World Vision International

Coordinates: 34°8′32.1″N 118°1′2.0″W / 34.142250°N 118.017222°W / 34.142250; -118.017222
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World Vision International
FounderRev. Bob Pierce
TypeReligious nonprofit organization[1][2]
Legal status501(c)(3)[3]
FocusWell-being of all people, especially children.
    • Monrovia, California, U.S. (administrative center, World Vision International board)
    • London, U.K. (executive office and international headquarters)
Area served
100 countries
MethodTransformational Development through emergency relief, community development and policy and advocacy
President, Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Morley[4]
Board Chair, Australia
Donna Shepherd[4]
Board Chair, Colombia
Maria Consuelo Campos[4]
Board Chair, Mali
Soriba Joseph Camara[4]
USD $3.14 billion
Formerly called
World Vision Inc.

World Vision International is an ecumenical[5][6] Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization. It was founded in 1950 by Robert Pierce as a service organization to provide care for children in Korea. In 1975, emergency and advocacy work was added to World Vision's objectives.[7] It is active in over 100 countries with a total revenue including grants, product and foreign donations of USD $3.14 billion.


The charity was founded in 1950 as World Vision Inc. by Robert Pierce, Kyung-Chik Han and Frank Phillips.[7][5][8] It was founded after Pierce was invited to Korea by Han to speak at Young Nak Church, followed by another speech in Seoul. After the breakout of the Korean War weeks later, Pierce and Han continued to collaborate on relief efforts in the region.[5] The first World Vision office opened later that year in Portland, Oregon,[9][7] with a second office following in 1954 in Korea.[10] During the early years, the charity operated as a missionary service organization meeting emergency needs in crisis areas in East Asia. World Vision operated as a missionary service organisation meeting emergency needs of children in crisis areas in East Asia following the Korean War.[5]

In 1967, the Mission Advanced Research and Communication Center (MARC) was founded by Ed Dayton as a division of World Vision. 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".[11]

During the 1970s, World Vision began training families in the agricultural skills necessary to build small farms, with the aim of promoting long term improvement and self-reliance in the communities.[12] The organization also began installing water pumps for clean water, which caused infant mortality rates to drop. Volunteers now use the fresh water to teach gardening and irrigation and promote good health.[12]

In order to restructure, the organization World Vision International was founded in 1977 by Walter Stanley Mooneyham the then president of World Vision.[13][14][15] In 1979, World Vision also co-founded the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.[16][17]

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. World Vision began working with communities, health providers, faith-based organisations and people living with HIV and AIDS to encourage an end to stigmatisation, better understanding of HIV prevention and community care for those living with AIDS, and orphans left behind by the pandemic. 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.[12] In 1994 World Vision US moved to Washington State.[18] In 2004, the political weekly Tehelka newspaper in India criticised World Vision India for its involvement with AD2000.[19]

In 2022, WVI operated in more than 100 countries and had over 33,000 employees.[20]

Organizational structure[edit]

The World Vision Partnership operates as a federation of interdependent national offices governed by a commitment to common standards and values on fundamental issues. World Vision International provides the global oversight and sets global standards, and is the operating entity in some countries. In other countries, World Vision operates through a locally incorporated NGO, with a local board of directors. Most of the workforce in each country are citizens of that given territory. World Vision International’s 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 Ivan Satyavrata.[21] The international president is Andrew Morley.[22][23] From 2021 onwards, Morley served as Chair of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR), and is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).


World Vision partners include governments, civil society organisations, faith communities, faith-based organisations, businesses, academia, and others. The organization has thousands of partners located around the world.

Some of those who work with World Vision globally include the European Union,[24] Unicef, Global Partnership to End Violence, Joining Forces, World Bank, World Health Organization,[25] World Food Programme, Inter Agency Standing Committee,[25] International Food Policy Research Institute, and Joining Forces[26] for Last Mile Nutrition.


World Vision's staff comes from a range of Christian denominations. Its staff includes followers of Protestantism, Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy. Around the world its staff includes followers of different religions or none.[27] Some staff participate in religious services provided by WVI. They stress that one can be a Christian in any culture. However, World Vision also respects other religions that it encounters, stating that "to promote a secular approach to life would be an insult to them".[28] 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".[29]

The World Vision Partnership and all of its national members are committed to the concept of transformational development, which is cast in a biblical framework and which is seen as a witness to the love of God for all humanity.[30]


WV relief effort in disaster affected areas in Indonesia

Activities include: emergency relief, education, health care, economic development, advocacy, water/sanitation, food distribution and promotion of justice.[31] The organization has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and partnerships with UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and ILO.[32]

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,[33] 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.[34]

