World Vision

Published in 1991 - GroupWatch was compiled by the Interhemispheric Resource Center, Box 4506, Albuquerque, NM 87196.

Group: World Vision File Name: wv.txt

Last Updated: 12/91

Principals: World Vision International board of directors as of February 1991: Mr. Ebenezer Aidoo (Ghana); Dr. Direk Arayakosol (Thailand); Mr. Jacques Daccord (Canada); Dr. John Dellenback (U.S.); Mr. Josue Gonzalez (Mexico); Dr. Roberta Hestenes (U.S.); Mr. David Jenkin (Australia); Mr. Winston Ko (U.S.); Mr. James Lee (U.S.); Mr. Wilfred Mlay (Tanzania); Mr. Bruce Ogden (Australia); Mr. Arthur Pont (Britain); Mr. Robert Roebuck (Canada); Mr.Hans- Dieter Ruf (Germany); Canon John Rymer (New Zealand); and Rev. Valdir Steuernagel (Brazil).(46) Members of the board of directors of World Vision, Inc (U.S.) as of February 19! 91 were: Mrs. Dale Bourke; Dr. John Dellenback; Colleen Evans; Dr. Leighton Ford; Dr. Roberta Hestenes; Dr. John Huffman; Vida Icenogle; Graeme Irvine; Winston Ko; Steve Lazarian; Jim Lee; Dr. James Massey; Dr. John Perkins; Mark Ritchie; Dr. Robert Seiple; Thomas Smith; Dr. Kenell Touryan; Daniel Villanueva; and Dr. Frank Young.(46) In 1990 officers of World Vision International were: Graeme Irvine, president (Australia); Dean Hirsch, senior vice president (U.S.); James Canning, vice president-finance and administration (U.S.); Manfred Grellert, vice president-Latin America and Caribbean (Brazil); Harold Henderson, vice president-international relations (Australia); Samuel Kamaleson, vice president-at-large (India); Russ Kerr, vice president-relief (New Zealand); and Bryant Myers, vice president- research and development (U.S).(47)

Category: Service, Religious.

Background: World Vision International (WV), a multinational relief and development organization, was among the first private humanitarian groups to spring up out of U.S. anticommunist and antipoverty sentiments during the 1950s and 1960s. It is an interdenominational agency of the evangelical tradition and is composed of two broad groups: the Support Offices and the Field Offices.(26,27,46) World Vision International oversees and coordinates the agency's global operations. World Vision Inc. is the U.S. Support Office.(46) World Vision Relief Organization, later renamed World Vision Relief and Development, Inc. is a branch of World Vision, Inc. established in l962.(26,27,46) As a part of the larger World Vision International network, it handles negotiations and contracts with governments. Other Support Offices, each independently incorporated and governed, are located in Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Britain, Hong Kong, South Africa, Singapore, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Swit! zerland, Netherlands, and Japan. World Vision International is responsible for all the international relief and development programs supported by these Support Offices.(46) World Vision also works with hundreds of "partner agencies," including government agencies, churches, schools, and humanitarian organizations in areas where WV has projects.(33) World Vision was founded in 1950 by Dr. Bob Pierce to care for Korean refugees, war orphans, and children who had been fathered by U.S. soldiers in South Korea. Later, in Vietnam, World Vision continued its appeal for support of children left behind by American GIs. Pierce was one of the first to promote child sponsorship as a component of relief activities.(1,15,16) Involved in frequent disagreements with WV's board of directors over funding allocations, Pierce resigned the organization in l967 and was replaced by W. Stanley Mooneyham, under whose leadership World Vision evolved intothe large multinational enterprise it is today.(16)

With global annual expenditures approaching one-quarter of a billion dollars, World Vision is the world's largest evangelical relief and development agency.(35) Originally based on the idea of sponsoring a child in the third world, WV has expanded its goals to include caring for families, responding to natural and man-made disasters, promoting self-sufficiency through longterm development, Christian witness, leadership development, and public information and awareness.(33) Mooneyham presided over the group's shift to providing development assistance in addition to humanitarian aid. Under his leadership, WV underwent a change in political orientation as well. WV's founder, Bob Pierce, had been deeply influenced by Cold War perspectives and had been associated with the likes of China's Chiang Kai-shek and South Korea's President Syngman Rhee. In Vietnam and Cambodia, Wor! ld Vision received substantial support from the Agency for International Development (AID) for various projects. In the l970s, however, WV tried to abandon its Cold War orientation, even working under communist governments in Ethiopia and Cambodia. It still accepted surplus food, relief funds, and development grants from AID, but the percentage of income it received from AID dropped significantly.(l6)

In part because of its funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development--which forbids the use of government money for proselytizing--World Vision has emphasized its development and humanitarian components over its evangelical perspective. Furthermore, although its board of directors is generally evangelical, many of its contributors are not. In 1983 in Europe, for instance, only five percent of its donors were evangelical. In Australia and New Zealand, 20 percent were Catholic and another 20 percent had no religious affiliation. WV has consequently promoted itself as a nonsectarian, humanitarian organization and has downplayed evangelical components.

