How World Vision gifts and World Vision child sponsorship make a difference

By staff writers
March 10, 2009

There are four places to go where you can sponsor a child online:

1. Sponsor a child with World Vision

2. Sponsor a child with Plan UK

3. Sponsor a child with Action Aid

4. Sponsor a child with Everychild

click hereWhen people sponsor a child through World Vision, or give charity gifts through their virtual gift scheme, they are helping to develop the sustainability of a whole community, leading to a safe and healthy environment for children and adults alike.

Whilst there is a lot of publicity around child sponsorship and schemes which provide much needed equipment and animals, it isn’t often that the stories get told of how child sponsors and donors have made a real difference.

The Oudong Project in Cambodia is an example of a community who, through World Vision’s support, has now become independent from outside help.

Chin Chovoan, a 14 year-old boy who now goes to school along with his siblings, his family, the village leader Nok Nom, a 46 year-old farmer whose rice banks now have an adequate supply of water, and Word Vision describe how the situation has changed since the charity arrived in Oudong.

Food security

Before World Vision came along, Chovoan’s parents were subsisting on the bare minimum, unable to buy rice, chickens, a home or a garden. Now they farm rice during the rainy season, build wooden beds and raise chickens during the dry season. They also have access to a cow bank. The money earned through rice sales is enough to feed their family for a whole season. This is supplemented by income from carpentry, egg, and firewood sales.

“I am very happy with the rice and cow bank”, says Chovoan. “It’s really helpful to my family. When we meet food or rice shortages we can borrow rice from the bank at a low interest rate. If I can’t pay the interest this year, I can pay it back the next year with no accumulation.”


Previously, when anyone got sick in the village they would have to travel over 15 kilometres to the nearest health centre, paying dearly for transport, service and treatment. World Vision has provided the village with its own health centre so that residents no longer have to travel. They pay a nominal fee for the service offered. Immunizations are given to the children free of charge. Diseases don’t spread as easily either, since World Vision provided a clean, safe supply of water.

click hereEducation

Education in the village was non-existent, and children had to walk many miles to a school building that would leak during the rainy season. In Chovoan’s case, food scarcity resulted in his dropping out of school when his parents had to move home to save money. “It was so dry at that time”, says his mother. “We could not plant rice or grow vegetables. So my husband and I decided to migrate to Samlot district to be with my parents and help them take care of the farm.”

Most children started their education late, were far behind for their age and dropped out early. Not only have World Vision provided the village with both a school and kindergarten so that children of all ages can receive a quality education, but they have transformed the village economy so that education is now sustainable.

Sustainable livelihoods

Before World Vision arrived in Oudong, most people were so poor that they couldn’t even afford to enough food to eat, or stable homes to live in. The only credit available for poor farmers was at such a high rate of interest that it often equalled the amount borrowed. When food was successfully grown, flooding and poor road conditions made it difficult for buyers to enter the village, and for villagers to transport their produce to other markets.

Village leader and farmer, Nok Nom, sums up the change that World Vision support has brought: “World Vision has developed my village in all sectors. Now, we have good roads, enough water for consumption and farming, improving food security and school building. All the good things that World Vision has done for my village had enabled me to improve my living condition.”

What does the future hold for Oudong Community? Nok Nom predicts that progress will continue so that in the near future the village will be fully developed in all sectors, with all of its people living independently. Rice will be in surplus, water will be clean and children will be educated. What are his dreams for the future? “I want to become a businessman and support my children to further their study to university degree” he says.

The work of World Vision, made possible through the support of ordinary people, has succeeded in bringing vast improvements to the life and well-being, not just of individual children or families, but to whole communities in the developing world. Whilst their help is no longer needed in Oudong, World Vision continue to help desperately poor communities around the world.

In light of the economic downturn, the need is now even more acute. The developing world has been the hardest hit by Western financial mismanagement and the effects of global warming will only compound the situation.

You can sponsor a child through World Vision here

You can see the range of virtual gifts you can give through World Vision here

You may also like to visit one of the following popular child sponsorship sites:

1. Sponsor a child with World Vision

2. Sponsor a child with Plan UK

3. Sponsor a child with Action Aid

4. Sponsor a child with Everychild

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.