Every year we share the stories of thousands of children and their families from across the world whose lives have changed thanks to you. Our team are passionate about sharing the stories of those they meet. Here are our favourite photos and moments from 2016:
#1 Celebrating Mporokoso community in Zambia
To us, this picture of Tassy and Rosemary embodies friendship, trust and joy - three of many things we try to achieve with the communities we work with around the world. 600 Kiwis partnered with Mporokoso through child sponsorship and now these two, along with their whole community are celebrating better healthcare, access to nutritious food, education opportunities for their children and clean, fresh water.
#2 What does peace mean to you?
A year after South Sudanese leaders signed a peace deal, thousands of children remained affected by the war. 10-year-old Choul fled home with his brother and now lives in the safety of a UN Protection of Civilian site. We met him at one of our Child Friendly Spaces where he also gets to go to school. When we asked him to share what peace means to him, his answer was short: Safety.
#3 Peace in the midst of crisis
"It was such a beautiful evening, from the hill we could see down the valley of concrete houses and olive trees all lit up gold, it was such a peaceful setting yet hard hitting knowing that the kids all around me probably aren’t at peace, they have seen things in this conflict that no child should see." 2016 Youth Ambassador Chelsea Yeoman, who visited Jordan to meet the families affected by the Syrian crisis.
#4 The joy of clean water
“For the six months of the year of the dry season, more than 400,000 people of Badghis province, Afghanistan struggle to find safe water to drink and to keep their crops alive. All along the road you find children as young as seven leading donkeys piled with yellow plastic jerry cans, walking as far as four hours each way to get water. It's hot, difficult work.
The road we travelled on lead us to the villages that have benefited from the programmes made possible by generous support. Fresh, clean water is available at the turn of a tap right in the centre of a village. It comes from a newly protected fresh spring 13kms away. Children are released from the daily burden of water collection and the threat of diarrhoea and stomach problems,” writes Alex Snary, World Vision New Zealand’s GM of International Partnerships.
"When I told 12-year-old John that I was from New Zealand, laughing he quickly responded: “that place is at the end of the world!” It was impossible to stop the young man from smiling. He was desperate to know about my life, and my country," Head of External Affairs, Simon Day, who visited an Internally Displaced Peoples Camp in South Sudan last year.
#6 “Today I learnt that even bubbles can be the source of hours of happiness."
"I brought a container of bubbles with me as an icebreaker with children if they were uncomfortable having a bunch of strangers in their space. I gave them to a 5-year-old girl who blew bubbles constantly for the two hours we were there. She was so thankful when I said she could keep them,” writes World Vision Ambassador Kim Crossman on her trip to Jordan.
#7 East Malaita’s comedy duo
As a Field Communications Advisor, Oliver Missen, travels around the world. "Malaita Province is a 4 to 6 hour boat ride from Honiara, then it’s a 4 hour drive across the Island to a small station called Atori, from there, it's all by boat. After that, it can take us up to 2 hours to reach communities, but it's all worth it.”
#8 Liam Cunningham
"Today, I’m left with images on my mind of children smiling, not looking up at the sky for what might be being dropped on them. Children drawing flowers, not looking up at fighter jets. There’s humanity, decency and dignity here." Liam, after visiting a Child-Friendly Space in Azraq Refugee Camp
#9 A children’s group that makes sure no one misses out on an education
Supporter Experience Manager, Juliette Simm, visited our programmes in Myanmar: “This children’s group in Chauk Community were proudly wearing their World Vision shirts. These young people get together to help clean their community, help elderly people and to make the handsoap, which they then sell. We were told that discussions about what to do with the profits were very serious affairs, and used for helping pay the school fees of children whose families were struggling to get them to classes.
"These kids were so community minded, and entrepreneurial. If the future of Chauk is in their hands, it’s looking bright!”
#10 The journey of 16-year-old Hussam
While visiting Syrian refugees at Azraq camp, Oliver Missen, Field Communications Advisor at World Vision New Zealand met Hussam.
"His teacher had encouraged him to go visit the ‘World Vision people’, because it would be a good way for him to practice the English he had learned over his last 18 months in the camp. Since then we’ve stayed in touch and Hussam often shared his frustrations he had with the authorities as he and his mother tried to get reunification visas to Germany. Documents that were left in Syria made the process long and difficult. But finally, in September, he got the visa, and two weeks later, after boarding his first plane, arrived in Stuttgart. Hussam feels lucky to be there, thankful to be with his family once again, and determined to one day return to Syria to help it recover. "