Nonetheless, it has generally channeled its material and developmental aid through local evangelical groups and individuals, thus frequently bypassing traditional community leaders and established organizations. In addition, World Vision staff sometimes include evangelical components in their relief and development activities. As a result, World Vision has often been accused of fragmenting communities by creating new patronage and leadership structures which have access to the tremendous resources of the international body. It has also been accused by other private organizations of promoting dependence.(16,18,4) World Vision, like many evangelical organizations with giveaway programs, has been criticized for promoting a mentality of opportunism and self-aggrandizement while neglecting t! he idea of social responsibility. Referring to this dilemma, an Ecuadorian priest said, "...World Vision is the most serious problem on the level of campesino development. It is undermining effort and reflection on the part of the people themselves, destroying popular organization. Evangelicals are telling our people they're stupid because they're doing something for nothing. The mentality develops that those who demand effort are the enemy of the community. Of getting all the money you can. Of opportunism and taking advantage."(16)

At times, World Vision has been accused of being a front group for the United States government. Pax Christi, a Catholic human rights group, even called it a "Trojan Horse" for U.S. foreign policy. Others have accused it of being a front for the CIA and of cooperating with the counterinsurgency efforts of the U.S. and its allies.(16) Ironically, however, some fundamentalist Christians have seen WV as a far too liberal organization which underemphasizes theological indoctrination--by not promoting Bible training, for instance--and which focuses too much attention on "this world" issues like relief and community development. In Latin America, the relief and development programs of organizations like World Vision challenge the existing churches--Catholic, fundamentalist, and mainline Protestant alike-- by providing well-financed alternate lines of patronage. On the other hand, they have also encouraged a certain amount of evangelical commitment at the grassroots level to community improvement.(16) Despite accusations of involvement with the CIA or of acting as agents of U.S. imperialism and of supporting counterinsurgency, final judgments on World Vision are clearly mixed. No evidence of links to the CIA has been found, and while in some cases, its projects have resulted in community conflicts--often due to in-fighting overmaterial resources and patronage opportunities--and de facto support for government counterinsurgency, in others the group has shown ideological flexibility and a commitment to development.(16) Pat Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network criticized World Vision on his television program in 1984 for failing to join the attack against the Sandinistas. After the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador, WV published his views on liberation and exhorted evangelicals to come to terms with the challenges posed by liberation theology. It was also one of the few evangelical groups to offer an early and realistic critique of Rios Montt's regime and its brutal policies in Guatemala.(16)

World Vision's performance in terms of support for counter-revolutionary activities seems to boil down to issues of staffing at the local level and to its attempts to maintain impartiality in highly politicized environments. If local WV coordinators are affiliated with or supportive of repressive structures inside the country, then projects--such as in Honduras--are likely to be marked by counterrevolutionary perspectives and activities. Similarly, if local coordinators are fundamentalist evangelicals, then WV programs are often tinged with pressures to convert in exchange for access to resources. By refusing to take sides, moreover, World Vision--again, as in Honduras--has sometimes inadvertently allowed itself to be used by rightwing forces. At the level of the international organizational structure these same tendencies do not seem to be institutionalized, and WV is often found among the evangelical organizations which are likely to criticize the religious and political right. The end result of the aforementioned dilemmas, nonetheless, is that the agency is frequently perceived as a rightwing organization itself.(16,13) WV has been in Guatemala and E! l Salvador since 1975 and Honduras since 1974. WV also worked in Nicaragua from 1972 to 1983.(6,ll,12) MARC (Missions Advanced Research and Communication Center), a division of WV International, gathers statistics on mission fields regarding an area's physical features; population growth, density, and distribution; languages; government; economy; and religion.(15) MARC is also the major organizer for WV and orchestrated the Lausanne II world evangelical conference held in the Philippines.(31) MARC maintains a data base on Christian ministries and has a listing of 2500 unreached people groups. It maintains a 6000-volume library on world evangelism. Its publications include a newsletter, World Christianity, the Unreached Peoples Annual, and the Mission Handbook. MARC also produces video training tools.(32)

Countries: More than 90 countries are served, including: BG, BO, BR, CD, CH, CO, CR, CY, EC, EG, ES, ET, GH, GT, HA, HO, IN! , IS, Kampuchea, KE, KO, LE, MA, ME, MR, MW, MZ, NG, PA, PE, PH, PN, SE, SF, SL, South Pacific Islands, SU, TA, TH, TW, UD, ZA, ZB, ZM.

