World Vision International

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For the television production company of the same name, see Worldvision Enterprises.
World Vision International
World Vision Logo.svg
Founded 1950 [1]
Founder Rev. Bob Pierce[1]
Type 501(c)(3) religious non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of California, US.[2][3]
Focus Well being of all people, especially children.
Location
  • Monrovia, California, US, 800 West Chestnut Avenue (administrative center, World Vision International Board)
Area served
97 countries
Method Transformational Development through emergency relief, community development and policy and advocacy
Key people
Kevin Jenkins (International President)
Josef Stiegler (Chairperson Int'l Board)
Revenue
US$2.79 billion (2011)
Employees
44,500 (2011)[4]
Slogan Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness; our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.
Website www.wvi.org

World Vision International is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization.[5][6] It was founded in 1950 by Robert Pierce as a service organization to meet the emergency needs of missionaries.[6] In 1975 development work was added to World Visions objectives.[6] It is active in more than 90 countries with a total revenue including grants, product and foreign donations of $2.79 billion (2011).[7]

History[edit]

Key dates of World Vision
1950 Reverend Robert Pierce forms World Vision.
1953 Pierce begins the World Vision sponsorship program with photographs of needy children.
1967 Pierce resigns from World Vision.
1970s World Vision's international structure is established.
1979 World Vision operates offices in 40 countries.
1989 World Vision operates offices in 55 countries.
1996 Dean Hirsch is appointed president.
1999 Richard Stearns is appointed US group president.
2004 After tripling during the previous eight years, World Vision's budget reaches $1.5 billion.
2007 World Vision ends its 57th year with 26,000 employees and a budget of $2.6 billion.
2010 Kevin Jenkins is appointed president.

Started in 1950 as World Vision Inc, the charity originally operated only in the United States but expanded to other countries in 1966.[8] World Vision International was founded in 1977 by Walter Stanley Mooneyham the then president of World Vision.[9][10] Today it is headquartered in Monrovia, California, in the same building as World Vision Inc. Mooneyham served as president of World Vision International until 1982 when he resigned after criticism within the International Board related to management style.[11]

In 1967, the Mission Advanced Research and Communication Center (MARC) was founded by Ed Dayton as a Division of World Vision International. It became the organizational backbone of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, collected and published data about "unreached people" and also published the "Mission Handbook: North American Protestant Ministries Overseas".[12]

During the 1970s, World Vision began training families to build small farms by teaching agricultural skills aiming to make lasting effects in the communities they were helping by promoting self-reliance.[13] The organization also began installing water pumps for clean water in communities which caused infant mortality rates to drop. Volunteers now use the fresh water to teach communities gardening and irrigation and promote good health.[13]

During the 1990s, World Vision International began focusing on the needs of children who had been orphaned in Uganda, Romania, and Somalia in response to AIDS, neglect, and civil war, respectively. They began educating other African communities on AIDS after realizing its impact. They also joined the United Nations peacekeeping efforts to help those affected by civil war. World Vision also started to openly promote the international ban on land mines.[13] In 1994 World Vision US moved to Washington State.[14]

According to Forbes Magazine, as of December 2014, World Vision is the 11th largest charity in the United States with total revenue of over 981 million dollars.[15]

Organizational structure[edit]

World Vision Partnership now operates as a federation of interdependent national offices governed by the same agreement but with three different levels of central control.

  1. National Offices- under strong central control by World Vision International, registered in the host country as a branch of the main organization.
  2. Intermediate Stage National Offices- with a separate board of directors
  3. Interdependently National Registered Offices- autonomous in internal decision but are expected to coordinate with World Vision International and are bound to the Covenant of Partnership.[16]

The Covenant of Partnership is a document that all national members of the World Vision Partnership have to sign. According to this document all national offices have to accept policies and decisions established by the International Board and must not establish an office or program outside their own national borders without the consent of World Vision International and the host country. Except for direct project founding, all funds intended for outside their national borders have to be remitted through World Vision International. The financial planning and budget principles adopted by the International Board have to be accepted as well as an examination of the financial affairs of the national offices by Partnership representatives.[17]

The president of World Vision International has a seat on all national offices with their own national board.

The partnership offices – located in Geneva, Bangkok, Nairobi, Cyprus, Los Angeles, and San José, Costa Rica – coordinate operations of the organization and represent World Vision in the international arena. For making large scale decisions, the international organization considers opinions from each national office, whether in the developed or developing world.

