My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for World Vision International, New York, NY, USA
The following are two reviews for two different sponsored children through World Vision and two different situations entirely: one for a short lived sonsorship in Ghana, and one that came to an abrupt end by World Vision in India this month.
1) I sponsored a girl in Ghana, but could not shake the feeling that I was being ripped off by the local "charity". I received a picture of a different girl, and when I called WV in the US to find out what was going on, was literally told that children change as they get older. Mind you, I had just started sponsoring the girl a few months earlier, so she must have turned into a different person within a few months. After insisting hat this was a different human being, they agreed to look into it. I never heard back about it. I also asked the WV employee on the phone how much oversight they had over Ghana employees, as I never heard back form the sponsored child after sending her mail. I was of course reassured that I had nothing to worry about. In the course of the following weeks, I sent another letter and parcel but never received an answer. Instead, I got a "progress report" (fill in the blank card) that was clearly filled out by an employee. He/she had the audacity to draw three lines in the back (drawing area for children) and write "vase" and "tree" next to them. The "drawings" were done with the same ballpoint pen, yet I had sent the girl color pencils and crayons. The girl being 10 years old, I expected her to at least draw her own drawing (what else is the point of it?!)and fill in the blanks on her report herself. (My name is ____ I am ___ years old... nothing fancy here!) When I called to inquire, the WV staff were ignorant to the fact that this 4th grader lived in a country with English as its official language and reminded me that they operated in countries where translators were needed!! They must have passed on my complaints, because I received 4 letters within 2 weeks, one thanking me for "all the gifts". The letters were typed and kept referring to the girl as "the child". I decided not to keep sponsoring some corrupt Ghanaian employee's villa any longer and wrote one last good bye letter. Sadly, I will never know if this girl ever even knew she had a sponsor, or if she ever benefited from any money I sent. ............................................................. 2) I have been sponsoring a girl in India for the past 5 1/2 yrs, during which time, I only received two "progress reports" that were not even filled out by her herself, but by the WV employee in the respective office, though at the time of the last one she was in 4th grade and had taken English since 1st grade. Yesterday, I bought back to school gifts I wanted to send to her. When I logged into my online account last night to look up the address, a different child was presented to me as my sponsored child, in a different part of India, whom I had presumably started sponsoring 3 weeks ago?! I called up the office today and they informed me that WV was no longer needed in my sponsored girl's region and that they are stopping operations there. I no longer could sponsor her, write to her, find out about her, would never be able to get in touch with her due to their child protection policies, and in short, should just get over it and sponsor that other child they already signed me up for or any other child I chose. I am completely heart-broken, because I had planned on visiting her, on the day I made this commitment (it was never a matter of "if" and always a matter of "when") , I had commited to myself to see her through college and make sure that, when she is old enough, she would know that she has someone who can help her if she ever were in need. In short, I was determined to make this specific girl's life better and give her a real chance in life. While the monthly gift goes to the community, I had hoped that through letters, books, writing utensils, writing paper, an atlas, etc., she would gain an appreciation for school, and through an education have a better life. Now, I won't ever know anything about her. I never ever thought sponsorship could come to such an abrupt and unnatural end. The WV employee on the phone commended me for taking such interest in a person I do not know, and reminded me that child sponsorship never really goes directly to the child anyway, but to the community... yet, THEY create this bond on purpose by sending out a photo and a name, so that, as a sponsor, you associate ONE person with your gift. How would I not feel saddened to know that all this was taken away form her and me without as much as a prior notice.
Also, I never knew if she ever received any of the books, letters, pens, pencils, toys, etc. that I sent her. I am now looking to find a different organization where communication is more open. I feel burned by World Vision and can't get over the fact that I will never know if "my little girl" ended up on the street, in a brothel, as a child bride, or in college. And I will NEVER stop wondering.
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