Funding: World Vision International's income for 1990 was more than $226 million, all but $10 million of which came from the Support Offices. The U.S. Support Office led the contributors with $85.4 million, followed by Canada-$31.7 million, Australia, $23.7 million; Germany/Switzerland/Austria-$10.5 million, New Zealand-$6.4 million, Great Britain-$4.7 million, Hong Kong-$2.2 million, other supporting groups (Finland, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Singapore, Southern Africa, and Taiwan)-$1.9 million, and other (unspecified) -$3.4 million. Gifts-in-kind from corporate and government sources via supporting entities totaled $55.4 million.(47) Field expenditures for the year totaled $207.8 million with Africa and Asia/Mid-East receiving the most aid, $59.8 million and $58 million respectively.Latin America received $41.9 million in aid, global relief $40.8 million, internatinal ministries $4.85 million and Europe $2.4 million.(47) World Vision Inc.'s 1988 income exceeded $168 million, including more than $6.5 million in government grants and $37,394 in "gifts-in- kind," most often from government sources.(29,35) Of the nearly $117 million spent on ministry services, $64.5 million went to relief, development and Christian Leadership ministries and $37 million to child-care ministries. However, WV's accounting methods make it difficult to determine how and where the government funds are spent.(38) World Vision Inc.'s 1987 budget was over $145 million with the expenditures on ministry services consistent with those of 1988. WV through its subsidiary the World Vision Relief and Development Agency (WVRDA) received over $14 million in U.S. government support as follows: $23,072 AID freight; $3,901,002 PL480 freigh! t; $4,625,375 P.L. 480 donated food; and $5,855,060 in grants.(36) Other WVRDA income sources in 1987 were: $129,788 in contracts; $17,101,852 in donated supplies and equipment; $2,767,994 from private contributions; and $48,137 from private revenue.(36).

World Vision Inc.'s 1986 income was $237.4 million.(1) In l985, the WV Relief Organization budget indicated revenues and support of $25,740,124 from these sources: AID Freight $596,658; PL480 Freight $207,l06, PL480 Donated Food $382,500; U.S. Government Excess Property $22,252,652; U.S. Government Grants $470,000; Other Governments and International Organizations $652,400; Donated Services $63,8l0; Donated Supplies & Equipment $79l,l53; Private Contributions $323,845.(9) WV receives no U.S. government money for its Latin American operations according to the l981 report on WV cited below.(3) In l983-84, World Vision received about 5 percent ($9.4 million out of an app! roximately $150 million budget, worldwide) from the U.S. Agency for International Development.(16) More than two thirds of the organization's budget is obtained from direct mail campaigns and TV telethons in which individuals are encouraged to pay $20 a month to sponsor a specific child.(11) However, in keeping with its newly developed goals of long term development, WV is planning to switch its campaigns from "swollen belly" appeals and to reduce its use of television.(30) In El Salvador, WV received funds from CIDA, the Canadian government's foreign aid agency (see Activities). Honduran funds come primarily from child sponsors in the United States but also from individual sponsors in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Africa, and West Germany.(13) WV has also received funding from the ARCO, (Luke B.) Hancock, and Stewardship foundations.(17,28) Kindernothilfe in Germany and Woord en Daad in the Netherlands are! other sources of financial support for World Vision.(24) Activities: World Vision International has six basic ministries: children & families; emergency relief & rehabilitation; community development, pastoral leadership training, and evangelization programs.(8,13) In 1986, World Vision sponsored 446,273 children in 79 countries. In its 1986 operations worldwide, 6.1 million people received relief, 4.9 million communities received developmental aid, and 2.2 million people received Christian outreach from WV. In Central America, WV has offices in San Jose, Costa Rica; San Salvador, El Salvador; Guatemala City, Guatemala; and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.(1) In l987, they reached 13,700,000 people through 4254 total international projects of which the largest number were in assistance to children and families, community development, and emergency relief and rehabilitation.(8) In the late l970s, Ed Dayton and Ted Eng! strom of World Vision International were two of the most popular trainers in programs on "Christian management techniques" aimed at conservative businesspeople.(15,33)

World Vision's 1988 figures show that the group reached over 14 million people living in 89 countries with 5,007 projects. The largest numbers, over 5 million were assisted through sponsorship projects, followed by 3.6 million through community development and 3.4 million through emergency relief.(29) In 1988, World Vision launched a 3-year, $500 million project, Child Survival and Beyond, with the goals of assisting the survival and ongoing physical and spiritual health of children in the countries where WV is active. The project has five "Survival components": immunization, oral rehydration therapy, growth monitoring, breast-feeding/nutrition training, and drinking water/sanitation. The "Beyond" components include primary health care, water development, a! gricultural development, economic development, and education. The project also has a $151 million emergency relief/refugee assistance component.(33)

