Seeing the difference firsthand

Seeing the difference firsthand

By Natalie Watts, World Vision staff member

Working at World Vision - and also being a child sponsor - are both enriching experiences.

It's amazing knowing that we play a part in helping those less fortunate than us. It gives a sense of purpose that, no matter how small an act we make, we are contributing to the bigger picture of trying to help end poverty.

In my day to day work life, I see a lot of heartbreaking, yet inspiring photos, stories and videos that show us what vulnerable children and their families experience in their daily lives. I’ve always wanted to go to the field to see firsthand the impact World Vision Australia and our supporters are helping achieve.

During a recent holiday to Vietnam, my husband and I had the opportunity to visit a village where World Vision is working in central Vietnam. This experience really brought our work to life.

A chance to learn a living

During this one-day journey through the community, we experienced rewarding and unforgettable moments for us. We met two young adults who came from a very poor family. They were excited to be involved in the World Vision Educational program, which not only provided them the skills and knowledge to open their own shop to repair scooters, but the confidence to grow and earn a living for a better future. This training gave these two young adults the hope and vision to drive their own success. It was remarkable to see the determination these boys had.

We then met a couple who lived in the hills of Vietnam. It was not until we met this couple that we realised our basic needs, which sometimes we take for granted, are a constant battle for some vulnerable people. We have access to a variety of food on a daily basis, we know what foods to eat for our health and we have been educated. We can sometimes forget that some people in vulnerable situations may not have life’s basic skills to feed their children nutritious food, let alone have complete access to it.

This couple had their lives changed by simple, yet effective World Vision programs. The wife proudly told us how their second child was much healthier after she was taught how to prepare nutritious food, which is vital to their young children’s wellbeing.  The husband also showed us how he was able to create a source of income to support his family through a business he started after receiving chickens from World Vision. You could see the confidence this couple had since they could now take care of their family.  

Education is the key to survival and independence, which will not only help them for life but for future generations, which is all contributing towards ending the cycle of poverty.  


School assembly

Lastly, we attended the local high school that World Vision supports, where many sponsored children have been given an opportunity to grow and learn. 

We were extremely overwhelmed by the number of faces at the school assembly (just for us!!).  The joy in their eyes, warmth in their clapping, and embrace of goodwill was certainly a highlight. We observed several activities from the students outlining both educational and survival skills they had learnt. What to do in an emergency situation and how to combat problems that are very real in this community. 

Things like splintering a hurt leg, bandaging a deep cut, or dealing with a snake bite are realistically encountered in their daily lives.  Like riding a bike, each student has learnt these valuable life lessons that have been made possible with the support of World Vision and our generous supporters.

No matter what part of the world we live in, children are our future. If we can all do a small part to help those in need, it is a step closer to helping shape a better world. We are all going through a journey in life and have a story to tell but this experience has definitely made us appreciate more of what we have in our lives.

Being able to meet people in the Vietnam community brought our work to life. But more importantly, it was inspiring to see them to build their own success with the support of World Vision and supporters.


Natalie Watts works as a marketing advisor at World Vision Australia.

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