World Vision’s Philanthropic ‘Vision’
I read a blog today about the wonders of a nonprofit called World Vision. Instead of ‘charity’, the organization provides loans that enable people to generate revenue back into poor African areas. With lower interest rates than other private institutions, World Vision provides financial possibilities (and self-esteem) for families who wouldn’t be able to pay back higher interest loans.
The story of two women in Africa stood out as inspiring and a testament the power of philanthropy in the world.
Bekelech makes stoves that leave an amazingly small carbon footprint. Four years ago, Bekelech was trained in constructing the stoves by World Vision. World Vision had done an assessment of Wonchi, where Bekelech lives, and saw a need for energy-efficient stoves to cook injera, a delicious bread that defines Ethiopian food.
After a series of tragedies, including the death of two children, Bekelech’s devastated husband abandoned her with their four sick remaining children.
When Bekelech’s parents told her she had to leave school and marry, she did so — even though she was an A student. Now, her first son, forgoing his education, was forced to work tending cattle and fetching firewood in her husband’s absence.
When things seemed bleak, World Vision stepped in to help when they chose her to go through training to build environmentally conscious stoves. Today, Bekelech works with two other women selling 100 stoves per year for about $7 a stove, with the help of micro-loans from World Vision.
Due to the nonprofit’s help, Bekelech’s son attends college, planning on a career in the banking field. Once he has completed his degree, her son has vowed to send her back to school to complete her education as well.
Hen secured a loan from World Vision to buy petroleum to use for her farm machinery, a piece of land, a cow, a generator, a corn processor and many other items to create a business. Her plantation’s success has become a source of pride for her, “The cow I bought had two calves. I sold one. From the generator, I am able to earn $25 USD per month.”
“I bought the corn processor a few months ago. So far, I am able to earn about 2,400,000 riel [about $600 USD] from it.”
“My dreams became true. My children were able to go to school with shoes. My children’s health is better than before. Moreover, we have money at home to use for emergency cases,” Hen says.
Without a doubt, World Vision has led to giving people hope — which has been more positive than the loans themselves. The organization’s help has resulted in the reduction of domestic violence, an increase in women’s rights initiatives and health improvements.
Says Hen, “If it weren’t for World Vision, I would become a labor worker forever.”