World Concern

World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.
Apr 1, 2014

How your support is helping two friends succeed

You
You're helping Nijhum (left) and Ikra succeed.

Every little girl needs a best friend. Nijhum and Ikra became instant friends when they entered World Concern’s Hear School at the same time. The two friends play together at school and at home, and their friendship is helping them succeed in school. Your gifts make their learning—and their friendship—possible.

The 9-year-old friends came to the Hear School as preschoolers. Because of hearing impairment, Nijhum was delayed in her speech and learning. Ikra has profound hearing loss and epilepsy. Both girls love to learn and are making progress in school.

With your support, Nijhum received hearing aids and instruction by patient, experienced teachers. She is now reading and writing in Bengali and English and is doing well in math. She’s also a dancer and an artist, taking dance at a local school and painting beautiful pictures for her friends and family. Her parents are overjoyed with her progress. Before Nijhum came to the Hear School, her future was uncertain. Today, her parents dream of the day she will be a famous dancer.

Ikra’s parents are educated and her father is employed, but her mother never worked because of Ikra’s special needs. Her family is grateful for the specialized education she’s receiving. Although Ikra is developing speech more slowly, she is learning with the support of her teachers, her best friend Nijhum, and you! The Hear School staff is hopeful that both girls will be integrated into public schools soon.

Your gifts are educating and equipping girls like Ikra and Nijhum for a successful future. Thank you!

Mar 5, 2014

Because of you, Xayphin is safe from traffickers

These 12 girls learned job skills because of you.
These 12 girls learned job skills because of you.

With your help, 12 girls recently learned beauty skills and received business startup kits through World Concern’s Youth Center in the Champassak region of Laos, near the border of Thailand. Because of you, they are now equipped to earn income safely and avoid the danger of being trafficked into Thailand.

One of the girls is 17-year-old Xayphin. Like many young girls in her village, Xayphin was encouraged by friends to cross the border into Thailand, where many believe high paying jobs in restaurants are waiting. She had no idea that the friends – and even her own siblings – who had made this journey before her had likely become victims of forced labor or sex trafficking.

But Xayphin had a dream of saving money to open her own beauty salon in her home someday. She believed this could be a profitable business, knowing there are currently no beauty services in the area.

With her dream in mind, Xayphin put herself at great risk and crossed the border into Thailand last year. She found a job as a housemaid for a Chinese family about 300 kilometers from the border. But she became homesick, and being the youngest and the only unmarried child in the family, she felt responsible for her aging parents. So, after 3 months of working in Thailand, she returned to her village in time to help her parents with the harvest … thankfully, before being harmed or lured by traffickers.

When she returned, Xayphin learned that World Concern’s nearby youth center was offering job skills training – including hair styling and make up classes. She was thrilled, knowing this opportunity was a safe way to pursue her dream.

Not only did she learn marketable job skills, Xayphin met new friends, and was able to practice what she’d learned with these new friends. Xayphin received a business starter kit too, moving her closer to earning income with her new skills.

It wasn’t long before she had her first customer – a friend who needed her hair styled for a celebration. Her friend paid her $1.25 for her services. With this first job, Xayphin realized what was possible with her new skills. She told us she has decided not to migrate to Thailand, knowing it’s safer to be with her family at home.

You’re helping protect young girls like Xayphin with your gift. Thank you!

Xayphin practices her new skills on a friend.
Xayphin practices her new skills on a friend.
Jan 31, 2014

Your support is helping war-torn South Sudan

World Concern community bank - South Sudan
World Concern community bank - South Sudan

You’ve probably heard about the crisis in South Sudan. It started in December with an attempt by rebels to overthrow the country’s fledgling new government. The result has been utter chaos. Widespread violence and fighting have affected nearly every region of the country, including the areas where we’re working, and hundreds of thousands of families fled their homes in search of safety.

“It’s so sad. People are really traumatized … They won’t go outside, because they are too scared to get shot anyways. What can they hope for?” said Samuel, who is among the displaced in South Sudan.

This is just one of the many challenges faced by the people of this struggling nation.

Before the conflict broke out, severe flooding impacted our ability to access Lietnhom, cutting off families from outside help for months. It’s been a challenging six months here, but there are signs of progress, and I wanted to share those with you, so you know your support has made a difference.

Since our last report, families in Lietnhom made great progress in their farming techniques, growing more plentiful crops, and raising much healthier livestock. This has improved incomes, and brought more members to village savings groups. Lietnhom’s community bank, founded and run by village residents, grew from 300 to 963 members.

Another exciting update is that parents in Lietnhom began special savings accounts specifically for educating their children. The accounts are called “akuny miith,” which means “school children account.” These families understand the value of education, and want to see their children succeed. With your help, hundreds of children attended school this fall in Lietnhom.

More than 60 blacksmiths and tinsmiths were trained and graduated from our vocational training program. And 70 additional youth learned job skills like motorcycle repair and masonry.

A group of women were empowered to support their families with groundnut machines and training –essentially making and selling homemade peanut butter for income. This kind of transformation is new, and it will last in a community where families previously had little hope for the future.

New businesses are opening up as the village economy improves, and this village is truly being transformed. Thank you for being a huge part of this transformation!

Using a groundnut machine in South Sudan.
Using a groundnut machine in South Sudan.

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