Many of WV's activities in 1988 and 1989 are broad in scope and aimed at helping communities rather than individual children. A few examples follow. In India it is setting up Development Assisting Centers (DAC) which assist villages in agricultural, water systems, and other development projects. In turn, the DACs form regional groups to pool resources.(43) WV is envolved in a number of environmental projects to stop erosion and reclaim land for agricultural purposes. In a project in Haiti more than 529,000 trees have been planted since 1985. In Kalimantan (formerly Borneo) they have begun a major reforestation project to reclaim areas laid bare by lumber companies and forest fires. In Ethiopia, WV has an extensive project which includes reforestation, water systems, tree farms, and a! gricultural terracing.(33,44) News Vision, a news outlet designed to put media people in contact with World Vision projects around the world, got underway in Septemper 1988. The goal of News Vision is to provide news stories, photographs, videos, and resource contacts to the international news media and to coordinate news coverage of crisis situations.(41) The project, which headquarters in West London, is run by Kevin Hamilton who used to be with European Vis News.(41)

Lausanne II, the second International Congress on World Evangelization, was the major project of MARC in 1988. The original conference, held in 1974, brought together 2,700 people from 150 countries and marked the beginning of unity and cooperation within the evangelical movement.(39) Lausanne II, held in Manila, Philippines, offered 425 workshops, major speakers, musicians from six continents, and numerous video presentations to the 3,586 attendees from 17! 0 countries around the globe.

The World Vision Relief Organization provided relief, rehabilitation, and development assistance to recipients in countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Emergency relief provisions included food and other commodities, medicines, medical equipment, clothing, and refugee kits. Its community development programs cover food production, preventive health and nutrition, appropriate technology, childcare, income production, and vocational training.(9) These functions are now carried out by the World Vision Relief and Development Agency.

Ecuador: In the early l980s, World Vision was forced to close down its projects in some highland communities in Ecuador because of in-fighting and corruption among its local coordinators, other religious groups, and the indigenous population. People in the communities accused the organization of channeling its assistance exclusively through ! evangelicals, thus favoring those who shared the evangelical perspective and not those who had the greatest need. They also argued that WV bypassed traditional leadership structures in order to set up its own and that World Vision's extensive resources enticed people away from the Catholic Church and into the evangelical fold. In response to major upheavals in the most affected communities, WV closed its operations and fired its coordinators. It also began to switch to village councils instead of evangelical churches to serve as conduits for its assistance and to emphasize community development projects over distributive programs.(16)

El Salvador: World Vision programs in El Salvador began in l975 and now total at least l30 development and social assistance projects which are said to benefit more than 70,000 people. Between l979 and l986, the organization spent more than $8.l million for its programs in El Salvador. Today, WV'! s Salvadoran offices operate on an annual budget of $2 million, all of which is received from international headquarters in the United States.(12) For the NGO's first three years in the country, it concentrated solely on child sponsorship activities. WV's child sponsorship and school programs serve more than 12,000 children in El Salvador. In l978, it opened a country office and now has officers in the capital, Santa Ana, and San Miguel. The group reports that it works with 80 percent of the country's evangelical churches in programs of community development, assistance to the displaced, pastoral training, childcare, emergency assistance, and evangelization. Community development projects--those focusing on water, nutrition, housing, education, and health--begin only in response to a request from the community.(12) In l984, World Vision became involved in helping to resettle displaced families. At that time, it decided tha! t it would "continue to provide emergency assistance when needed, but also to start looking for ways to help people resettle and organize themselves to become productive communities." In l985, using funds from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), World Vision began work in two resettlement projects which involved relocating displaced families onto purchased land. Later, the project switched focus to resettling families on abandoned or under-utilized lands owned by agrarian reform cooperatives and the government's Institute for Agrarian Transformation (ISTA). In addition to finding relocation sites, WV provided 80 displaced families with housing materials, food, seeds, fertilizer, medicine, Bible studies, and the training of committee members and two literacy instructors. The NGO acknowledged that the project has been troubled by a number of problems including desertion, suspicion, and errors in housing design. The ho! using design has been changed, however, and the group has raised the possibility of expanding the relocation project if finances allow.(12) World Vision responded to the disaster situation caused by the 1986 earthquake with a contribution of $200,000, with $40,000 earmarked for immediate relief and the remainder for rehabilitation efforts. The emergency relief was used to purchase immediate necessities such as blankets, tents, clothing and survival services. The rehabilitation funds were used for housing repair, medical supplies, and food aid. In these efforts WV worked with its El Salvador office, the government-sponsored National Relief Committee, and the Evangelical Church Committee for Relief.(37)

Most or all of WV's programs are accompanied by some degree of evangelization by local churches. One of World Vision's major functions is to challenge local parishes to strengthen their evangelization. World Vision El Salvado! r publishes Carta de Liderazgo Cristiano, a translation of Christian Leadership Letter, WV's English-language newsletter.(12)

