What we believe

Our Vision

Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness;
Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.

Our future

We look forward to a world where every child experiences Jesus’ promise of life in all its fullness.
Where they are protected, cared for and given the opportunities to become all God meant them to be. Where they grow strong in communities free of need and full of promise. Where families are valued, creation preserved and the most vulnerable live in security and confidence. Where they become responsible citizens of well-led nations. Where peace and justice reign and all have the right to contribute. Where they flourish in a world where the treasure of our hearts and the measure of our wealth is the happiness and well-being of all children. In such a world, we all taste the joy of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Our approach

  • Faithful messengers of God’s love
  • Trusted partners in lasting change
  • Powerful motivators of caring
  • Courageous promoters of justice and peace
  • Inspiring models of co-operation

* Vision Statement inspired by and based on John 10:10: “I have come that you might have life, life in all its
fullness.”

Adopted, Council August 2004

Our Mission

WORLD VISION is an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.

We pursue this mission through integrated, holistic commitment to:

Transformational Development

that is community-based and sustainable, focused especially on the needs of children;

Emergency Relief

that assists people afflicted by conflict or disaster;

Promotion of Justice

that seeks to change unjust structures affecting the poor among whom we work;

Partnerships with churches

to contribute to spiritual and social transformation;

Public Awareness

that leads to informed understanding, giving, involvement and prayer;

Witness to Jesus Christ

by life, deed, word and sign that encourages people to respond to the Gospel.

As World Vision persons we are members of various local churches and/or denominations.
Most of these groupings have their own formal creeds. The founders of World Vision, believing that
our activities should be undergirded by a few straightforward confessional commitments, elected to
adopt the following Statement of Faith and it is now included in our new Constitution, to wit:

  1. We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy
    Spirit.
  2. We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and His personal return in power and glory.
  3. We believe the Bible to be inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
  4. We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
  5. We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
  6. We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved until the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
  7. We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

World Vision Statement of Core Values

WE ARE CHRISTIAN. We acknowledge one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ the love, mercy and grace of God are made known to us and all people. From this overflowing abundance of God’s love we find our call to ministry.

We proclaim together, “Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Jesus is Lord.” We desire him to be central in our individual and corporate life.

We seek to follow him — in his identification with the poor, the powerless, the afflicted, the oppressed, the marginalised; in his special concern for children; in his respect for the dignity bestowed by God on women equally with men; in his challenge to unjust attitudes and systems; in his call to share resources with each other; in his love for all people without discrimination or conditions; in his offer of new life through faith in him. From him we derive our holistic understanding of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which forms the basis of our response to human need.

We hear his call to servanthood and see the example of his life. We commit ourselves to a servant spirit permeating the organisation. We know this means facing honestly our own pride, sin and failure.

We bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. We will maintain our identity as Christian, while being sensitive to the diverse contexts in which we express that identity.

WE ARE COMMITTED TO THE POOR. We are called to serve the neediest people of the earth; to relieve their suffering and to promote the transformation of their condition of life.

We stand in solidarity in a common search for justice. We seek to understand the situation of the poor and work alongside them towards fullness of life. We share our discovery of eternal hope in Jesus Christ.

We seek to facilitate an engagement between the poor and the affluent that opens both to transformation. We respect the poor as active participants, not passive recipients, in this relationship. They are people from whom others may learn and receive, as well as give. The need for transformation is common to all. Together we share a quest for justice, peace, reconciliation and healing in a broken world.

WE VALUE PEOPLE. We regard all people as created and loved by God. We give priority to people before money, structure, systems and other institutional machinery. We act in ways that respect the dignity, uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every person — the poor, the donors, our staff and their families, boards and volunteers. We celebrate the richness of diversity in human personality, culture and contribution.

We practice a participative, open, enabling style in working relationships. We encourage the professional, personal and spiritual development of our staff.

WE ARE STEWARDS. The resources at our disposal are not our own. They are a sacred trust
from God through donors on behalf of the poor. We are faithful to the purpose for which those resources are given and manage them in a manner that brings maximum benefit to the poor.

We speak and act honestly. We are open and factual in our dealings with donor constituencies, project communities, governments, the public at large and with each other. We endeavor to convey a public image conforming to reality. We strive for consistency between what we say and what we do.

We demand of ourselves high standards of professional competence and accept the need to be accountable through appropriate structures for achieving these standards. We share our experience and knowledge with others where it can assist them.

We are stewards of God’s creation. We care for the earth and act in ways that will restore and protect the environment. We ensure that our development activities are ecologically sound.

