About us

World Vision is a worldwide community development organisation that provides short-term and long-term assistance to 100 million people worldwide.

For more than 50 years, World Vision has been engaging people to work towards eliminating poverty and its causes. World Vision is committed to the poor because we are Christian. We work with people of all cultures, faiths and genders to achieve transformation. We do this through relief and development, policy advocacy and change, collaboration, education about poverty, and emphasis on personal growth, social justice and spiritual values. Our work is made possible by the support of generous Australians and we work hard to make sure all resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to bring maximum impact to children in need.

The action World Vision is committed to includes:

  • transformational development, which is the phrase we use to describe a holistic approach to improving the lives of the poor by recognising people's physical, social, spiritual, economic and political needs.
  • emergency relief – following the International Code of Conduct for disaster relief organisations
  • promotion of justice – we advocate for victims of injustice and poverty
  • strategic initiatives - such as programs promoting community leadership
  • public awareness
  • Christian engagement by example – we oppose proselytism and coercion of any kind.

Our projects emphasise:

  • the needs of children
  • long-term viability and sustainability
  • education (including literacy) and skills training
  • gender equality
  • HIV and AIDS education and prevention
  • affordable technology solutions.

We're committed to best-practice corporate governance processes, to efficiency and effectiveness, to preventing the exploitation of the people we serve, and to engaging the corporate sector as well as the public. 

Our work is project-based. 
Relief work can be short-term, while rehabilitation and development may last up to ten years. While we might initiate a project or be invited, our work is always dependent on the consent of the communities involved. 

For some years, our approach has been to undertake projects involving clusters of communities, empowering people to become self-reliant through a range of activities that may include health improvements, agricultural training, small business workshops and leadership development. In consultation with the community, priorities are identified, a project designed and a budget prepared. 

World Vision is only a partner in this process: we provide a safety net, technical support and finance. It is people themselves working towards their own development.

83.3% of every

donated goes to field programs and advocacy work

History of World Vision

World Vision's founder Dr Robert Pierce

From the beginning, World Vision's activities have been focused on giving people – especially children – opportunities to alleviate their suffering and to improve their lives. In 1947, American missionary Dr Robert Pierce travelled to China and Korea and encountered people who regularly had to go without food, clothing, shelter or medicine. During the Korean War in the early fifties, he helped set up orphanages to care for children who’d been abandoned or orphaned. 

Upon his return to the US, Pierce began raising funds to continue and expand his work in Asia. The strength of the public response was such that, in September 1950, World Vision was founded, with Pierce as its president. 

World Vision was established in Australia in 1966. During that decade, World Vision expanded its operations to meet the needs of refugees in Indochina and of people recovering from disasters in Bangladesh and in several African countries.

In the 1970s, World Vision's focus broadened from assisting the individual child to include community development. Since the 1980s, the “welfare” approach has gradually changed to a more collaborative relationship. Poor, marginalised people and communities work with World Vision to improve their lives and take control of their futures.

50 years of

We believe in building lasting change

A story of faith, hope and love

“This is earth in its poverty and its pain. If God hasn’t given up on this place, then as a Christian, I can’t give up.” – Rev Tim Costello, Chief Advocate, World Vision Australia

Most Australians know something of World Vision’s story. Since we began in Australia over 50 years ago, millions have done the 40 Hour Famine, or sponsored a child, or dug deep when an emergency like the Asian Tsunami occurs. As Australians have connected with us, they’ve connected with the stories of children, families and communities struggling with injustice and poverty right around the world.

But not everyone may be familiar with World Vision’s connection to the Christian story. It is this story that motivated our founders and continues to motivate and guide our staff and organisation today. At the heart of this story is the person of Jesus. His life and his teaching shapes the way we work today.

Our story is a story of faith. Jesus was known for spending time with those on the fringes of society, always seeing potential for change and transformation where others could not. His example motivates us to live and love at the edges and to find potential for transformation in the toughest situations.

Our story is a story of hope. Jesus presented a radically different view of how life, relationships and society could be. He said he came so that everyone might have a full life. This gives us a glimpse of how things could be and motivates us to work for justice for all, so that everyone might experience a "full life", with no-one left behind.

And our story is a story of love. We believe that that love has the power to overcome all. The unconditional love Jesus demonstrated for the sick and the hungry, for children and widows, for prostitutes and foreigners, for friend and even for foe, sets the standard we aspire to today. Love drives us to serve all people in need today, regardless of race, gender, age, location, religion or social status.

Today, there are more than half a million Australians who share in World Vision’s work. Some share our Christian story, but many have other stories that motivate them to partner with us. We welcome and celebrate this diversity.

All of us at World Vision are connected in our desire to seek justice and to overcome poverty for all children, everywhere. We invite all Australians to join us.

Take a deeper look at how our development work is informed by our Christian faith.

Our global reach

World Vision works globally, implementing development programs and responding to emergencies.

The regions in which we work are Asia and the Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean, the Middle East and Eastern Europe & Central Asia.

100.5 million

benefited from your support from 2014-2017