World Vision's work is guided by the conviction that children, just like adults, have the right to participate in decisions and actions that affect their lives, where appropriate. Through child sponsorship, we also recognise that children can be powerful agents of change in their families and communities.
Child sponsorship places the wellbeing of children at the centre of development activities. It also elevates the status of children in their own families and makes them important ambassadors for the wellbeing of their communities.
Children who have their community's respect and understand their rights can transform the world around them. When they know they are valued, their confidence and contribution to society grow.
Children who know their opinions matter are able to take an active role in leadership activities. Many of our project activities actively encourage children to become part of the community planning process and form children's committees advocating for the rights of all children.
In many sponsorship communities, it is the children who are creating awareness and leading change in areas such as nutrition and hygiene, gender roles, environmental protection and child rights.
- In Indonesia, children living in communities supported by child sponsorship use National Children's Day celebrations as an opportunity to raise awareness about the need for parents to register their children for birth certificates and ensure their fundamental right to identity.
- In Natunoy village in Laos, children actively participated in a recent community planning day and helped to draw up a dream map of their village that included a new school, water pumps, footballs, trees and animals.
- In Zambia's Keembe Area Development Program, children elected to a Junior Program Management Committee share in decision making about development activities in their community. "There are some people who think that we cannot do anything because we are just children," says committee member and sponsored child Tanamera. "But together as children we will work with the elders so that they can also learn from us what we, as children, need."
- These are just a few of the many ways that World Vision's development projects work to ensure that children's voices are heard and that they can participate in making their world a better place.