An international board of directors oversees the World Vision partnership. The full board meets twice a year to appoint senior officers, approve strategic plans and budgets, and determine international policy. The current chairperson of the international board is Denis St. Armour of Canada. The international president is Kevin J. Jenkins.[18][19]

Religion[edit]

World Vision staff come from a range of Christian denominations. Its staff includes members from Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Around the world staff include people from different religions or none. Staff participates in daily and weekly services. They stress that one can be a Christian in any culture. However, World Vision also respects other religions that they encounter, stating that "to promote a secular approach to life would be an insult to them".[20] Richard Stearns, president of World Vision US, stated that World Vision has a strict policy against proselytizing, which he describes as "...using any kind of coercion or inducement to listen to a religious message before helping someone".[21]

The World Vision Partnership and all its national members are committed to the concept of transformational development,[22] which is cast in a biblical framework and in which evangelization is an integral part of development work.[23]

Activities and philosophy[edit]

WV distributes removable toilets to schools during emergency response

Activities include: emergency relief, education, health care, economic development, and promotion of justice. The organization has consultative status with UNESCO and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO, and financial records reveal that it has funded evangelical activities all over the world.[24]

Its approach to aid is to first help people and their communities recognize the resources that lie within them. With support from World Vision, it claims communities transform themselves by carrying out their own development projects in health care, agriculture production, water projects, education, micro-enterprise development, advocacy and other community programs.

It also addresses factors that perpetuate poverty by what it describes as promoting justice. It supports community awareness of the collective ability to address unjust practices and begin working for change. It claims to speak out on issues such as child labor, debt relief for poor nations,[25] and the use of children as combatants in armed conflict. World Vision International has endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It claims to foster opportunities to help reduce conflict levels and to contribute to the peaceful resolution of hostilities and reconciliation of disputes.[26]

WV relief effort in disaster affected areas

World Vision encourages public awareness about the needs of others, the causes of poverty, and the nature of compassionate response.[27] These efforts include collaboration with media and community participation in fundraising.[28] In areas of the world that are considered too dangerous for news organizations to send their crews, World Vision’s own videographers supply newscasters with footage of events from these areas.[29] In its communications, the organization claims to uphold the dignity of children and families in presenting explanations of the causes and consequences of poverty, war, neglect, and abuse.[30]

The organization was one of the founding members of global IT nonprofit NetHope.[31] With more than 50 years of experience in India, World Vision India works in 24 states across the country through development that is community based, sustainable and transformational emergency response and disaster mitigation, advocacy initiatives that are grassroots based. World Vision India is a national NGO in partnership with a network of over 100 other entities within World Vision International. World Vision India is registered as a society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Act with its National Office based in Chennai. Governed by an autonomous Board of Directors, World Vision's programmes are facilitated by close to 1700 staff.

In 2015 World Vision took part in operations to bring earthquake relief to Nepal. [32]

Child sponsorship[edit]

World Vision runs a child sponsorship program which aims to help needy children, families and communities access clean drinking water, sanitation, education, skills for future livelihood, nutrition, health care and participate in an age-appropriate in development processes. World Vision operates on the theory that by changing the lives of children, the child sponsorship program facilitates overall growth and development in the community, as it helps communities to build a better future through empowerment, education, income generation, and self-sufficiency.[33]

Controversies[edit]

Child sponsorship[edit]

In a 2008 report on famine in Ethiopia, reporter Andrew Geoghegan, from Australian TV programme Foreign Correspondent, visited his 14-year-old sponsor child. The girl has "been part of a World Vision program all her life" yet says (in translated subtitle) "Until recently, I didn't know I had a sponsor." and when asked about her knowledge of World Vision sponsorship says "Last time they gave me this jacket and a pen." Geoghegan was disconcerted to find that despite being "told by World Vision that [the girl] was learning English at school, and was improving...she speaks no English at all".[34]

In response World Vision states that they take a "community approach" in which the money is not directly provided to the family of the sponsored child.[citation needed] It was stated that the 'direct benefit' approach would result in jealousy among other community members without children and would not work.[35]

Foreign Correspondent replied to World Vision concerning child sponsorship showing contradictions between the organization's literature that creates the impression that donated money goes directly to the sponsor child and evidence of cases where supposedly sponsored children received little if any benefit.[36]

