Joining the World Vision UK family
By Minister Gail Thompson
What do people say about you? Do they say that you are loving? Do they say that you are philanthropic and giving? Does somebody you've never met say; "without his help I could not have been a doctor?" It is not only the years in our life that matter, but rather to what or to whom we give during those years.
Due to life shifting events or a change in career, we may find ourselves with time on our hands, still wanting to achieve goals and create positive change. What can we do to achieve our mission? Turn to charity of course! But when you are evaluating which charity to give your hard-earned cash to, don't just ask them about the size of their overheads, ask about the size of their dreams.
One particular charity that dreams big, with sponsorship opportunities, programs, emergency appeals, and more importantly, a bold future, is World Vision UK. They are a remarkable Christian charity who give a voice to the voiceless and bring together disparate voices to create what I can only describe as a collective roar.
I am not sure what I expected when I first telephoned World Vision UK, but in my short amount of time with this extraordinary charity, I don't think I've ever done anything quite so meaningful as becoming an ambassador for this charity (apart than becoming a Christian). My Christian faith is an important part of my life so it is magnificent to be able to collaborate with a charity that has the same mission and values.
World Vision UK staff member Katherine Walker speaking on the day
Last month, World Vision UK held an ambassador day. Upon arrival, I quickly realised that I was in the company of passionate child sponsors; dedicated and committed souls who had an energy and a genuine desire to devote their time to help vulnerable children. There is something gratifying and powerful when you connect with so many people of similar fervour and vision, as was reflected in the congruent atmosphere of forty ambassadors and speakers.
I could not help but be moved hearing the testimonies of many seasoned ambassadors who were constantly looking for new ways to communicate not only the facts about the charity’s sponsorship program, but to capture in a nutshell, the impact and value of the World Vision UK’s effectiveness. The speakers were energising and motivating. Long-term sponsors shared with us their first-hand experiences, plus unusual and novel ways of creative networking and employing opportunities for positive interaction with prospective donors and sponsors. Their testimonies, undoubted joy and passion reached out to all, greatly inspiring us.
The responsibility for educating, preparing children for life and keeping them safe, does not fall just on any one non-profit organisation or government, but on a diverse community and its members. Every World Vision UK ambassador has unique strengths, personality and skill-sets that enables them to motivate others. World Vision UK’s aim is to have an ambassador operate independently, in ways most suited to their abilities and locality. Whatever way we decide to operate, our unique strengths are encouraged, and we are assured of World Vision UK’s support and gratitude.
An ambassador may contact a member of staff who often delivers bespoke one-to-one support, so that it does not become too overwhelming for any individual. Departmental elements are broken down into smaller bite size areas, where toolkits, literature, and resources are readily available. I am confident that every ambassador would concede that this makes the quality of our experience excellent, and we in turn, have life changing personal experiences because of it.
Relationships of mutual sharing does not happen automatically. The coming together of ambassadors not only celebrated us as a like-minded community, but also, a community of believers. World Vision UK is after all a Christian charity and there is no substitute for fellowship with others. It brings together, edifies and unifies a community with common interests, experience, similar vision, goals, and responsibility.
It was a great opportunity and a real privilege to see the work first-hand, as we finally met with the staff in World Vision UK’s office. It's nice to be able to put a face to the voice on the other end of the phone. Whether it’s the Milton Keynes or London office, there is a great emphasis of working together to achieve aims and objectives. I experienced a profound sense of camaraderie; a distinct feeling of being part of World Vision UK’s community of work colleagues. It was awe-inspiring to feel part of such a formidable team.
Time spent playing a positive role in the lives of the most vulnerable children feels substantive to say the least. Nevertheless, it appears to me that we are the ones who have received a gift, since I never in my wildest dreams expect my involvement with these remarkable souls to be so reciprocal. They have touched my soul deeply: the memories of that day in May, will endure with me for some time.
I became an ambassador of World Vision UK with high expectations, but my experience there, truly surpasses that.