Top 13 blog posts of 2013

Top 13 blog posts of 2013 | World Vision Blog

A girl in Sri Lanka at a World Vision program's closing ceremony, featured in our photoblog "A beginning and an end" in May. (Photo: Matthew Paul Turner)

2013 was a very busy year! The social media team ran and supported a wide variety of programs and work, sharing joy, answering the question Why World Vision?, promoting books and films, and responding to disasters. Out of the hundreds of blog posts published this year, here’s a list of my – and your! –  favorites.

Vote for your favorite! Whichever post gets the most comments below, I’ll look into doing a follow-up post later in 2014!


1. “Syrian children: Coping with trauma through drawing”

The Syrian Refugee Crisis has been a focus of our emergency relief efforts throughout 2013. Now approaching the end of this conflict’s third year, more than 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced within Syria, and around 2.2 million have fled as refugees.

We’ve written often about this crisis, but this one was a favorite. The images are of drawings that refugee children made, illustrating the traumas they are coping with. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a child’s drawing must be worth ten-thousand.


2. “Sumi’s journey from horror to new hope”

In February of 2013, with the help of World Vision advocates, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act passed Congress and was signed into law, maintaining the United States as a leader in the global effort to end modern-day slavery.

Because of this Act, child protection was especially on our hearts and minds in 2013, and Sumi’s story is a great example of World Vision’s work in that field.


3. “Why World Vision? Sharing God’s love”

Last summer, our social media channels hosted our Why World Vision? campaign, delving each week into one specific area of our work. Featuring infographics, stories from the field, and Q&As with subject experts, our goal was to demonstrate and explore the impact of our work.

“Sharing God’s love” was the infographic post for our Faith in Action work, and a fan favorite!


4. “[Video] I like bugshells: Changing the world at age 5”

I was stunned the first time I saw this video. Not only is it beautifully produced (by I Like Giving), but the story about what a five-year-old girl did because she wanted people to have clean water was beautiful itself.

A few weeks later, we were put in touch with this little girl’s mother, who offered to write her perspective on the story, giving us the before and after about where her daughter’s inspiration came from. It’s a wonderful story, and our readers thought so, too!


5. “World Poetry Day: ‘Padre’ / ‘Father’ by Senna (featured in Girl Rising)”

When I started working at World Vision last February, my team was already supporting the 10x10 documentary film Girl Rising. As I got to know the film and the 9 featured girls’ stories, I learned that Senna, from Peru, was a poet. World Poetry Day was coming up in March, so I asked if I could see some of her poems.

I was blown away! They had already been translated, so I was able to get both the Spanish and English up side-by-side, and her lovely poem gives us a great snapshot into the story that’s told fully in the documentary.


6. “Mother’s Day thoughts: An orphan’s story”

Mother’s Day 2013, we focused on orphans: I sent four different mom bloggers a story from our programs around the world about an orphan we were working with, and let them tell that story in their own way.

Jessica Turner, who writes at The Mom Creative, wrote us this wonderful piece, which – no surprise! – was a fan favorite.


7. “The most valuable thing you possess (excerpt from Unfinished)”

On April 30, World Vision U.S. president Rich Stearns launched his new book, Unfinished: Believing is only the beginning. I got to read an advance copy of the book, and, as in The Hole in Our Gospel, Rich does a great job of illustrating our role today in carrying out God’s Kingdom work here on earth.

In the book, Rich tells several stories from his own visits to the field. This story about a girl in Cambodia, who taught Rich a lesson about sacrificial love, was one that stood out to me.


8. “Child sponsors: Shipping joy around the world”

We’re blessed to have a huge following of dedicated donors who do so much more than just write a check each month. Many of our child sponsors also send their sponsored kids extra gifts in addition to letters and emails. In July, we asked our followers on Facebook what kinds of things they sent, then collected some of our favorite responses here.


9. “The new face of hope in Guatemala”

In September, I had the amazing opportunity to lead a group of bloggers into the field to witness World Vision’s work firsthand. It was my first time seeing it up close, too. One of the highlights was attending a rehearsal of World Vision’s youth orchestra.

I wrote this blog post on our last night in Guatemala, having put all the pieces together and really come to understand how a music program can be a source of much-needed hope to kids in Guatemala.


10. “Good Friday: Investing where hope seems dead”

Another post from 2013 that resonated with our readers was another piece by Rich Stearns, which he wrote for Good Friday. He notes that to some, World Vision’s work must appear crazy: investing in places that seem hopeless. But to Rich, that’s the foundation of our work, and the foundation of the Gospel. God brings hope in hopeless situations … and asks us to do the same!


11. “A child’s daily journey to school: The face of reality in the Philippines”

This piece first caught my eye in our archives because of the photos, but the story of these kids in the Philippines was just as inspiring. Every day, they walk across 6 mountains through the jungle just to get to school, bathing in streams along their way. They have very little, but still share their water and food if their classmates don’t have any.

Child sponsorship through World Vision has helped them continue their education. And Miljhon says that once he finishes school, “I promise to share what I have with my sister, my family, and others, because I know how it feels to have nothing.”


12. “[Photos] A beginning and an end”

During Why World Vision?, we dedicated a week to our community development work. I wanted to show the difference between communities where World Vision hasn’t begun working and ones where we’re transitioning out after 15-20 years of work. So I put this photoblog together: Jon Warren’s photos from Burundi show a community just starting with World Vision, while Matthew Paul Turner’s show the closing celebrations of a program in Sri Lanka.


13: “Day 17: Share the burden”

Last month, our holiday campaign was called “Share joy with the world” – styled after an advent calendar, each day featured a challenge asking you to share joy in a certain way.

This story from December 17 was a favorite, featuring a young bride and groom, Kate and Austin, who dedicated their wedding registry to World Vision’s Gift Catalog!


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