World Vision encourages public awareness about the needs of others, the causes of poverty, and the nature of compassionate response.[35] These efforts include collaboration with media and community participation in fundraising.[36] 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.[37] In its communications, the organization claims to uphold the dignity of children and families in presenting explanations of the causes and consequences of poverty, neglect, abuse and war.[38]

In 2015, World Vision took part in operations to bring earthquake relief to Nepal.[39] It was also involved in running a child sponsorship program bringing aid to needy children in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.[40][41]


After his resignation from the post of president, its founder Robert Pierce criticized the organization for its professionalization at the expense of its evangelical faith and founded Samaritan's Purse in 1970.[42]

Accusations of misrepresentation[edit]

Some donors to World Vision's Sponsor a Child-type fundraising have reported feeling misled by the group's use of such funding for community rather than individual-specific projects.[43] 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".[44]

In response, World Vision stated that "it unapologetically takes a community-based approach to development", in which the money is not directly provided to the family of the sponsored child.[45] The organization argued that the "direct benefit" approach would result in jealousy among other community members without children and would not work.[45] 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.[46]

Israel and Palestine[edit]

In 1982, after World Vision publicly criticized Israel's actions in Palestinian refugee camps near Sidon and Tyre, it came under attack from conservative evangelicals and the government of Israel. In spite of this pressure, World Vision president Mooneyham presented to the eight hundred thousand readers of World Vision Magazine a report "showing 255 bodies and ankle-deep body fluids left in a school basement by an Israeli bomb."[47] In the September 1982 issue of World Vision Magazine President Stanley Mooneyham was quoted describing Israeli actions with the behavior of Hitler's army, "reminiscent of Warsaw".[48] In the same month Mooneyham was forced to resign when, according to former World Vision employee Ken Waters, his leadership style was criticized; he was replaced as President by Ted Engstrom.[49]

On June 15, 2016, Mohammad El Halabi, manager of World Vision in Gaza, was arrested at the Erez border crossing and charged by Israeli prosecutors with channeling funds to Hamas.[50][51][52] Halabi's lawyer said his client had nothing to do with Hamas and that the fact that the investigation had lasted 55 days proved that there was a problem with evidence.[52] The charity stood by Halabi, stating that he was a humanitarian.[53]