WE ARE PARTNERS. We are members of an international World Vision Partnership that transcends legal, structural and cultural boundaries. We accept the obligations of joint participation, shared goals and mutual accountability that true partnership requires. We affirm our inter-dependence and our willingness to yield autonomy as necessary for the common good. We commit ourselves to know, understand and love each other.

We are partners with the poor and with donors in a shared ministry. We affirm and promote unity in the Body of Christ. We pursue relationship with all churches and desire mutual participation in ministry. We seek to contribute to the holistic mission of the church.

We maintain a co-operative stance and a spirit of openness towards other humanitarian organizations.
We are willing to receive and consider honest opinions from others about our work.

WE ARE RESPONSIVE. We are responsive to life-threatening emergencies where our involvement is needed and appropriate. We are willing to take intelligent risks and act quickly. We do this from a foundation of experience and sensitivity to what the situation requires. We also recognize that even in the midst of crisis, the destitute have a contribution to make from their experience.

We are responsive in a different sense where deep-seated and often complex economic and social deprivation calls for sustainable, long-term development. We maintain the commitments necessary for this to occur.

We are responsive to new and unusual opportunities. We encourage innovation, creativity and flexibility. We maintain an attitude of learning, reflection and discovery in order to grow in understanding and skill.

OUR COMMITMENT

We recognise that values cannot be legislated; they must be lived. No document can substitute for the attitudes, decisions and actions that make up the fabric of our life and work. Therefore, we covenant with each other, before God, to do our utmost individually and as corporate entities within the World Vision Partnership to uphold these Core Values, to honor them in our decisions, to express them in our relationships and to act consistently with them wherever World Vision is at work.

INTRODUCTION

In 1978 the Boards of the several “incorporating members” of an enlarged and restructured World Vision International met “to be launched by the Holy Spirit upon a new venture in partnership and ministry” (Declaration of Internationalization, 31st May, 1978). Under the guiding, correcting and enlightening influence of the same Holy Spirit, we have seen the Partnership so launched extend to encompass over sixty national entities.

Our corporate pilgrimage has brought us to new understandings of relationship and ministry. Sensing the need to express these shared understandings as a framework for joint global action, a Covenant of Partnership has been formulated. The Covenant is based on the principle of interdependent national entities held together, under God, by voluntary commitment rather than legal contract. On this basis the national entities are envisaged as functioning in a complementary, cohesive manner in which national interests are recognised, but are regarded as secondary to the larger whole. We affirm the spirit of citizenship in the Kingdom of God described in Ephesians; “…fellow-citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the foundation-stone.” (Ephesians 2: 19, 20)

ELEMENTS OF PARNERSHIP DEFINED

The World Vision Partnership refers to the entire World Vision family throughout the world. Any expression of the World Vision ministry is in some way connected to the Partnership. The word “Partnership” is used in this document in a broad, informal sense, rather than a legal sense.

World Vision National Entities comprise the membership of the Partnership. The conditions and categories of membership are described in the By-Laws of World Vision International. All function with the guidance and advice of a National Board or Advisory Council.

World Vision International (WVI) is the registered legal entity which, through its Council and Board of Directors, provides the formal international structure for the Partnership.

The WVI Council provides the membership structure for the Partnership. It meets every three years to review the purpose and objectives of World Vision, assess the extent to which they have been accomplished and make recommendations to the WVI Board in relation to policy. All member-entities are represented on the Council.

The WVI Board of Directors is the governing body of WVI as outlined in the By-Laws. The membership of the Board is broadly representative of the Partnership and is appointed by a process determined by the Partnership.

The Global Centre within our federalist model is the international office of the World Vision Partnership often operating from locations around the Partnership. It has operational responsibility Covenant of Partnership through the International President for stewarding all the entities of the global Partnership based on a defined set of reserved powers. It operates under the authority of the WVI Board of Directors.

