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Supporter Magazine July 2013

You are helping to change lives. Read how inside.

Child sponsors are helping families in India irrigate their fields, so they can grow life-giving food for their children.

With the family’s new harvesting machine, it only takes Khuman two hours to harvest their newly-irrigated field, instead of a full day. On top of that, he can earn up to 150 rupees a day using his machine to harvest other people’s fields. Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Harvesting a new life in India’s fields Born in rural India, married at 15 and facing a lifetime of poverty, 32-year-old Shanti is now seeing a field of opportunities open up for her family through World Vision agricultural training, thanks to sponsors just like you.

encouraged to focus on education,

Shanti and her 34-year-old husband Khuman married as teenagers. Khuman dropped out of school at a young age, while Shanti never had a chance to go to school at all. In rural India, women face entrenched disadvantage. In Shanti’s area, the gender ratio is 87 girls for every 100 boys; the odds are against girls from the very beginning.

In order for Khuman and Shanti to farm their own land, World Vision helped them “flatten” it, Khuman says, and now that they have an irrigation pump, “Me and Shanti no longer have to walk the one kilometre to the bore”.

Khuman and Shanti have half a hectare of land, but until recently they had no irrigation and the land was too uneven to plant crops, while wild cows destroyed anything they tried to plant. The family struggled for a long time, with Khuman needing to go out to find work on neighbouring farms. “There

were times when we couldn’t afford food for our children, and we had to borrow money to eat,” says Shanti. Khuman pinpoints the moment their lives changed forever. “In 2006 when World Vision came to the community they formed self-help groups like the one I am part of,” he says. Shanti adds, “At the time we couldn’t afford nutritious food for the children and they would fall sick often. Vijay [the couple’s 12-year-old son] was malnourished and our eldest daughter was so sick with diarrhoea that she almost died.” Your support has enabled self-help groups such as these to support farmers like Khuman in communities around the world. In Khuman’s community, parents and leaders are 2

better farming techniques and ways to raise their incomes so that they can be self-reliant.

They now own a machine harvester, which has drastically cut the time it takes to harvest their field, and opened up opportunities to rent the harvester out for extra profit. “Earlier we couldn’t even think about sending our children to school – we could barely feed our family, says Shanti. The family’s diet has improved because they are growing their own food. “I now farm wheat, mustard, chickpeas and lentils, all for my family’s own consumption,” says Khuman. Not only is the community accessing better farming techniques, they are also addressing gender discrimination. “Years ago, before World Vision, we weren’t informed about issues like gender,” says Khuman. “We now know that girls and boys are equal and we know for sure that girls should go to school.” For Khuman and Shanti, who are parents to four girls and two boys, this is an important issue. “Before

if there were 50 boys at school there would be 10 girls, now it is equal,” says Khuman. “As a father of girls this makes me feel good. Most of the time the girls are doing better than the boys at school.”

Shanti with her six-year-old daughter Rinki, who is now going to school. Photo: Suzy Sainovski/ World Vision

For Shanti, the fact that women in her community now have access to education on family planning is vitally important. Shanti loves her six children, but is glad she now has the choice not to have any more.

Above left: Shanti, pictured centre, with members of her self-help group. The group has helped Shanti get out of debt and start saving money. Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

Their 10-year-old son, Dhruv, agrees. “I want my sisters to go to school too so that they can learn and be intelligent,” he says. “If you study and you are educated no one can fool you.” Dhruv is sponsored by an Australian, as is their six-year-old daughter, Rinki.

“We are very happy World Vision came here,” says Shanti. “There have been many changes apart from the farming equipment, such as solar lighting (there is no electricity in the community), mosquito nets, and grain storage facilities.” Shanti credits Australian child sponsors for these changes.

“If you [Australians] didn’t help us we wouldn’t have moved forward in our lives. We now have knowledge, we are educated, we are empowered. Thank you,” she says. Below: Khuman and Shanti with their six children. The family’s fortune changed in 2006 when they joined World Vision’s self-help groups. Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision


A word from Tim Costello Dear friend 2013 is certainly shaping up to be an eventful year. And with a Federal Election only a few months away, perhaps now is a good time for us to stop and reflect on the important role Australians play in tackling poverty. Australians like you are incredibly generous and compassionate people, and here at World Vision we believe it’s critical that our government matches that generosity. The good news from May’s Federal Budget was that Australia’s aid contribution will increase this year by around $500 million, and that’s something we can all be proud of. On a more disappointing note, the Australian Government delayed increasing our overseas aid budget to 50 cents in every $100 of national income until 2017-18. Our aid program makes a real difference to people living in poverty in the developing world. Especially to our nearest neighbours in countries like Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, where a large portion of our aid money goes – and just one example of the amazing things that can be achieved through Australian generosity is the story of former sponsored child Reni on page 8.