In 1999 the academic journal, Development in Practice published an overview of World Vision's history focusing on the evolution of its global architecture. `Pursuing Partnership: World Vision and the Ideology of Development' was notable for being written by then World Vision staff person Alan Whaites, who went on to become a respected development political scientist. Whaites offered a picture of an organization that was often spurred to innovate and change as a result of internal reflection on external criticism.[37]

Local corruption[edit]

"In February 2007...World Vision received an anonymous tip that lower level World Vision Liberia employees in key positions...were diverting food deliveries and building supplies for personal gain. World Vision immediately launched an investigation into the allegations, sending auditors to [their] field sites. Through this extensive internal audit, World Vision uncovered the nature and extent of the alleged violations and furnished detailed documentation that assisted the U.S. Government’s subsequent investigation."[38]

On October 25, 2013 World Vision Malawi cancelled a visit and fact-finding trip by a dozen United States Christians from San Antonio, Texas. A fear of danger and instability resulted from the dismissal of World Vision Malawi staff due to corruption. At the same time, the Malawi government fired the president's cabinet because of corruption.

Political conflicts[edit]

In February 2012, based on information provided by the Israel Law Center, World Vision Australia allegedly provided "financial aid to a Gaza-based terrorist group", the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), which they also alleged is a "front for terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine". WV had "suspended its dealings" with UAWC until the outcome of the investigation.[39][40] WV resumed working with UAWC after AusAID and World Vision found the allegations were unfounded.[41] The Israel Law Center considers World Vision's response to be a whitewash and maintains that the allegations have not been refuted.[42]

Ian Buchanan, author of "Armies Of God: A Study In Militant Christianity", has claimed that World Vision is effectively an arm of the United States Department of State.[43]

On March 24, 2014, the United States branch of World Vision announced that it would no longer bar employees from being in same-sex marriages.[44] Facing protests from donors and the larger evangelical community after the announcement, World Vision reversed the policy change two days later.[45][46]

Evangelism[edit]

The political weekly Tehelka has cited World Vision India's involvement with AD2000 as proof of evangelism.[47] Radhakant Nayak, a leader of World Vision's local chapter in Orissa, was also accused by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh of being involved in the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda.[48][49] World Vision India condemned the murder and denied any involvement, pointing out its anti-proselytizing policy.[50] Valerie Tarico, a commentator on religious and social topics, points out that World Vision defines proselytism as "Proselytism takes place whenever assistance is offered on condition that people must listen or respond to a message or as an inducement to leave one and join another part of the Christian church." which does not in general exclude evangelism. Furthermore, she mentions the phrase "serving as a witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ" as part of World Vision's description of its mission and identifies the word "witness" as an evangelical code word for seeking converts.[51]