Guatemala: World Vision has worked in Guatemala since l975 when it began its child sponsorship program there. After the l976 earthquake, the organization channeled relief supplies to the country through the Latin America Mission and associated churches. WV opened its office in Guatemala City the following year and substantially expanded its operations.(5,11) There are currently more than l30 WV projects in Guatemala, making the organization one of the largest NGOs and the largest evangelical assistance organization in the country. More than l9,500 Guatemalan children are sponsored through the child sponsorship program now, and the country office manages a $2 million annual budget for its agricultural, health care, training (called PROCAP-Community Training Program), relief, and evangelical programs. Wor! ld Vision channels U.S. food aid, which it receives from CARE, to associated evangelical churches.(11)

The Christian Committee, an evangelical training program run by WV, provides training for pastors and scholarships for theological study with the Latin American Evangelical Theology Center. It also sponsors a "cassette ministry" for outreach to Quiche Indians. In addition, the group sponsors scholarships for Christian leaders, finances other evangelical operations in Guatemala, and--like WV/El Salvador--publishes a newsletter which is an adaptation of the Christian Leadership Letter.(11) WV does most of its development work in the Highlands. Although the Army will not allow the Disciples of Christ to work in the highland department of Quiche, WV workers are allowed to come and go as they please.(6)

PROCAP, WV's community training program there, has been criticized for a reportedly paternalistic approach to humanitarian ai! d and for insisting that evangelical instruction accompany assistance, especially for Indian children. WV has also been criticized for not making long-term commitments to villages and pulling out of areas after just a short time.(2) Honduras: The organization's activities in the country began in l974 with hurricane relief assistance. Its child sponsorship programs started in l978. WV's Honduran programs are administered through six regional centers in Copan, Comayagua, Yoro, Francisco Morazan, Olancho, and Choluteca. An annual budget of $1.9 million covers its service projects and administrative costs. Approximately 59 percent of these funds go for child sponsorship programs, 6 percent for community development, and 35 percent for administration.(45)

World Vision sponsors more than l0,000 children and has 92 social service projects in 81 communities which are spread throughout l4 Honduran departments. During l987, World Vision's ! child-family programs helped 75,000 people, its community development projects assisted another 60,000, and its emergency relief programs benefitted 6000 Hondurans. It is a major recipient of CARE Title II food, distributed by CARE to World Vision and then passed on by WV to evangelical organizations that coordinate their Honduran projects with World Vision. WV's assistance is distributed through such churches as Prince of Peace and organizations like Campus Crusade for Christ and Maranatha. It has 96 associate organizations and churches in Honduras, and over 44,000 people are reached by its evangelization programs. The NGO holds regular conferences and training sessions for evangelical pastors, and, like the Guatemalan and Salvadoran branches, publishes the Carta de Liderazgo Cristiano. In addition, it funds and coordinates data collection and evangelical efforts in Honduras.(13,45)

WV has been criticized for certain of its activities in the country, particularly those revolving around its role in administering Salvadoran refugee camps in l981. Critics said that the NGO--which no longer administers the camps--was an apparent supporter of the military and that it acted as an agent of U.S. and Honduran security forces against Salvadoran rebel forces. These critics say that WV wished to take over the refugee relief program for political and religious reasons.(3,4,13) At the Colomoncagua camps, WV was accused of involvement in the deaths of two newly arrived refugees who were reportedly identified by WV staff to Honduran forces, handed over, and later found dead. Further, Mario Roberto Corea, WV coordinator in Guarita, admitted selling food assigned to the two refugees. Certain WV workers were also said to be former Honduran Army members, who still acted for the Army and threatened the security and survival of certain refugees. World Vision responded ! to these charges by noting that immigration officials list the I.D.'s of all new arrivals to the camps and that it is standard procedure for those lists to be shared with the military. Moreover, WV said that it was a U.N. High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) worker that turned the two new arrivals over to the military. (3,4,13) In another incident, a Medecins Sans Frontieres coordinator was shadowed by a WV worker on visits to Guarita with foreigners. WV workers refused to lend mules or help in the evacuation of wounded people from the border area on one occasion. The Honduras Program Director refused to allow a team of foreign journalists into the area.(3,4,13) Two other refugee assistance groups--CEDEN and Caritas--objected to incursions by the Honduran army into the camps, but World Vision remained silent about repeated human rights violations.

