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World Vision Canada is "a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice."[1] Based in Mississauga, Ontario, World Vision Canada is the largest private relief and development agency in Canada.[2] It is a part of the World Vision Partnership led by World Vision International.

World Vision Canada
FounderRobert Pierce
TypeNon-Government Organization
FocusHelping children, families and communities overcome poverty and injustice.
Area served
90+ countries
MethodTransformational Development through emergency relief, community development and policy and advocacy
Key people
Michael Messenger (CEO)
CA$442 million (2015)
483 (2016)



World Vision was started in 1950 by American missionary Robert Pierce.[3]

While visiting China in 1947, Pierce was invited to speak at a girls' school led by Tena Holkeboer, a missionary with the Reformed Church in America.[4] Pierce encouraged the students to go home and inform their families that they were now Christian. He returned to say goodbye the next day and was met by Holkeboer, who was holding a child. The child had been beaten and abandoned by her family for converting to Christianity. Holkeboer asked Pierce what he was going to do about the child. Pierce gave Holkeboer his last five dollars and promised to send more when he returned home.[5]

This generated the idea of child sponsorship and World Vision.[6]

Canada has been part of the World Vision family since the early days. In 1950, Pierce held the first meetings in Canada to discuss what he had seen and learned in Asia. In 1957, Canada's first World Vision office opened in Toronto.[7]

Focus and initiativesEdit

World Vision Canada works in nearly 100 countries, with a focus on the well-being of children. They work to change the lives of children around the world through child sponsorship. Sponsorship links donors to specific children in one of 49 countries. Sponsors make a commitment to contribute $39 monthly to programs that benefit the child, their family and their community.[8]

World Vision Canada's programs focus on education, food, clean water, healthcare, economic and community development, child protection and emergency response.[9]

Advocacy and campaignsEdit

30 Hour FamineEdit

The 30 Hour Famine started in 1971 at Crescent Heights Baptist Church in Calgary, Alberta. After the event in Calgary, the 30 Hour Famine spread among youth in the United States, Australia and other parts of the world.[10] By 2015, tens of thousands of young people in 21 countries were involved in the movement.[11]

For 30 hours, groups and individuals volunteer to give something up, such as food, video games or cell phones to raise money or awareness for world hunger.[12]

No Child for SaleEdit

The No Child for Sale campaign aims to bring awareness to child labour. As of 2016, 168 million children are part of the global work force.[13]

Every year, billions of dollars worth of goods are imported to Canada from countries using child labour. The campaign seeks to encourage Canadians to ask more questions about where their food and clothing comes from, and to demand companies make information about their supply chains transparent.[14]

As of 2016, World Vision Canada is seeking legislation requiring companies doing business in Canada to report annually on measures they take to ensure their overseas factories are not using child labour in the manufacturing of products intended for the Canadian marketplace.[15]

World Vision WaterEdit

World Vision Canada's water campaign seeks to provide clean water for drinking, sanitation and hygiene. According to World Vision Canada, more than 663 million people around the world live without access to clean water.[16]

Between 2011 and 2016, World Vision Canada provided over 5.5 million people with safe drinking water.[17]

Since 1995, the Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville, Ontario has been raising money for World Vision Canada's water projects around the world.[18] As of 2016, the event has raised over $1.4 million.[19]

On May 27, 2016 staff from World Vision Canada toured downtown Toronto, Ontario with an orange toilet to draw attention to the billions of people around the world who lack access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.[20]


According to 2015 financial statements, the majority of World Vision Canada's funding comes from child sponsorship and other donations. World Vision Canada also receives grants from the Government of Canada. Their total revenue in 2015 was CA$443 million.[21]

In 2015, 80.5% of its funding was spent on programs, 13.8% on fundraising and 5.7% on administration.[22]

In 2016, World Vision Canada employed 455 full-time and 28 part-time employees.[23]

Celebrity ambassadorsEdit

The celebrity ambassador program partners with various celebrities to combat poverty and improve the lives of children around the world.[24]

