World Vision began its ministry in Ethiopia in the early 1970s and opened a national office in Addis Ababa in 1975. World Vision operated emergency response programs during the 1984 famine, followed by a period of rehabilitation (1986-87) and a self review that came up with the concept of Area Development Programs (ADPs) as a model.
Ethiopia has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal deaths. One out of 27 women dies during childbirth. World Vision seeks to reduce high rates of maternal and infant death in Ethiopia by training skilled midwives to serve in rural communities. World Vision works with the Hamlin College of Midwives whose ultimate goal is to place highly qualified midwives (4-year Bachelor of Science degree program in Midwifery) in rural villages throughout Ethiopia. Hamlin College of Midwives is an extension of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, which provides free surgery for women with debilitating childbirth injuries called obstetric fistulas. Another focus of the Maternal Health initiative in Ethiopia is support of Healing Hands of Joy, an organization training and empowering survivors of obstetric fistula to work as “Safe Motherhood Ambassadors” in their own communities, teaching about the importance of delayed marriage, prenatal care, and delivery of babies in a birthing center with a trained childbirth attendant such as a midwife or an OB.
CHANNELS OF HOPE FOR GENDER
Channels of Hope for Gender is a teaching methodology used in partnership with churches and faith-based organizations to change deeply held cultural beliefs and behaviors harmful toward women and girls. These behaviors include female genital mutilation, forced early marriage, and violence. This biblically based program promotes gender equality through understanding and applying scripture to address underlying beliefs about the role and value of women, changing the perception of women as “property” to appreciating them as “partners.” By educating church leaders on gender issues and emphasizing the unique giftedness and important role of women in families, women are empowered to influence their own futures, girls have improved opportunities to attend school, and churches become centers of justice against gender abuse in their communities.
Forty percent of the Dominican Republic’s 10 million people live in poverty. The Dominican Republic has also become home to approximately 1 million refugees from the neighboring country of Haiti. World Vision’s Investment Fund for Microenterprise (FIME) seeks to help 4,900 micro entrepreneurs in 8 community development areas access credit for the first time and improve their family incomes. Over 60% of FIME loan recipients are female. Loans to women improve the overall health of households and the community because women typically invest a greater percentage of their resources in their families and communities than do men.
This program has two critical objectives: reducing the potential that children will be trafficked for sex or labor, and improving systems that protect children and restore survivors. The program provides funding and technical training to community-based agencies and local governments to rescue, rehabilitate and reintegrate child victims of trafficking. The program supports organizations that remove children from exploitative situations and helps ensure victims have emergency and long-term care as well as legal aid. The program also provides education to community members about trafficking and the deceptive ploys that traffickers use. Finally, the program operates centers (Child Friendly Spaces) where young children especially vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and neglect can take part in activities and education in a safe setting.
UNITED STATES PROJECTS:
Women of Vision Charlotte supports the work of the World Vision staff in Barbour County, one of the poorest counties in WV, with a poverty rate of 18.4% in 2013. Women of Vision Charlotte collaborated with World Vision and Barbour County to develop the Family Initiative which addresses the needs of families of generational poverty. The funds provided by WOV Charlotte support the staff salary of Family Initiative and the programs offered to women and families in the community. Women of Vision Charlotte, also, provides funding for KidReach, an after-school program which serves almost 200 kids in grades K-5. This KidReach program has won federal recognition for its success and has been used as a model for other counties to follow. Finally, Women of Vision runs a summer camp for the girls of the area offering them the message of God’s unfailing love.
THE HARVEST CENTER
The Harvest Center serves the homeless in Charlotte through providing food, clothing, housing, education, counseling, and recovery services. Women of Vision Charlotte founded Harvest House which provides safe housing for women with children. The women in the house are working to transform their lives through the participation in a 4-year program that is overseen by a Harvest House staff member. Funds from Women of Vision Charlotte support the upkeep of Harvest House, the salary of the staff member, along with a small amount for emergency needs. Additionally, funds from WOV are used to support the educational efforts of women working to achieve their GED or a career certificate.
DRUID HILLS ACADEMY
Druid Hills Academy serves one of the poorest communities in Charlotte. Almost 95% of its student body qualifies for free lunch. Women of Vision Charlotte provides volunteers throughout the school year who serve as lunch and reading buddies. WOV also supports the families in the community through food bags at Christmas and ancillary classroom support as needed.