Where do World Vision funds go? Our Financial Statements for 2012 can be viewed at:

While growing up in Indonesia, Reni was sponsored through World Vision by Lyn and Norm in Tasmania. Reni has since migrated to Australia, is now a World Vision supporter herself, and was able to meet her sponsors in person for the first time earlier this year to say thank you. I know from my own experience that meeting your sponsored child is a joyful and meaningful occasion; and Norm described getting a phone call from Reni late last year to arrange the meeting as “the best Christmas present he had received”. Pages 6 and 7 of this issue feature the wonderful story of Rebecca, another World Vision child sponsor from Victoria who has had the opportunity to meet her sponsored child. Rebecca won a travel competition to go anywhere in the world, and chose to visit her sponsored child Dolgor in Mongolia. Having already formed a close bond with Dolgor through exchanging letters and pictures, Rebecca found that meeting her in person was the experience of a lifetime.

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Thank you once again for supporting World Vision.

Send all correspondence to World Vision News, GPO Box 399, Melbourne 3001


© 2013 All material contained in this magazine is subject to copyright owned by or licensed to World Vision Australia. All rights reserved.

Tim Costello World Vision Australia Chief Executive


Above photo: Ilana Rose/World Vision Cover photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision

This magazine includes references to organisations, products and initiatives which are not official endorsements by World Vision Australia.


World Vision Australia is a member of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. The Code requires members to meet high standards of corporate governance, public accountability and financial management.

No child should face a future of working on the streets Every day, girls like Rina are forced into sex work because poverty gives them no other option. Living next to a red light district in Indonesia means 10-year-old Rina and her little sister Nanda are especially at risk of violence, drugs and abuse. Rina attends a World Vision crisis centre, a safe space where she and other children can play, learn and receive guidance.

Child sponsorship can help break the cycle of poverty for children like Rina, by helping them stay in school. Thanks to World Vision child sponsors, Rina and Nanda will get the chance to choose a different future. Look out for our latest television ad featuring Rina on air now, or watch the full story online at

Help protect children from a life of exploitation. Sponsor a child today. Call 13 32 40 or visit Above left: Rina, aged 10, with her sister Nanda, aged four, in Indonesia. Photo: Mike Amos/World Vision

Make sure your sponsored child knows you’re thinking of him or her on their special day by signing and returning the birthday card you received.

Thao and Suong in Vietnam love receiving birthday cards from their Australian sponsors. Photo: Le Thiem Xuan/World Vision


The best prize in the world: Rebecca meets her sponsored child in Mongolia Imagine the thrill of winning a travel competition – where the prize was choosing anywhere in the world that you wanted to go. When Rebecca from Victoria heard she’d won first prize, she knew straight away where she would go: Mongolia. That’s where her sponsored child Dolgor lives. Rebecca’s mum was turning 60, so as an unbeatable birthday gift, Rebecca invited her to come along on the trip. Rebecca and Dolgor had been writing to each other during the five years that Rebecca has been sponsoring her. Dolgor would refer to Rebecca as her “big sister” in her letters, while Rebecca sent her collages of Australian animals. Still, Rebecca says she felt nervous to meet Dolgor, unsure of what to expect.

Rebecca and her mother were the first Australian sponsors to visit Dolgor’s area, so it was an important occasion for the whole community. Dolgor was waiting for Rebecca, dressed in a traditional outfit. She held out a piece of blue silk, a gift that conveys respect and loyalty. They shared a bowl of hot milk together, a traditional welcome.

Left: Rebecca has received many letters from Dolgor over the years she has been sponsoring. Photo: Lucy Aulich/ World Vision


“I am so happy that I met Dolgor,” Rebecca says. “It’s the best holiday I have ever been on and I enjoyed every second of it.”



