70 Years On

“Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.”
── Dr. Bob Pierce (Founder of World Vision)

The founding of World Vision started with a heart-breaking encounter. In 1947, towards the end of his missions trip in China, young American journalist Bob Pierce met Baiyu, a girl who was beaten and expelled from home for asking her father to let her go to school. Pierce wanted to help her, so he gave the last US$5 in his pocket and asked a local missionary to take care of the girl. Once he was back in the United States, Pierce continued to send US$5 each month to the missionary to make sure Baiyu was well taken care of. The encounter changed Pierce’s life, moving him to found World Vision in 1950 to help the most vulnerable children in the world.

The monthly support of US$5 was the prototype of Child Sponsorship. A few years later, to respond to the needs of orphans of the Korean War, the first Child Sponsorship programme was started and later expanded from Asia to Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Today, World Vision has become an international Christian organisation that specialises in relief and community development in nearly 100 countries around the world.

An encounter that changes the world

1950s (The Beginning of World Vision)
Bob Pierce, then a young American journalist, arrived in China and came face-to-face with many children who had been abandoned. Deeply moved by their needs, he knew that giving the last US$5 in his pocket would not be enough and that more people had to be involved in order to reach more children in need. In 1950, he founded World Vision to support missionaries in providing emergency assistance in East Asia. Child Sponsorship was later established to transform the lives of needy children and their communities, bringing them healthcare, education, love and protection.

First life-saving vessel into the high seas

1970s (Operation Seasweep)
Between the 1960s and the 1980s, the political turmoil in Southeast Asia forced over 3 million people to flee from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Many refugees were fleeing by sea, but the neighbouring countries were all reluctant to take them in. As refugees helplessly tried to stay afloat and alive on tiny boats, it is estimated that some 200,000 to 400,000 died. To save lives, World Vision purchased a vessel, the first of its kind during this humanitarian crisis, to rescue the refugees and provide food and medical assistance for them.

An immediate response to the crisis of the century

1980s (Ethiopian Famine)
Famine hit Ethiopia at the peak of its ruthless civil war, trapping the country in one of the most severe food crises of the 20th century. The United Nations estimates that nearly 1 million people died in the famine, while several million were displaced. World Vision was one of the first to respond to the emergency, providing food for starving children and their families and saving lives at risk.

Not alone anymore

1990s (Orphan Crises in Romania and Africa)
When the communist regime in Romania fell, the country’s extreme financial hardships caused tens of thousands of children to be abandoned in orphanages. In 1994, 800,000 were brutally killed in the Rwandan genocide, leaving many children orphaned. In this decade, AIDS was rampant in Africa and killed the parents of 12 million African children. In response, World Vision entered Romania to support orphanages and provided assistance to help children orphaned by the genocide and AIDS.

Rebuilding with those who mourn

2000s (Indian Ocean Tsunami Response)
In 2004, a 9.1 magnitude earthquake trigged a tsunami that destroyed multiple coastal cities in Indonesia within minutes, claiming the lives of 100,000 people and continuing to devastate Thailand and Sri Lanka. Nearly 230,000 people lost their lives while many more were injured and left homeless. In response, World Vision initiated its largest-ever relief operation in Asia to date across affected countries to provide basic necessities. We ended up staying for more than a decade in some of the most affected areas, assisting families and communities in rebuilding their lives from scratch.

Children in conflict not forgotten

2010s to Present (Syria Crisis)
World Vision has been working in the Middle East for the past 40 years. Since Syria’s civil war began in 2011, we have been responding to the needs of those affected by it. As of 2020, about 5.6 million people have fled Syria and another 6.2 million are displaced within the country – half of which are vulnerable children. In Syria and neighbouring countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, World Vision is providing healthcare, emergency food, water and sanitation, education and recreation for affected children. We are also offering child protection training for adults and psychological support for families.



Our Beliefs

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



Our Core Values

We are Christian
From the abundance of God's love, we find our call to ministry.

We are committed to the poor
We are called to serve the needy, to relieve their suffering and to promote the transformation of their condition of life.


We value people
We regard all people as created and loved by God. We give priority to people before money, structure and systems.

We are stewards
We are faithful to the purpose for which resources are given and manage them in a manner that brings maximum benefit to the poor.

We are partners
We are members of an international World Vision Partnership that transcends legal, structural and cultural boundaries.

We are responsive
We are responsive to life-threatening emergencies where our involvement is needed and appropriate.





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World Vision Hong Kong, incorporated with limited liability, is a Christian humanitarian organisation working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families and communities living in poverty.
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