and armed groups gave her “the courage to come out of hiding”. Clothes and dignity kits were provided for children like Grace through a centre managed by World Vision and state authorities. Children were able to start healing with psychosocial support and hospital referrals. But Grace’s trauma continued through nightmares. “Dead people [were] attacking me. I would wake up in the middle of the night screaming.”
Thankfully, Grace’s social worker, “helped me regain my sanity. Slowly, the nightmares stopped. I was then enrolled in tailoring training.”
World Vision provided Grace with a start-up tailoring kit. “[Now] I am stronger and have recovered. I am happily married with two lovely children. My husband operates a motorbike to earn income and supports my tailoring business. I am forever grateful to World Vision and other partners who supported us through that tough journey of recovery.”
*Name changed to protect identity
Together we can transform the lives of the world's most vulnerable children - if you donate today.
Giving even a small amount can make a big difference. Not only will you show a child that someone cares about them, but together with other supporters, you can transform their future. Be part of our next series of charity success stories by helping to save and protect children living in danger.