In addition, refugees testified that World Vision staff provided the army with re! gular intelligence reports and obligated them to attend evangelical services. Before l982, elements of World Vision collaborated with the most conservative faction of CEDEN to install conservative leadership in the latter organization. The NGO was so distrusted that l9 Honduran organizations requested that the government throw World Vision out of the country. Criticism has diminished since l982, but some organizations still refuse to work with it. The U.S. headquarters of World Vision has accepted many of the criticisms leveled against the group for its handling of refugee programs, and WV representatives say that the organization will be careful to prevent similar problems in future programs in Honduras or elsewhere. For instance, an internal critique concluded that "in trying to be apolitical...we communicated...that we favored the status quo...We were blind to the intensity of the human rights struggles....Consequently, for many months we were not aware that we were being pushed...toward a pro-government, pro-military position and therefore, a position perceived as being contra to the Catholic Church, the relief agencies, and the people. At the same time, most of the other agencies were much more actively defending human rights."(13,3,16)

More recent criticisms of the NGO include a complaint by a leader of the National Campesino Union (UNC) that WV had brought official charges against landless campesinos in Choluteca for occupying private property and for being terrorists and arsonists. World Vision reports that the land occupied by the UNC was already being used productively by a pre-cooperative and for a training center. Complaints about the direction and quality of WV's Honduran projects were raised in early l987 by a World Vision staff person who was forced to leave the Honduras organization. In a letter to the international office, she leveled criticisms ranging from the fact that most letters from sponsored children to their sponsors are faked to complaints about the often divisive and paternalistic programs of the organization. She said that WV's pastoral training programs are effective and needed but that the church-relations department of World Vision/Honduras sets evangelism quotas for the staff. The organization's development philosophy is quite progressive, according to this former employee, but little actual development work is being done. Instead, food and agricultural tools are simply handed out to communities and over 50 percent of the field staff's time is consumed by paperwork.(13)

Mexico: In response to the devastation of HurricaneGilbert World Vision donated $61,500 for food, clothing, and supplies for the people of the Yucatan Peninsula. Further longterm rehabilitation projects are planned.(29) Nicaragua: World Vision came to Nicaragua in 1972, but pulled out in 1983 after the consolidation of the Sandinista government. In 1988, WV began to provide support to the National Council of Evangelical Pastors of Nicaragua (CNPEN), a conservative organization of the Christian Right very popular with the Reagan administration.(34) WV stepped up its operations with emergency relief following Hurricane Joan, and in 1989 hired a director and opened an office in Managua. Its operations are centered in the departments of Granada and Rivas and will begin by establishing 3,500 child sponsorships in the U.S. The WV agenda includes U.S. sponsorship of the educational costs of 30 university students studying medicine and agriculture and the expansion of the Hurricane Joan project to include recovery assistance to 360 families.(34) CEPAD, the Evangelical Committee for Aid to Development, is critical of WV's operations, not because of its evangelistic activities or its U.S. governmental conn! ections, but because its programs will work against the Nicaraguan goals of independence and self-sufficiency. "A far more pervasive problem," states a CEPAD report, "may be the paternalistic character of much of the organization's work, promoting a mentality of opportunism and undercutting the work of progressive popular organizations."(34)

Philippines: World Vision came to the Philippines for the first time for a Pastors' Conference in l955. It began child sponsorship there in l957, opened an office in Manila in l972, and based its Asia Field Development Office in Manila in l979. From the late l970s to the mid-l980s, WV channeled $30 million to projects in this country. It provided relief assistance to victims of drought, typhoons, and volcanic eruptions during the early to mid-l980s. In various projects, food, seeds, and tools were distributed; medical care was provided; and food-for-work programs to repair clinics and scho! ols were set up for victims. In one particularly extensive program following Typhoon Undang in November l984, WV provided a $l52,000 relief project to supply food, housing materials, tools, medicine and Bibles. Some families obtained loans for seeds, fishing nets, and boats, and a food-for-work program provided wages and tools for carpenters to rebuild houses.(5)

WV operates l66 childcare projects and l00 family assistance programs in the Philippines. These focus on educational services, medical care, family planning, sanitation and nutrition education, provision of potable water, and improved housing. Construction and job training programs are also offered as are community development projects concentrating on areas like cottage industries, animal raising, and agricultural projects. A leadership training program called COLT (Community Leadership Training) is offered in certain regions to train community leaders and other village! rs in rural development, health care, nutrition, family planning, and Christian education. Evangelism and church planting projects have also been established.(5) WV in the Philippines has been charged with threatening to withhold food if people did not attend religious services.(4)

Vietnam: WV's involvement in Vietnam has been linked with U.S. government intelligence operations. WV played a major role in the administration of refugee camps after the U.S. troops left the region in 1975.(35) The organization allegedly participated in a more recent U.S. government disinformation campaign accusing the Soviet Union of using germ warfare in the region (the so-called "yellow rain").(34)

In 1988, Robert Sieple returned to Vietnam for the first time since the war. WV is considering reopening a ministry there, and began activities with a shipment of medical supplies and prosthetics for handicapped children and adults.(29)

Govt Connections: Honduras: Some Honduran workers were formerly Honduran Army members. When WV administered the refugee camps, the intergovernmental United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) was one of the oversight bodies on the coordinating council.(3) Most World Vision employees in the Honduran refugee camps were hired on the recommendation of a local coordinator named Mario Fumero. Fumero, an anticommunist Cuban, had run a program for alcoholics and drug addicts in cooperation with the police and therefore had a personal relationship with the Honduran Chief of Police and other security people. Most of his recruits were rehabilitated participants in the program.(16)