Mongolia Afghanistan Pakistan

China Nepal



Dolgor’s family told Rebecca that she felt so familiar to them, because they’d seen her photo for soZavkhan long. Seeing Dolgor’s parents so happy at the girls’ meeting, Rebecca says sheChina became quite emotional.

“The language barrier didn’t matter, her smiles and excitement were wonderful to see,” she says. She discovered that Dolgor loves basketball, so they played together for a while. “It was so much fun,” says Rebecca. “This is when we bonded the most, as she loved basketball.” Dolgor got really excited when Rebecca got a goal, she says.

Rebecca, describing changes she saw that had come about from child sponsorship, says, “There were new playgrounds, new equipment at the hospital, music equipment at the hall ...”

In Mongolia, families are often extremely isolated, living in gers (portable canvas homes) spread kilometres apart from one another. So communal areas where people can gather, like halls and playgrounds, are important to keeping a sense of community and for children to grow and develop. “All the children looked so happy,” Rebecca continues, “it’s a beautiful community.”

Rebecca says of meeting her sponsored child, “money cannot buy the experience”. After their basketball game, Rebecca and Dolgor hugged goodbye. “I am so happy that I met Dolgor,” Rebecca says. “It’s the best holiday I have ever been on and I enjoyed every second of it.”

If you would like information on visiting your sponsored child, go to Visityoursponsoredchild.aspx or call 1300 303 440.

Above photo: Rebecca Page Left: Rebecca and her mother (in red) met Dolgor and her parents over a shared bowl of milk. Photo: Rebecca Page


Right: Former sponsored child Reni, who now lives in Australia, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money for Team World Vision. Photo: Zane Kuramoto/World Vision

The incredible story of Reni – a former sponsored child living in Australia Reni was seven years old and living in an Indonesian orphanage when she began receiving letters from Lyn and Norm, a Tasmanian couple. Lyn and Norm sponsored her through World Vision for the next 10 years. Now 34, Reni’s journey out of poverty is a breathtaking story of success. Inspired by the letters from her sponsors, she studied hard to finish school in Indonesia. After working at a mine in Indonesia for several years, in 2006 she applied for a mining job in South Australia – and got it. Reni credits being sponsored as the spark that drove her to achieve. “My parents were very poor,” she says. “My parents had nothing.”

“When they sponsored me as a child it inspired me to learn English,” Reni continues. “If I didn’t receive letters from them ... I would not have had that willingness to learn, there was nothing that would have inspired me to do that.” Aware of the opportunities that had come her way through child sponsorship, Reni wanted to give something back – and now she sponsors four children through World Vision; three in Africa and one in Peru. In March this year, Reni climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with

Team World Vision, raising over $4,500 for World Vision’s work. She was the smallest hiker of the group, but with the energy and drive she’s had all her life, she pushed herself to reach the top of the 5,985 metre mountain. For Lyn and Norm in Tasmania, who still sponsor a boy in Bangladesh and have sponsored three other children from Indonesia along the way, meeting one of their sponsored children had always been a pipe dream.

“Twenty years later we got the phone call to say Reni was looking for us – that was pretty special,” says Lyn. “I cried. Norm said it was the best Christmas present he had received.” “I was so happy,” Reni says of visiting Lyn and Norm at their home in Tasmania in March this year. “It is always something that is in the back of my mind, especially living in Australia because it is so easy to travel to other states.” Knowing how much it meant to her to meet her sponsors, Reni is soon heading to Peru to visit her sponsored child there – and will take part in another fundraising challenge for Team World Vision at the same time. Want to take part in the next Team World Vision challenge? In February 2014 you could be part of Cycle Cambodia, a cycling adventure with a difference. Visit au/teamworldvision for more information.

Team World Vision calendar of events Take on a challenge in 2013!

National events

Looking to take on an exciting and rewarding challenge this year? Join Team World Vision and choose from a variety of sporting and adventure challenges, while raising funds to help change the lives of children and their communities around the world.