Notable affiliated persons[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Balmer, Randall (2002). "World Vision International". The Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Berkeley: Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-22409-1. 
  2. ^ Group exempt letters from IRS to World Vision International and World Vision, Inc. Feb. 13, 2009, (accessed on Aug. 11, 2011)
  3. ^ see also entry "World Vision International" in California Secretary of State Business Database
  4. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (February 28, 2010). "Learning From the Sin of Sodom". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Gary F. VanderPol: The Least of These: American Evangelical Parachurch Missions to the Poor, 1947–2005 Boston University School of Theology, 2010, (Dissertation)
  6. ^ a b c Hamilton, John Robert (1980). An Historical Study of Bob Pierce and World Vision's Development of the Evangelical Social Action Film (Dissertation). University of Southern California. 
  7. ^ Holtzman, Clay, World Vision donors dig deep, Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle), February 6, 2009
  8. ^ Graeme Irvine: "Best Things in the Worst Times: An Insiders View of World Vision" BookPartners, Inc. (1996) p. 77 ISBN 1-885221-37-1
  9. ^ "World Vision International : Company Content Page". Manta.com. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Ken Waters: "How World Vision Rose From Obscurity To Prominence: Television Fundraising 1972–1982" American Journalism, 15, Nr. 4, 69–93 (1998)
  12. ^ S.W. Haas: "MARC to Make Transition, Retain Its Mission" MARC Newsletter 03-4, World Vision Publications, Nov. 2003
  13. ^ a b c World Vision History, retrieved April 26, 2011
  14. ^ http://articles.latimes.com/1994-06-30/news/ga-10097_1_world-vision
  15. ^ http://www.forbes.com/companies/world-vision/
  16. ^ Karen Foreman: Evolving Global Structures and the Challenges Facing International Relief and Development Organizations. In: Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 28/4 (1999), S. 178–197
  17. ^ Appendix D, "A Covenant of Partnership" in Graeme Irvine: "Best Things in the Worst Times: An Insiders View of World Vision" BookPartners, Inc. (1996) ISBN 1-885221-37-1
  18. ^ "World Vision – Full 2008 Annual Financial Statement in PDF" (PDF). Retrieved September 3, 2009. 
  19. ^ "International: World Vision names new international president". April 8, 2009. Retrieved September 17, 2009. 
  20. ^ Tripp, Linda. "Gender and development from a Christian perspective: Experience from World Vision." Gender and Development 7.1 (1999): 62–64. Print.
  21. ^ Stearns, Richard. "World Vision CEO Richard Stearns Charts Course, Spirit For Nonprofit Sector ." Huffington Post Mar. 3, 2011: 1–2. Print.
  22. ^ "World Vision Mission Statement." In: Graeme Irvine: "Best Things in the Worst Times: An Insiders View of World Vision", BookPartners, Inc. (1996) ISBN 1-885221-37-1, Appendix C.
  23. ^ see e.g. Bryant L. Myer: "Walking with the Poor: Principles and Practice of Transformational Development" ISBN 1-57075-275-3 (1999)
  24. ^ "The People's Paper". Tehelka. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  25. ^ – Amnesty International News – Apr 2, 2009, G20 leaders urged to protect the poor, April 2, 2009
  26. ^ Amnesty International News – Oct 14, 2005 – Uganda: Former child soldiers excluded in adulthood, October 14, 2005, independent journalist Euan Denholm
  27. ^ Advocacy action center, World Vision, Retrieved July 21, 2009
  28. ^ – Amnesty International Press Center, Document of Public Statement Issued by CEOs of INGOs on the impact of the global economic downturn – October 2008, Authors: Irene Khan, Secretary General, Amnesty International, Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director, Oxfam International, Dr. Dean Hirsch, Chief Executive Officer, World Vision International, Tom Miller, Chief Executive Officer, PLAN International, Gerd Leipold, International Executive Director, Greenpeace, Dr Robert Glasser, Secretary General, CARE International
  29. ^ Shortal, Helen (April 1, 2001), "Showing the Way", AV Video Multimedia Producer: 67–69 
  30. ^ World Vision News – World Vision Houses 70,000 in Somalia In War Torn Area
  31. ^ "Mission". NetHope. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  32. ^ http://www.thenational.ae/uae/sheikh-mohammed-bin-rashid-orders-aid-flight-to-nepal
  33. ^ http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/article/20150128/NEWS/150126250
  34. ^ Geoghegan, Andrew "Ethiopia – The Endless Famine", Foreign Correspondent, November 25, 2008, series 18, episode 22, © 2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  35. ^ ABC Material's Foreign Correspondent, World Vision response to Foreign Correspondent story from Ethiopia), broadcast on November 25, 2008, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  36. ^ ABC Material's Foreign Correspondent, Foreign Correspondent story from Ethiopia broadcast, broadcast on November 25, 2008, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  37. ^ "Pursuing partnership: World Vision and the ideology of development - a case study". www.developmentinpractice.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  38. ^ World Vision, World Vision, World Vision statement regarding alleged fraud in Liberia
  39. ^ J. Paraszuk: "Australian groups accused of aiding PFLP-linked group" The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 17, 2012
  40. ^ Chip Le Grand: "World Vision to investigate terror link" The Australian, Feb.18, 2012
  41. ^ Chip Le Grand: "Vision back as AusAID dismisses 'terror' link" The Australian, March 2, 2012
  42. ^ "World Vision: Shurat HaDin responds". Jwire.com.au. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-09-01. 
  43. ^ Evangelical Christianity: Devils in high places, Sunday, Mar 27, 2011, Yogesh Puwar, Mumbai, DNA
  44. ^ "Is This the Future of Same-Sex Marriage for Evangelicals?". Aleteia. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  45. ^ "World Vision reverses decision to hire Christians in same-sex marriages". Fox News. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  46. ^ "World Vision Reverses Decision to Hire Christians in Same-Sex Marriages". Christianity Today. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  47. ^ VK Shashikumar '"Preparing for the harvest ..."' Tehelka, Vol 1, Issue 1, Feb 07, 2004
  48. ^ RSS wing blames Cong MP for triggering communal tension in Kandhamal, June 22, 2011, dailypioneer.com
  49. ^ Net closes in on Cong MP for Orissa swami’s murder, Debabrata Mohanty, Sat Dec 27, 2008, Bhubaneswar, indianexpress.com.
  50. ^ Statement by World Vision India on comments made by RSS Spokesperson on CNN-IBN – World Vision India, August 27, 2008.
  51. ^ Valerie Tarico: Many Don't Know of World Vision's Evangelical Mission. The World Post 12/03/2009
  52. ^ http://www.christiantoday.com.au/article/an.interview.with.hugh.jackman.world.vision.ambassador/9111.htm
  53. ^ http://sacramentopress.com/2013/02/17/kris-allen-comes-to-sacramento/
  54. ^ http://www.biography.com/people/alex-trebek-17119954
  55. ^ http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=98176f4f-86a5-4a2e-be94-2d5593baa3c1

