Our History: 1950s

Early 1950s

Founding of World Vision in 1950, beginning of sponsorship program

• Bob Pierce travels around the U.S. preaching and making movies to raise awareness about the poverty he saw in Asia

• Child sponsorship program beings in 1953, caring directly for children in orphanages


Mid 1950s

Sponsorship, pastors conferences and disaster assistance

• Work is primarily helping children orphaned by the Korean war

• World Vision hosts pastors conferences in Sountheast Asia


Late 1950s

Sponsorship program grows to care for more than 13,200 orphans in orphanages in five countries

• Sends assistance to indonesia, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand

• Begins working in India

• World Vision magazine publication starts

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Our History: 1960s

Early 1960s

Korean Orphan Choir world tour raises awareness and sponsorships. Begins relief work. Sponsorship expands to 18 countries

• Rapidly expanding work in more countries globally

• Moves beyond just sending assistance

• Begins relief work, sending supplies to Vietnam, and helping refugees in Laos


Mid 1960s

Sponsorship of thousands of orphans, and offering assistance continues to grow globally

• The Korean Children's Choir goes on a third world tour

• Sends crutches, wheelchairs, and other relief supplies to Vietnam


Late 1960s

Sponsorship program shifts child care emphasis from orphans in orphanages to children in poverty

• Bob Pierce resigns due to ill-health

• Field offices open in Vietnam and Taiwan

• Hosts several pastors conferences around the world

• Sends assistance to several more countries

• Nearly 27,000 children are sponsored

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Our History: 1970s

Early 1970s

Begins shifting model of sponsorship programs from exclusive benefits only for sponsored children to community development, for the benefit of all children

• Sponsorship expands to 54,000 children in 25 countries, relief efforts continue to grow, creates Relief and Development division

• World Vision pastors conferences continue globally

• Relief efforts expand to Tanzania, Laos, and even behind enemy lines in war-torn Cambodia


Mid 1970s

Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam and instability forces programs to close in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, impacting 23,000 sponsored children

• Work includes sending assistance, evacuating orphans, helping Vietnamese refugees in Thailand, pastors conferences, and evangelistic outreaches

• Expands sponsorship programs into nine Latin American countries

• Changes office support structure, allowing national offices to focus on programs, and support offices to focus on donors and fundraising, resulting in more efficient management of funds

• Began incorporating vocational and agricultural training for families into sponsorship programs. Learning to farm and earn money is sustainable change that helps parents be better providers for their children. These efforts evolve into World Vision's current community development work, which has proven central to bringing lasting hope.


Late 1970s

Transistion to community development approach for sponsorship complete, with goal of helping communities achieve self-reliance. "Operation Seasweep" rescues Vietnamese refugees stranded on boats

• Sponsorship program includes 193,000 children

• Relief programs aid 446,000 people worldwide

• Begins sponsorship and development work in Africa

• Begins incorporating vocational and agricultural training for families to sponsorship programs. These efforts to affect self-sustainable change evolve into current community development model. Long-term development proves central to bringing lasting hope

• Stan Mooneyham joins World Vision as the new president. When Vietnamese refugees are stranded at sea, Mooneyham and crew rush to their aid and distribute relief items from a rescue ship in the daring "Operation Seasweep."

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Our History: 1980s

Early 1980s

A growing number of international support offices expands the organization's global reach and capacity

• By 1982, World Vision's work touches the lives of 8.6 million people, including 300,000 sponsored children through 2,993 projects in more than 30 countries

• Disaster response and long-term community development become increasingly important


Mid 1980s

Large scale famine in Ethiopia brings unprecedented public support

• The organization grows to a large enough size with enough resources and influence to respond to the epic famine that unites the world. Response includes immediate aid, and a long-term recovery plan

• Due to inflation, and administrative costs, briefly markets sponsorship to be Childcare Partners of a "representative child." Sponsorship rates go down for the first time in World Vision history. Quickly re-adjust sponsorship programs to retain one-to-one sponsor and child relationships, streamline and improve administrative operations

• Learns that community development projects can make progress more efficiently if work is funded by one support country instead of multiple support countries, adjusting accordingly


Late 1980s

Work expands beyond rural areas into urban areas and begins distributing Gifts-in-Kind donations of product from companies

• By 1989, donors around the world sponsor 834,000 children and maintain 5,510 projects in more than 80 countries, with total beneficiaries at an estimated 17.2 million

• Begins drilling wells in communities, resulting in lower infant mortality rates. We often use clean water as an entry point into communities in conjunction with other activities that create change

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Our History: 1990s

Early 1990s

Responding to the fall of Communism and the rise of AIDS

• After the collapse of Communism in Europe, World Vision expands to care for orphans and vulnerable children in Romania, with an emphasis on providing supplies and education

• World Vision U.S. begins controversial response to the global AIDS crisis, caring for those in need

• Creates development plan for women in leadership in the organization, and an initiative to promote equal access to education for girls worldwide

• Strongly advocates for the end of child exploitation, and banning the use of landmines

• World Vision Korea transitions from receiving funds to raising funds to help others


Mid 1990s

Responding to wars, genocide, coups, and more

• We provide food, medical care, and resettlement help to survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

• Work includes successful long-term peace-building and reconciliation training between ethnic groups in Rwanda.


Late 1990s

Kosovo war relief response, advocacy, and fundraising through 30 Hour Famine program

• Launches a global re-branding effort to unify the organization, and increase awareness

• Forms a dedicated global rapid response team to better respond to emergencies world wide

• Implements organizational child protection policies

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Our History: 2000s

Early 2000s

Taking on the AIDS crisis, and the decade's worst famine

• Launches the Hope Initiative to care for hundreds of thousands of children orphaned by AIDS

• Takes the lead to inspire Christians in the U.S. to do something about the AIDS crisis

• Receives one of the largest emergency relief grants in history, along with partnering nongovernmental organizations, to provide food and assistance to tens of millions affected by the decade's worst famine in Southern Africa


Mid 2000s

Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina bring record devastation, response, donations, and support

• Massive tsunamis devastate South Asia, and 3,700 local World Vision staff respond immediately with life-saving aid

• Our network of local staff and pre-positioned relief supplies make immediate response to disasters more efficient and life-saving, both here in the U.S. and around the world

• Approach to disaster relief includes long-term development and rebuilding work


Late 2000s

Learning to respond regionally to disasters

• Post-Hurricane Katrina response leads to ramped up and improved U.S. disaster response with distribution centers and stocking pre-positioned disaster relief supplies in warehouses around the U.S.

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Our History: 2010s

Early 2010s

Haiti earthquake and Japan quake/tsunami relief and rebuilding efforts

• Programmatically improving on sponsorship community development model with the goal of self-sufficiency

• Rolling out a common programming framework for Child Well-being outcomes and objectives, helping create measurable goals for sustained well-being of children within families and communities, especially the most vulnerable

• Improving our advocacy work in the field, training on child rights, as well as influencing governments