News From Around the World

Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton in Kenya, and updates from the field.

Destruction in Haiti following October’s hurricane.

In the News: Haiti

Hurricane Matthew’s rains and 145 mph winds dealt a devastating blow to Haiti in early October. Hundreds died and more than 1.4 million people were left in immediate need of humanitarian relief. World Vision’s initial response included assisting 50,000 families in some of the hardest-hit areas with food, household items, shelter, fresh water, and Child-Friendly Spaces.

A snapshot of World Vision in Haiti:

» Working in Haiti since: 1959
» Number of sponsored children in 1959: 27
» Children with American sponsors today: 26,900
» Top priorities: education, agriculture, healthcare, and longterm recovery following the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Matthew

Sponsorship enables World Vision to:

» Help rebuild after natural disasters.
» Repair primary schools, educate teachers, increase parent involvement, and provide school supplies.
» Train thousands of farmers in new agricultural techniques.
» Equip health institutions with medicine.

On the Ground: Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton

You may know them as the track and field power couple who both medaled in the Rio Olympics—Ashton won the gold in the decathlon, and Brianne took bronze in the heptathlon—but 10-year-old Philemon knows them as his sponsors. 

Ashton and Brianne with Phil, their sponsored child, in Bartabwe, Kenya.
(Photo: ©2015 Lindsey Minerva/World Vision)

Last year, Ashton and Brianne traveled to meet Phil, as they affectionately call him, at his home in Bartabwa, Kenya. Here’s what they learned about what sponsorship looks like on the ground.

The gift of opportunity: “You are providing opportunities to another human, and they’ll provide opportunities to another human, and it’s this [domino effect] down the line. There’s probably not much else you can do in your life that will have that significant effect on the world.” —Ashton

The real impact of sponsorship: “Yes, it costs money every month—and the money helps—but it’s more about letting your child know that somebody else cares about them. Someone in the world has taken the time to write to them and let them know, ‘You can do whatever you want to do.’ To me, that’s the biggest piece of child sponsorship.” —Brianne

Read more about Ashton and Briannes trip to Kenya.

In the Field


A new toll-free child helpline system makes it easier for children to call police and report child rights issues. A fundamental part of World Vision’s child protection systems in Rwanda, the helpline links children instantly to resources and emergency assistance. “There is no way children can enjoy life in all its fullness when they still face abuse and violence,” says George Gitau, World Vision’s national director in Rwanda. World Vision conceived the helpline and developed it in partnership with the Rwanda National Police. Read more about World Vision’s history in Rwanda.


Paulo Uchôa, who runs the Children of God ministry in Fortaleza, Brazil, won the 2016 Bob Pierce Award. For 20 years, Paulo has worked in Fortaleza—which has the highest adolescent homicide rate in Brazil—to engage youth in sports, arts, culture, and Christian values. The Bob Pierce Award, named for World Vision’s founder, recognizes those whose work combines humanitarian service with Christian mission. “It’s like a mission that God gave me, and I accepted,” says Paulo. “This is a tiring and dangerous job, but it’s not in vain.”

South Sudan

In Memoriam: On Sept. 6, Silvano Garisano, a World Vision staff member in South Sudan, was killed along with his wife, one of their children, and another family member. Silvano worked on health projects in the embattled country. Join us in thanking God for his life and the lives of others killed, and pray for Silvano’s two surviving children, his extended family, colleagues, and those he faithfully served.

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