Further reading[edit]

See also:

  • Katharina Hofer: Afrika im hektischen Missionsfieber. In: Deutscher Bundestag (Hrsg.), Das Parlament Nr. 10 vom 1. März 2004 (Online-Text).
  • Mark R. Amstutz / Andrew S. Natsios: Faith-Based NGOs and U.S. Foreign Policy, in: Elliott Abrams (Hg.): The influence of faith. Religious groups and U.S. foreign policy, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, Maryland 2001, S. 175-189 (Amstutz) / S. 189-200 (Natsios);
  • Steve Brouwer, Paul Gifford, Susan D. Rose: Exporting the American gospel. Global Christian fundamentalism, Routledge, New York 1996, S. 184 (online);
  • James K. Wellman, Jr.: Art. Evangelicalism, in: Thomas Riggs (Hg.): Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices, Bd. 1: Religions and Denominations, Thomson Gale, Farmington Hills, Michigan 2006, S. 183-188, hier S. 187f.
  • Evangelical Manifesto Steering Committee EIN EVANGELIKALES MANIFEST. Eine Erklärung zur evangelikalen Identität und zum öffentlichen Engagement, Washington, D.C., 7. Mai 2008, Übersetzung des Instituts für Ethik & Werte, Gießen.
  • Derek Michaud / YunJung Moon / Mark Mann: Art. Carl F. H. Henry (1913-2003), in: Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology, mit Bezug auf Edith L. Blumhofer / Joel A. Carpanter: Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism. A Guide to the Sources, Garland Publishing, New York - London 1990, S. xi.
  • Charles van Engen: Opportunities and Limitatons, in: Gary Corwin, Kenneth B. Mulholland (Hgg.): Working together with God to shape the new millennium, Evangelical Missions Society, Pasadena, California 2000, S. 82-122, hier S. 98.
  • Interhemispheric Ressource Center: Report World Vision, 1991, hier zitiert nach Stephen A. Kent: The French & German vs. American Debate over 'New Religions', Scientology, and Human Rights, in: Marburg Journal of Religion 6/1 (2001), Online-Text.
  • William A. Dyrness: Evangelical theology and culture, in: Timothy Larsen, Daniel J. Treier (Hgg.): The Cambridge Companion to Evangelical Theology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007, S. 145-160, hier S. 151.
  • Kai M. Funkschmidt: Art. World Vision / World Vision International, in: Hans Dieter Betz et al. (Hgg.): Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 4. A., Bd. 8, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2005, Sp. 1694f.
  • Julie Hearn: The 'Invisible' NGO. US Evangelical Missions in Kenya, in: Journal of Religion in Africa 32/1 (2002), S. 32-60, hier S. 34.53.
  • D. Michael Lindsay: Faith in the halls of power. How evangelicals joined the American elite, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2007, ISBN 0195326660, S. 259.
  • David Stoll: Is Latin America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical Growth, University of California Press, Oxford 1990, ISBN 0520076451, S. 289 (vgl. z.B. S. 155 u.ö.).
  • Hans-Jürgen Prien: Der Protestantismus in Lateinamerika im (18.-20. Jh.), in: Anuario de historia de la Iglesia 9 (2000), S. 171-195, hier S. 188.

External links[edit]