Our story began in 1947 when Dr Bob Pierce, an American evangelist and war correspondent, took a life-changing trip to China and Korea. Amid the incredible poverty, one girl’s need tore at his heart.
She was called ‘White Jade’. Bob gave her guardian his last five dollars to support her upbringing and keep her enrolled in school. He sent another five dollars every month. But he wanted to do more.
In 1950, Bob set up World Vision to help children orphaned by the Korean War. Before long, World Vision supporters were sending money to care for children in need in other Asian countries, then in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Sponsors came from many new countries too, including Britain, with World Vision UK forming in 1982. Today, World Vision is a truly global partnership, present in nearly 100 countries.
Child sponsorship remains at the heart of World Vision, and the bond between sponsors and children is as strong as ever. But our approach has evolved. From focusing on individual children, we now work with whole communities to bring about long-term change for all, that lasts.
We address the root causes of poverty and use our global influence to ensure children are represented at every level of decision-making, becoming an influential voice on issues such as protecting children and child health.
We’re quick to respond to emergencies too. In 1984, a BBC film crew travelled with World Vision to a project in famine-struck Ethiopia, triggering huge publicity that helped save thousands of lives. When the Asian tsunami hit in 2004, World Vision’s local staff were on the scene within hours, beginning our biggest relief effort to date.
Bob Pierce’s faith inspired him to give one child a chance. Over more than six decades, World Vision has brought hope to many millions of children, reflecting God’s unconditional love. And our mission will continue as together, we build brighter futures for the most vulnerable of children.