WV in El Salvador received funding from CIDA, the Canadian government's foreign aid organization. It also worked with ISTA, the Salvadoran government's agency in charge of agrarian reform.(12) World Vision has received U.S. government support for some of i! ts projects. AID, for example, has provided surplus food, relief funds, and development grants (see Background and Funding).(1,16) Private Connections: WV works with hundreds of other agencies including: Assemblies of God churches, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Relief Services, Central American Mission, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Church of Christ churches, Church World Service, Foursquare Gospel churches, Habitat for Humanity, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, MAP International, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Oriental Missionary Society (OMS), Prison Fellowship, Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventist churches, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Tear Fund, United Church of Christ, World Concern, Youth for Christ, CARE, Flying Tigers, Mercy Corps, TEAM, and Youth with a Mission.(1,2,46) World Vision has worked on joint projects with World Concern.(22)

World Vision, Inc. is an active member of InterAction in the U.S.(46)

The voting members of the coordinating council for the Colomoncagua camps (Honduras) included: Medecins Sans Frontieres, University of Honduras, Caritas, CEDEN, the Mennonite Church, and WV. The non-voting groups included: UNHCR, Catholic Relief Services, World Relief, and the Archdiocese of Santa Rosa de Copan.(3) WV sent aid to Guatemala through Latin America Mission after the 1976 earthquake. WV partners in Guatemala City include: Christian and Missionary Alliance, Assemblies of God, the Methodists, Episcopals, and the Seventh Day Adventists.(5)

WV is partners with Central American Mission (CAM) in El Salvador and Honduras.(5) Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network made a grant to WV in 1982 for work in Ethiopia.(42) In March, 1986 WV made contact with Mission Aviation Fellowship regarding transportation and communication equipment for frontier areas. In Honduras, WV distributes assistance through a number of organizations including Prince of Peace churches, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Maranatha.(13) Ted Engstrom is also on the Board of Directors of the humanitarian aid organization International Aid Inc. and on the board of reference of Bible Literature International's magazine, The Quiet Miracle.(7,23)

As of the late l970s, prominent evangelical Carl F.H. Henry, founding editor of Christianity Today, was a lecturer-at-large for World Vision International.(15) Before setting up World Vision, Bob Pierce was an evangelist with Youth for Christ, an evangelical organization which led a spiritual revival in the United States following the second world war. He led his first Youth for Christ overseas campaigns in China where the evangelical group hoped to bolster anticommunist sentiments against the revolutionary forces of Mao Zedong (Mao Tse Tung). After the fal! l of the Kuomintang, Pierce went to Korea where he evangelized for Youth for Christ until the Korean War broke out.(16) Prior to working with World Vision, W.Stanley Mooneyham worked as press secretary to Billy Graham and organized the first of the world evangelism congresses which Graham financed.(16) World Vision is a member organization of the umbrella group InterAction. InterAction promotes collaboration among U.S. private organizations involved in international development, relief and reconstruction, migration and refugee assistance, public policy and federal relations, and education on third world development issues.(19,20) Robert Ainsworth, of the World Vision Relief Organization, is a vice president on the executive committee of CODEL (Coordination in Development). The World Vision Relief Organization is also a member of CODEL, an umbrella organization for private agencies involved in third world development activitie! s.(21)

World Vision is a member organization of the Evangelical Foreign Missions Association, a collection of conservative denominations and faith missions organized by the National Association of Evangelicals.(16) World Vision, along with other mission stalwarts like Campus Crusade and Billy Graham, co-sponsored Alberto Mottesi's Hispanic Congress on Evangelization, held in California in l985.(16) World Vision is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, or ECFA.(25) World Vision's partners in the Philippines have included the Asian Evangelization Centre, and the Presbyterian, Baptist, Mennonite, Foursquare Gospel, Methodist, Church of Christ, Nazarene, and Roman Catholic churches. Other organizations with which World Vision has worked in the Philippines include the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Campus Crusade for Christ, Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, the Philippine Bible Society, and the Sa! lvation Army.(5)

Misc: "We [World Vision], as an organization, need to develop a deeper awareness of, and an organizational philosophy for, justice in the world. We see a need for our North American partners to increase their sensitivity to the very significant and negative role of the U.S. government in the internal dynamics of power in the countries of Latin America. We need to eliminate those signals that are perceived as saying `We are a North American organization, basically supportive of U.S. foreign policy.'"(3)