THE COVENANT

Regarding World Vision as a partnership of interdependent national entities,

Affirming the principle of relationships based on commonly held mission, values and commitments,

Acknowledging the process of internationalisation that has brought the World Vision Partnership to its present stage of development, and

Recognising the need for a statement of the rights and obligations of member entities,

We, as a properly constituted national World Vision Board (or Advisory Council), do covenant with other World Vision Boards (or Advisory Councils) to:

  1. UPHOLD THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS OF WORLD VISION IDENTITY AND PURPOSE;
    1. The Statement of Faith, that declares our shared beliefs as Christians, as members of many churches.
    2. The Mission Statement, setting out the fundamental purpose and activities of World Vision.
    3. The Core Values, which emphasise our commitment to Jesus Christ and the poor, and describe the character to which we aspire as an organisation.
    4. The Vision Statement, which declares our aspirations for the persons among whom we work.
  2. CONTRIBUTE TO THE ENRICHMENT OF PARTNERSHIP LIFE AND UNITY, by;
    1. Sharing in strategic decision-making and policy formulation through consultation and mechanisms that offer all members an appropriate voice in Partnership affairs.
    2. Communicating clearly to constituencies and the public that we are members of a larger, international Christian Partnership.
    3. Accepting the leadership and organisational structures established by the WVI Council and Board for the operation of the Partnership.
    4. Carrying out World Vision ministries in a manner that is sensitive and responsive to national cultures and contexts.
    5. Observing and practising at all levels a modest lifestyle as reflected in buildings and furnishings, compensation levels, class of travel and accommodations, and general mode of operation.
    6. Engaging in direct, open dialogue with other entities on issues of tension or conflict, seeking constructive solutions that seem best for all concerned, and demonstrating the power of reconciliation in Christ.
    7. Fostering an open spirit of exchange for ideas, proposals, vision and concern within the Partnership.
    8. Encouraging board members and staff in their participation in the worship and life of a local church, which is important to our Christian existence and a sign of our corporate commitment to support the Church in her global mission.
    9. Empowering and enabling national offices so that decision making and accountability takes place as close as possible to those affected by the decisions (Federalist Principle of Empowerment).
    10. Accepting that WVI and the member entities can only achieve their shared mission by cooperating with each other (Federalist Principle of Interdependence).
    11. Making a commitment to honour both the work of the local and global organisation in the spirit of twin citizenship – recognising national interests, but appreciating them in the light of the good of the whole Partnership (Federalist Principle of Twin Citizenship).
    12. Mutually holding individuals, WVI and the member entities accountable for meeting behavioural expectations and making sure our commitments are upheld (Federalist Principle of Accountability).
  3. WORK WITHIN THE ACCOUNTABILITY STRUCTURES BY WHICH THE PARTNERSHIP FUNCTIONS, by;
    1. Affirming the principle of mutual accountability and transparency between all entities, including our willingness to have our ministries (including domestic ministries) and our financial affairs evaluated and examined and our compensation programmes reviewed, with due notice, by appropriate Partnership representatives.
    2. Accepting Partnership policies and decisions established by WVI Board consultative processes.
    3. Honouring commitments to adopted budgets to the utmost extent possible.
    4. Ensuring that where Partnership entities plan bilateral arrangements that are outside already agreed Partnership plans WVI is consulted, in agreement and regularly informed.
    5. Consulting with WVI or other member entities on decisions which may have a significant impact on other members of the Partnership.
    6. Executing an agreement with WVI to protect the trademark, name and symbols of World Vision worldwide.
    7. Ensuring that we establish no office or programme outside our own national borders without the consent of both WVI and the host country.
  4. OBSERVE AGREED FINANCIAL PRINCIPLES AND PROCEDURES, especially;
    1. Using funds raised under the auspices of World Vision exclusively in World Vision approved ministries.
    2. Keeping overhead and fund-raising expenses to a minimum to ensure that a substantial majority of the funds raised are responsibly utilised in ministry among the poor.
    3. Remitting through WVI all resources intended for ministry outside of donor countries, with the exception of direct project funding under approved bilateral agreements.
    4. Being accountable for effective Financial Stewardship including Planning and Budgeting that is based on WVI policies and in alignment with the WVI Board approved framework for Partnership financial operations.
    5. Ensuring that funds or commodities accepted from governments or multi-lateral agencies do not compromise World Vision’s mission or core values, and that such resources do not become the major ongoing source of support.
  5. PRESENT CONSISTENT COMMUNICATIONS MESSAGES, that;
    1. Reflect our Christian identity in appropriate ways.
    2. Include words, images, numbers and statistics that are consistent with ministry realities.
    3. Avoid paternalism and cultural insensitivity.
    4. Are free from demeaning and degrading images.
    5. Build openness, confidence, knowledge and trust within the Partnership.

In signing the Covenant, we are mindful of the rich heritage of Christian service represented by World Vision and of the privilege which is ours to join with others of like mind in the work of the Kingdom of God throughout the world.

We therefore recognise that consistent failure to honour this Covenant of Partnership may provide cause for review of our status as a member of the Partnership by the Board of WVI.

(Covenant of Partnership, revised 27 August 2007, British English)