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World Vision Youth Blog

Brain Cancer and Gang Violence

posted by August 26th, 2014

by James Pedrick, World Vision Youth

My sister-in-law, Dori, was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. At the age of 30, this is the beginning of her second bout of cancer, after beating breast cancer a few years earlier.

Two days after learning the diagnosis and spending time with her in the hospital, I was in El Salvador and Honduras to investigate why thousands of unaccompanied children were flee their homes to find safety in the United States. (more…)

Protection and development, not walls and weapons!

posted by August 21st, 2014

Stefan Pleisnitzer, Regional Director of World Vision Latin America and the Caribbean and the National Directors of World Vision Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico are calling for a comprehensive, coordinated response to this humanitarian crisis.

In recent months this year, over 57,000 children have arrived at the US border, a figure estimated to surpass 90,000 by 2015! And many more are on the way because only some of those children making the perilous journey to the US border actually make it there. These youngsters, especially those from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, are fleeing their homeland because of deadly violence there, an unpromising future and a lack of hope!

Without substantial changes in terms of protection and opportunities for a decent life in these children’s countries of origin, we will see no end to this emigration. And higher walls or greater numbers of border patrols will be unable to stop them – these measures will only make their journey more difficult and dangerous! (more…)

We cannot do everything…

posted by August 19th, 2014

by Paul Newnham, Global Youth Engagement Director for World Vision International

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.

As we arrived in El Salvador after 3 days of meeting with communities in Honduras, my head was swirling with all I had heard. Stories from people who each day lived in fear of the violence and poverty that had taken over their reality.

The communities from which so many children are fleeing are dangerous.

As a parent with kids the same age as many who are fleeing, I was challenged by the painful choices parents were faced with trying to protect their children. Sending them to the United States involved all kinds of risks, but staying was a major risk itself where children were targeted and threatened. (more…)

VIDEO: Sofia’s Story – Children Fleeing Violence

posted by August 14th, 2014

After receiving threats promising the kidnapping and killing of her two sons, Sofía was forced to send the boys to the U.S. to live with their father. Even so, the heartbroken mother is still being threatened – this time with the loss of her 1-½ year-old daughter and her house – for monthly payments of $500, hardly possible in a country whose economy has left little work for anyone.

Sofía is one of many Salvadorans suffering from gang violence and threats, leaving them with a choice between staying home and staying safe – a choice that has caused thousands of children in Central America to flee their homes in search of asylum in other countries.

Ways you can help

  • Sponsor a child today in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. One of the best ways to keep a child safe from exploitation and violence is through child sponsorship, which provides a safety net of basics like safe shelter, nutritious food, clean water, education, medical care, spiritual nurture, and more.
  • Advocate. Please sign our petition to governments in Central America and the United States to protect children from violence.
  • Pray for children in Central America who face violence daily. Use our prayer points to help guide your prayers. (more…)