Notable affiliated persons[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ see entry "World Vision International" in California Secretary of State Business Database Archived March 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Group exempt letters from IRS to World Vision International and World Vision, Inc. Feb. 13, 2009, (accessed on Aug. 11, 2011)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 30, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "World Vision International Inc. Archived July 15, 2020, at the Wayback Machine" Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Service. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Our Leadership Archived June 27, 2020, at the Wayback Machine". World Vision International. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Swartz, David R. (March 16, 2020). "World Vision's Forgotten Founder". Christianity Today.
  6. ^ "Time to review law for foreign funding of NGOs". The Sunday Guardian. June 22, 2019.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Mehmet Odekon, W. George Scarlett, Encyclopedia of World Poverty, SAGE Publications, USA, 2006, p. 1198
  9. ^ Brian Steensland, Philip Goff, The New Evangelical Social Engagement, Oxford University Press USA, USA, 2014, p. 243
  10. ^ Graeme Irvine: "Best Things in the Worst Times: An Insiders View of World Vision" BookPartners, Inc. (1996) p. 77 ISBN 1-885221-37-1
  11. ^ S.W. Haas: "MARC to Make Transition, Retain Its Mission" MARC Newsletter 03-4, World Vision Publications, Nov. 2003
  12. ^ a b c World Vision History Archived March 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved April 26, 2011
  13. ^ "World Vision Annual Review 2012" (PDF). World Vision International.
  14. ^ "World Vision International : Company Content Page". Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  15. ^ [1] Archived February 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Timothy J. Demy Ph.D., Paul R. Shockley Ph.D., Evangelical America: An Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Religious Culture, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2017, p. 135
  17. ^ "Fund‐Raising Oversight Agency Begun by Evanzelical Christians". NY Times. March 3, 1979.
  18. ^ "MONROVIA : World Vision Picks Seattle as Relocation Site". Los Angeles Times. June 30, 1994.
  19. ^ "VK Shashikumar '"Preparing for the harvest ..."' Tehelka, Vol 1, Issue 1, Feb 07, 2004". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  20. ^ "Our Structure". World Vision. World Vision International. Retrieved August 14, 2023.
  21. ^ "Board of Directors". December 7, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  22. ^ "World Vision International announces new President and CEO". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  23. ^ "Andrew J Morley President & CEO, World Vision International". February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  24. ^ "European Union and World Vision launch project for socio-economic support". Daily FT. April 5, 2023.
  25. ^ a b "Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Afghanistan: Women's participation in aid delivery must continue". World Health Organization.
  26. ^ "Joining Forces partnership calls for urgent actions to be taken to protect children and their families in Ukraine". ReliefWeb. April 2022.
  27. ^ Michael Barnett, Janice Gross Stein, Sacred Aid: Faith and Humanitarianism, Oxford University Press, UK, 2012, p. 46
  28. ^ Tripp, Linda. "Gender and development from a Christian perspective: Experience from World Vision." Gender and Development 7.1 (1999): 62–64. Print.
  29. ^ Stearns, Richard. "World Vision CEO Richard Stearns Charts Course, Spirit For Nonprofit Sector ." Huffington Post March 3, 2011: 1–2. Print.
  30. ^ "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.
  31. ^ Bornstein, Erica (2001). "Child Sponsorship, Evangelism, and Belonging in the Work of World Vision Zimbabwe". American Ethnologist. 28 (3): 595–622. doi:10.1525/ae.2001.28.3.595.
  32. ^ "The People's Paper". Tehelka. Archived from the original on February 5, 2013. Retrieved September 1, 2013.
  33. ^ – Amnesty International News – Apr 2, 2009 Archived December 26, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, G20 leaders urged to protect the poor, April 2, 2009
  34. ^ Amnesty International News – Oct 14, 2005 Archived August 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine – Uganda: Former child soldiers excluded in adulthood, October 14, 2005, independent journalist Euan Denholm
  35. ^ Advocacy action center Archived July 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, World Vision. Retrieved July 21, 2009
  36. ^ – Amnesty International Press Center Archived November 22, 2018, at the Wayback Machine, 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
  37. ^ Shortal, Helen (April 1, 2001), "Showing the Way", AV Video Multimedia Producer, pp. 67–69
  38. ^ World Vision News Archived May 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine – World Vision Houses 70,000 in Somalia In War Torn Area
  39. ^ "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid orders aid flight to Nepal - The National". April 28, 2015.
  40. ^ Staff, Jonathan Phelps Daily News. "$67K offering will go to fight Ebola outbreak".
  41. ^ Eekhoff Zylstra, Sarah (December 19, 2017). "What Current, Past, and 'Never' Child Sponsors Think". Christianity Today.
  42. ^ David P. King, God's Internationalists: World Vision and the Age of Evangelical Humanitarianism, University of Pennsylvania Press, USA, 2019, p. 159-160
  43. ^ Diaa Hadid (August 3, 2016). "A World Vision Donor Sponsored a Boy. The Outcome Was a Mystery to Both". The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  44. ^ Geoghegan, Andrew Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine "Ethiopia – The Endless Famine Archived September 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine", Foreign Correspondent, November 25, 2008, series 18, episode 22, 2008 Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  45. ^ a b Costello, Tim (2008). "World Vision response to Foreign Correspondent story from Ethiopia broadcast on 25 November 2008". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on December 8, 2008.
  46. ^ ABC Material's Foreign Correspondent, Foreign Correspondent story from Ethiopia broadcast Archived October 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, broadcast on November 25, 2010, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  47. ^ David Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? The Politics of Evangelical Growth, University of California Press, Oxford 1990, p. 285. ISBN 0-520-07645-1.
  48. ^ Moon, Luke (December 2016). "World Vision's Decades-Long Hate Campaign Against Israel". The Tower Magazine. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  49. ^ Ken Waters: "How World Vision Rose From Obscurity To Prominence: Television Fundraising 1972-1982" American Journalism, 15, Nr. 4, 69-93 (1998)
  50. ^ Kershner, Isabel (August 4, 2016). "Israel Charges Palestinian Employee of Aid Group With Funneling Funds to Hamas". The New York Times. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  51. ^ "Israel: World Vision Gaza boss diverted cash to Hamas". BBC. August 4, 2016. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
  52. ^ a b "Top Official in Christian Aid Group Charged With Funnelling Funds to Hamas". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  53. ^ "Israel accuses World Vision's Gaza director of diverting cash to Hamas". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  54. ^ "An interview with Hugh Jackman, World Vision ambassador". Christianity Today. Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  55. ^ Hilbert, Edgar Alejandro (February 17, 2013). "Kris Allen comes to Sacramento". Sacramento Press. Retrieved October 1, 2023.
  56. ^ "Paul Brandt: Guided by family and faith". September 13, 2008. Archived from the original on March 24, 2016 – via
  57. ^ "Liam Cunningham | World Vision Ireland". Archived from the original on April 16, 2019. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  58. ^ Barnes, Bart (December 1, 1995). "R.C. Halverson dies". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 1, 2023.

External links[edit]

34°8′32.1″N 118°1′2.0″W / 34.142250°N 118.017222°W / 34.142250; -118.017222