Why I want to “rejoin“ World Vision
World Vision is a global Christian
relief, development and advocacy
organisation dedicated to working
with children, families and
communities to overcome poverty
and injustice. World Vision serves
all people, regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity, or gender.
When I first joined World Vision, in 2004, with my 12 years of experience as a professional journalist, my motivation was to experience another way to better serve people. I found WV as a family and a child focused Organisation. During my years with the organisation, I saw an effective alignment of its mission, values and vision.
For four years, I had been blessed to organise several media and VIP visits all around Senegal but also in Mali. My first mission was in the southern part of Senegal, in Velingera zone of ADP (Area Development Programme, a long-term child sponsorship programming approach).
I visited several villages, mainly occupied by Fulani people (Pastoralists) in such remote areas that the first car they had ever seen was a WV’s car. It was very hot, and I discovered for the first-time extreme poverty in my own country. None of my friends in Dakar had never been there.
They could not understand why a distinguished and articulated journalist like me, coming straight from Paris, would like to be “there”. I was personally excited to learn more about village people and the work WV was doing there. I was sent to write in French and English, my first article for the Organisation. It was only weeks after, that Eric Toumieux, WV Senegal director at the time, explained to me that he knew I would succeed, even though it was one of the most remote and difficult ADP. In fact, this trip was a test. He thought that, if after that mission, in “a hostile environment” (hot, far from the capital, mosquitos…) I still wanted to stay with WV, it meant that I could definitely do the job!
For several days, I was with WV Staff and nurses who went to different villages to check children’s health and nutrition, weighting them, giving vaccines. They would also take time to discuss and explain to parents for example, how to stock salt properly and why.
I was impressed by their work and dedication, and their humility.
My contract was not signed yet, so I was presented as the communication person. The ADP manager explained, in simple words, that thanks to my writings and work, WV Senegal would have more sponsors and finance. At the end of the first morning, spontaneously, like only village people can do, a song was invented to honour and thank me, in advance. I will always remember the lyrics and the rhythm of this song saying “Bilintima Madame Renée” (Thank you Mam Renée). The ladies were joyful, singing and dancing for me. I thanked them back. We took our cars to leave the village. As we were to leave, a woman jumped from nowhere and gave me 3 little traditional breads, made from maize called “tapalapa”. They were hot! I could not figure out where she could have taken them from. And why she was giving them to me, when her communities needed them more than me. I learnt another lesson this day. These people knew the value of receiving, but they also knew the greatness of giving.
Whether for the water towels that WV built in different villages, or farms and agricultural fields or education especially towards girls, day after day, I could see, concretely, the impact that WV had on people’s life, children in particular. I have been the witness of how communities can be transformed for the better. WV programs last around 13 years. They are not made to last with WV, but to be passed on to the communities who are empowered when WV leaves. Their aim is long-term development. Indeed, in everything they do, they seek to bring fullness of life to children. I developed a passion for my work with WV. The staff, alongside families, and with local, national and global partners, “help children take an active role with their families in building lives free of need and full of promise.”
I am fond of the way WV works to ensure that they meet their goal of “sustained well-being of children within families and communities, especially the most vulnerable”. My passion of WV has remained unaltered after all these years. The work I did with WV staff made a significant contribution towards a better tomorrow. It gave me a true and profound sense of job satisfaction and self-motivation. Today, I am willing to do more, as there is nothing more beautiful than giving hope to millions of children and families all around the world.
If you want to sponsor a child :
Children Sponsorship, NGO, Renée Mendy, World Vision