In 2016 Meghan Markle become a Global Ambassador for World Vision Canada. Markle traveled to Rwanda in February 2016 for World Vision Canada's clean water campaign.[25]

Notable affiliated personEdit


  1. ^ "About World Vision". World Vision Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  2. ^ Pitts, Gordan (May 28, 2015). "How Dave Toycen boosted donations at World Vision Canada by 700%". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  3. ^ "Bob Pierce". Wheaton College. Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  4. ^ Kwantes, Anne (2005). She Has Done a Beautiful Thing for Me: Portraits of Christian Women in Asia. Philippines: OMF Literature Inc. p. 179. ISBN 971-511-894-1.
  5. ^ Pierce Dunker, Marilee (2005). "6 China Challenge". Man of Vision: The Candid, Compelling Story of Bob and Lorraine Pierce, founders of World Vision and Samaritan's Purse. Authentic Media. ISBN 1932805397.
  6. ^ Dunker, Marilee (February 28, 2013). "'Tiger' to 'Typhoon': Women who influenced Bob Pierce". World Vision Magazine. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  7. ^ "About Our History". World Vision Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  8. ^ Verstraten, Katelyn (December 14, 2014). "Give Smart: World Vision". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  9. ^ "Changing the Lives of Children Around the World". World Vision Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  10. ^ "World Vision's 30 Hour Famine began in basement of Calgary church". CBC News. April 24, 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  11. ^ "Inspired to ignite World Vision's 30 Hour Famine movement". CTV News Calgary. April 1, 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  12. ^ "Youth challenged to give up more than food for 30-Hour Famine". Daily Miner and News. May 10, 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  13. ^ "Child Labour". International Labour Organization. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  14. ^ Russell, Andrew. "Canadians unaware how many products made using child labour: World Vision" (March 16, 2015). Global News. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  15. ^ Press, Jordan (June 9, 2016). "Canadians could be buying goods made by child labourers, says World Vision". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  16. ^ "Clean Water in Action". World Vision Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  17. ^ Wolfe, Debbie (March 22, 2016). "Witness The Power Of Clean Water Around The World". Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  18. ^ "History". Polar Bear Dip. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  19. ^ "2016 Oakville Courage Polar Bear Dip brings fundraising total to more than $1.4 million". Inside Halton. January 1, 2016. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  20. ^ Nickle, David (May 27, 2016). "World Vision Canada brings orange toilet to Toronto City Hall to highlight need for improved sanitation globally". Inside Toronto. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Financial Statements of World Vision Canada" (PDF). World Vision Canada. September 30, 2015. pp. 1–2. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Annual Impact Report" (PDF). World Vision Canada. 2015. p. 4. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  23. ^ Richard Yerema; Kristina Leung (November 8, 2015). "World Vision Canada". Eluta. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  24. ^ "Celebrity Ambassador Program". World Vision Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  25. ^ Watkins, Janelle (February 29, 2016). "Meghan Markle 'Suits' Up for Success". Ebony. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Biography". Jann Arden. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  27. ^ Levitz, Stephanie (June 20, 2016). "Refugee children, programs at risk as fundraising dollars run low: musician Tom Cochrane". CBC News. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  28. ^ Reevely, David (April 29, 2016). "Alex Trebek gets a key to Ottawa, and to Jim Watson's heart". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Rick Campanelli: Inside his life-changing trip to Cambodia". Hello Magazine. April 25, 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  30. ^ Ouzounian, Richard (October 25, 2013). "Colin Mochrie on his first book, Not Quite the Classics". Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  31. ^ Bliss, Karen (September 25, 2011). "Singer Lights Sheds Light On Two Charities". Samaritan Mag. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Fisher Sees Poverty First Hand". Mike Fisher. October 17, 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  33. ^ "Event hosted by Suits star Meghan Markle brings clean water to children". World Vision. 24 March 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  34. ^ "How the Property Brothers Use Their Fame to Help the World's Poorest". HuffPost Canada. 2014-11-16. Retrieved 2019-04-16.

External linksEdit