World Vision Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions about World Vision and the work we do. 

If you have questions that are not answered here, please feel free to contact us.

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  • Who does World Vision help?

    World Vision is a Christian aid agency and we help people on the basis of their need. This means our assistance is given regardless of race, religion or creed. We help the poorest of the poor and go where we are needed the most.

  • How do you decide who needs help?

    We determine the locations of our long-term projects based on the United Nations measurements of poverty. Therefore, our focus is on Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, according to need. We also respond to emergencies depending on the size and scale of a disaster and whether a local government can respond adequately.

  • How much money goes overseas?

    World Vision New Zealand is committed to ensuring the highest proportion of its funds gets to those in need and we work to keep the cost of administration and marketing to a miniumum. Over the last five years an average of 79.7% of the money received by World Vision has gone to fund our development work overseas. If you want a breakdown of where World Vision New Zealand’s money goes, read our Annual Report.

    We are fortunate to get generous advertising rates from television, radio, print, billboard and online media which helps our marketing budget immensely. Most of our administration and marketing costs go towards enabling more financial support so that we can reach even more people in need.

  • How quickly does World Vision respond to a disaster, and what is your immediate response?

    When disaster strikes, World Vision adopts a “first-in, last-out” approach: We first respond with life-saving emergency aid, and then we stay for the long term to help families recover and rebuild.

    • Within the first couple of hours after a disaster, World Vision staff members closest to the disaster respond with reports on the level of severity and need. 
    • Within 24 to 72 hours of the disaster, our global rapid response team is on the ground, making assessments and beginning to provide emergency relief. 
    • Within 72 hours of the disaster, our pre-positioned relief supplies are loaded up, transported, and distributed from local and international warehouses. 
    • We then work to continuously distribute emergency aid and relief to residents affected by the disaster. 
    Over the following months, we work to help families stabilise by providing assistance with shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection activities, healthcare, and economic opportunities. 
    Once communities are back on their feet, we work with them to help ensure that they are better prepared should another disaster strike.


  • If I sponsor a child where does my money go?

    Through Child Sponsorship, World Vision transforms the lives of your sponsor child’s whole community, enabling your child, their family, and their wider community to have access to better healthcare, education, water and economic opportunities. To change a child’s life, you have to change the world in which they live. Your money does not go directly to your sponsor child, or their family, but enables World Vision to work with their entire community to have an even bigger impact and make long-term sustainable change for everyone. As a member of this community, your Sponsor Child receives the benefits of this incredible change and their own lives are transformed. It’s a pretty incredible change to be a part of!

  • What is the World Vision 40 Hour Famine?

    Every year since 1975, hundreds of thousands of young Kiwis have taken a stand through a 40-hour challenge to raise money for children living in poverty. Traditionally, this meant going without food. But over the years, people have become really creative, finding fun new challenges such as living in a box, doing 40 good deeds, and some have even gone as far as taking a 40-hour vow of silence. 

    So far, nearly $76 million has been raised – helping to transform thousands of lives in over 40 countries. We’d love for you to join in.

  • What alternatives are there to the traditional 40 Hour ‘No-Food’ Challenge’?

    Want to choose another 40 Hour challenge? 

    We don’t mind! Give up technology, sleep in a box, wash cars, hold your own fundraiser, walk 40 kilometres. Be as creative as you like and do it in a group or on your own! 

    Most importantly it is about raising funds so we can help these kids - kids who are just like us - start to feel safe again in World Vision’s Child Friendly Spaces.

  • When is this year’s 40 Hour Famine?

    The 2017 40 Hour Famine is officially taking place from 8pm, 9 June  until midday, 11 June, but you can participate any time, choosing your own ‘Famine Challenge’ or fundraising event. 

  • What was different about the 2016 World Vision 40 Hour Famine?

    The 2016 40 Hour Famine saw a change in the cause for the first time in 42 years, but the reason to participate remained the same; to help innocent children in desperate need of our help. 

    The situation in Syria and neighbouring countries is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. More than half of those affected are children – that’s more than the entire population of New Zealand. More than five million young lives are at risk of becoming a “lost generation”. 

  • Where’s the money from the 2017 World Vision 40 Hour Famine going?

    Money raised during the 40 Hour Famine 2017 is going toward Child Friendly Spaces in Jordan, the host nation of the two largest refugee camps in the world – Za’atari and Azraq. 

    Syrian children have undergone severe trauma and stress over the past six years. As the fighting has intensified, many more families have made the decision to leave their homes, forcing children to leave behind their school, friends, toys, playgrounds and even relatives. 

    Child Friendly Spaces lets kids be kids again. They play with children of a similar age, continue their education and receive psychosocial support from trained professionals who start to help the children work through their trauma.

    Thanks to the fundraising efforts in last year’s 40 Hour Famine the New Zealand Government contributed an extra $1.6 million to support World Vision’s work in Syria. This is going towards helping more than 90,000 internally displaced people living in northern Syria with access to clean drinking water, and improved hygiene and sanitation services.

  • Can I still raise funds for the 2016 40 Hour Famine?

    The 2016 40 Hour Famine has now officially closed. World Vision is committed to going and staying where we are most needed though so save the 2017 dates (9 - 11 June) and continue to help children who have lost everything because of the conflict in Syria.

  • What should I do with the money I've raised?

    Thank you for taking up a fundraising challenge and raising money for children affected by the refugee crisis; your donations will make a real difference to the lives of these children. 

    If you're part of a school/church/group:

    • If your sponsors have paid by credit card or internet banking online - nice work, we've already got your funds.
    • If you've collected any cash or cheque donations, give them to your 40 Hour Famine organiser, along with your sponsorship book and they will bank the money for you.
    • If you're the 40 Hour Famine organiser, use the group's deposit book to bank your group's funds at any ANZ branch. Please ensure the bank includes your group’s unique reference number so we can track payments and allocate funds to the correct group.
    • If you've lost your group's deposit book you can order another one by emailing your name and address to: 
    • Group organisers – using the Freepost sticker provided, please send all completed sponsorship books back as soon as possible to: Freepost Famine, World Vision New Zealand, Private Bag 92078, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142.
    • Thank you! 

    If you're not part of a school/church/group:
    • If your sponsors have paid by credit card or internet banking - nice work, we've already got your funds.
    • If you've collected any cash or cheque donations, deposit these at any ANZ branch using the deposit slip at the bottom of your sponsorship book.
    • If you don't have a sponsorship book, email your name and address to to get your deposit details.
    • Send your completed sponsorship book back to World Vision New Zealand as soon as possible. Freepost Famine, World Vision New Zealand, Private Bag 92078, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142.
    • Thank you!

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When you sponsor a child, you join many other Kiwis - and your sponsored child's community - in working to create lasting change.

We work alongside the entire community to make changes in healthcare, sanitation, education, livelihoods, food security, and child protection, ensuring that everyone in the community experiences life in all its fullness.