"In large measure, we [World Vision] remain not only evangelical, but also conservative, essentially North American, and consciously non-involved with those issues having the most sensitive political ramifications. Furthermore, World Vision has and will continue to reject as being totally without foundation charges that it is an agency of U.S. foreign policy... World Vision receives from the U.S. government n! o funds for its programs in Honduras or any other country in Latin America."(3) Comments: Throughout the years the stated goals of the organization have broadened from helping individual children, to families to long-term community development, and always with an evangelical component. However, World Vision appears to suffer from conflicts between its good intentions, its evangelical goals, and its entanglement in politics. It is a huge organization employing over 4,400 people. Whether its projects and activities in a given area work to benefit the longterm prospects of the residents or work to create dependencies is in large part determined by the people hired at the local level, the sources of funding, and its own "conservative, essentially North American" worldview. U.S. Address: World Vision Inc and World Vision International: 9l9 Huntington Drive, Monrovia CA 9l0l6. Sources: 1. 1986 Annual Report. 2.! 1985 Annual Report. 3. World Vision, Report on World Vision, Dec 17, 1981, pp 2-33. 4. National Catholic Reporter, April 23, 1982. 5. People and Projects, World Vision International., undated. 6. Interview by Deb Preusch, Jan 27, 1987. 7. Air Commando Association Newsletter, Feb l985. 8. World Vision International Fact Card, Dec l987 9. Bureau for Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance, Report of American Voluntary Agencies Engaged in Overseas Relief and Development Registered with the Agency for International Development, Voluntary Foreign Aid Programs, l985 (Washington D.C.: AID, l986). 10. Letter from Thomas R. Getman, Mar 8, l988. 11. Private Organizations with U.S. Connections: Guatemala, The Resource Center, l988. 12. Private Organizations with U.S. Connections: El Salvador, The Resource Cent! er, l988. 13. Private Organizations with U.S. Connections: Honduras, The Resource Center, l988. 14. Office of Private & Voluntary Cooperation, The Executive Contact List: Private and Voluntary Organizations Registered with the Agency for International Development (Washington D.C.: AID, no date). l5. Richard Quebedeaux, The Worldly Evangelicals (San Francisco: Harper & Row, l978). l6. David Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? Studies in the Politics of Evangelical Growth, forthcoming, University of California, l988. l7. Foundation Center Grants Index, l6th Edition, l987. 18. Geoff Renner, "Visio'nMundial y la Misio'nIntegral de la Iglesia en Ame'ricaLatina," November, l983, cited in Stoll, op. cit. l9. InterAction brochure, Dec l985. 20. InterAction/American Council for Voluntary International Action, InterAction Member Profiles (New York, NY: InterAction, l987). 21. Dr. Robert Marshall, "Motivation for Ecumenism in Development," address to the CODEL board of directors, Apr 21, l988. 22. World Concern annual report, l986. 23. Masthead, The Quiet Miracle, Bible Literature International, Summer l988. 24. Letter from Stan Duncan, Jan 8, l988. 25. World Vision, "A Way of Caring," brochure, undated. 26. "Section: Board of Directors Charter, Procedure Title: Relationships to Governments and Supra-Governmental Bodies," World Vision Management Manual, May 5, l980. 27. Samuel Wilson and John Siewert, eds., Twentieth Anniversary Mission Handbook: North American Protestant Ministries Overseas ! (Monrovia CA: Missions Advanced Research and Communication Center, l986). 28. Foundation Center Grants Index, l7th Edition, l988. 29. World Vision, Annual Report, 1988. 30. Interview with Tom Getman of World Vision, Aug 28, 1989. 31. MARC newsletter, Lausanne II special edition, Aug 1989. 32. Encyclopedia of Associations 23rd edition, 1989. 33. "Child Survival and Beyond--A World Vision Campaign, World Vision, 1989. 34. "The Other Invasion: Nicaragua's Evangelical Church and the U.S. Low-Intensity War," The CEPAD Report, July/Aug 1989. 35. Sara Diamond, Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right (Boston, MA: South End Press, 1989). 36. Voluntary Foreign Aid Programs: Report of American Voluntary Agencies Engaged in Overseas Relief and Development Registered with the Agen! cy for International Development, 1986-1987, Bureau for Food for Peace and Voluntary Assistance, AID, 1988. 37. InterAction Situation Report, Oct 27, 1986. 38. Memorandum, U.S. AID, Oct 28, 1988. 39. "Lausanne II: Still Riding," World Vision, June/July 1989. 40. "Lausanne II," Special Edition, MARC newsletter, Aug 1989. 41. Interview with Jerry Kitchel of World Vision, Sep 1, 1989. 42. "Funding the Contra War," Sojourners, Mar 1988. 43. Together: A Journal of World Vision International, Oct-Dec 1989. 44. Together: A Journal of World Vision International, Jan-Mar 1989. 45. Memoria, Vision Mundial Internacional Honduras, 1987. 46. Letter from Stephen Commins, Policy Advisor, Office of the President, World Vision International, May 13, 1991. 47. World Vision International, Annual Report, 1990. [This message contained attachments ! Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at Not so deep, but a very broad history of WV... GroupWatch files are available at <>

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