Run Melbourne – 21 July Sydney City2Surf – 11 August Perth City to Surf – 25 August Bridge to Brisbane – 1 September Adelaide City-Bay Fun Run – 15 September Sydney Running Festival – 22 September Melbourne Marathon Festival – 13 October Melbourne City2Sea – November 2013 My Team World Vision – Choose your own sporting event

For more information or to join the team visit us at


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“ If it wasn’t for the food aid my children would be orphans ... ” – Sheila, 42, mother of four, Zimbabwe

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Sheila needs food for her family’s survival There’s a lot of uncertainty in Sheila’s life. But there’s one thing she’s sure of. Without food aid, she would not be alive today. “If it wasn’t for food aid I would have starved to death,” she says without hesitation. Sheila, who is HIV positive, is fighting a life-threatening illness and for her family’s survival. Her husband left her some years ago, so Sheila is the sole carer for her son Evans, aged 12, three older children and her two-yearold nephew Nigel. In her village in Zimbabwe, the rains failed again this season, so she couldn’t grow any food. Before she started receiving food aid, made possible by compassionate donors to the Multiplying Gift Appeal, Sheila had no way to feed her family. “Before we didn’t have any way to get enough food. I used to beg from my neighbours for food and I used to depend on others.” If it wasn’t for the food aid, Sheila believes her children would be “orphans and very destitute … without any place to call home”. You can help make sure that families like Sheila’s have the food they need to survive by donating to the 2013 Multiplying Gift Appeal. With your support World Vision can work with the UN World Food Programme to deliver life-saving food aid to families in need. By working together with the UN, it costs less to provide food to more people. So the value of your donation goes even further.

For example in Kenya it would normally cost you $100 to feed 16 people for a month. However, because of our partnership with the World Food Programme, $100 feeds 120 people for a month.

Sheila must take anti-retroviral medication to keep her illness in check. But she can’t take her pills on an empty stomach. Regular monthly rations of corn, oil, beans and cereal mean Sheila and her family have enough food to eat three meals a day. Photo: Mike Amos/World Vision

© 2013 World Vision Australia. World Vision Australia ABN 28 004 778 081 is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Ref # 7135


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The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian movement fighting hunger

Food security is one of World Vision’s key priorities

I want a say in my future, says Keota Just 11 years old, Keota has only recently had the chance for a childhood. Living in Cambodia, she used to labour in a brick factory, sacrificing her education to the hot, dusty kilns. “I held the cooked clay bricks and prepared them in a row,” Keota says. “I got hurt so often ... I couldn’t complain.” She explains, “I went to work in the brick factory to help my parents after school because I think my family needed money to buy food to eat.” Left: Keota is no longer forced to work in the brick factory in Cambodia. Photo: Vichheka Sok/ World Vision

The swirling ash of the kiln made it hard to breathe and hurt her eyes, and each day Keota saw her future slipping away from her. “I thought that to avoid working in the brick factory, I have to study hard, but I had no energy to focus on studying because I worked so hard, and it was exhausting,” she says. The work continued until World Vision staff visited the brick factory, and told the child workers there about a World Vision drop-in centre. Keota and other children from the kiln began attending the centre – which is funded by Child Rescue donors – to catch up on the schoolwork they had missed.

Parents of the child workers, including Keota’s, began to see the benefits of education over child labour. Now, Keota says her parents no longer send her to work in the brick factory. “My parents understand well and they smile when they see me reading a book,” Keota says. Keota dreams of becoming a beautician – a world away from the dust and ash of the brick factory – and is studying hard to make her dream come true.

Donate to our work in Australia Link hands with Indigenous communities for a brighter future for children. When you donate to our work in Australia, you can make a lasting difference in the lives of Indigenous children and their communities. Your support will help create strong partnerships to see kids growing up happy, healthy and strong. As a Linking Hands supporter you will be helping Indigenous communities to find local solutions for local needs. You will support activities that are child-focused, and promote early childhood learning, youth leadership, skills training and development for Indigenous children and families.

Donate to our work in Australia today. Visit or call 13 32 40.

Above: Riccoleisha loves to play and learn at her Linking Hands-supported playgroup in the Northern Territory. Photo: Suzy Sainovski/World Vision


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YOUR MAGAZINE INSIDE! In this issue: • The amazing story of former sponsored child Reni, who migrated from Indonesia to Australia and now sponsors four children through World Vision. • Rebecca’s trip of a lifetime - visiting her sponsored child in Mongolia.

You are helping to change lives. Read how inside.

Supporter Magazine July 2013

Child sponsors are helping families in India irrigate their fields, so they can grow life-giving food for their children.

Join the conversation. Find us on Facebook at and Twitter @worldvisionaus

July 2013