Jetstar and World Vision are proud to announce the launch of their new joint initiative, StarKids
WORDS KYLIE MILLER
Luc and Van, both age 11, Vietnam. Child Sponsorship provides them with regular medical check-ups, so they have the health and energy to run after their dreams
Many Australians will be familiar with World Vision through its emergency relief efforts when disaster strikes. But all year round, the humanitarian organisation is working on community development projects and striving to give the world’s poorest people a voice. Here are just a few examples of how World Vision is making a difference in South-East Asia.
When her son Luu was born late last year, 25-year-old Bon had little reason to feel confident about his future. Bon and Luu (pictured above), live in a remote hill area in Vietnam, where many children die before the age of five.
Baby Luu age 6 months,
with his mother, Bon
age 25, VietnamAs in many developing countries, Vietnamese children are at high risk from malaria, malnutrition and chronic dehydration caused by gastric illnesses. Ten million children in Vietnam live beneath the poverty line and more than a third suffer from malnutrition. These are sobering statistics, which World Vision is working hard to change.
Fortunately, Bon and Luu are among the thousands of Vietnamese who benefit from World Vision’s work in SouthEast Asia. Since November, Bon has taken her son for a monthly visit to a community health centre supported by World Vision, and the benefits are already noticeable.
Bon’s also one of 26 new mothers in the region attending cooking classes, learning how to prepare more nutritious food to help their children grow up strong and healthy, with a better chance of fighting off life-threatening diseases.
“I’ve found what I’m learning is very useful,” Bon says. “I have learnt how to make nutritious food for my children and to look after my baby’s health better. My child is now much happier after my training course.”
Over the past few years the number of children suffering from malnutrition in the area has been reduced, as has the incidence of tuberculosis and problems in pregnancy. The program is helping to save children’s lives, says Ha, a doctors’ assistant who works in the province. “The knowledge of mothers in the area about nutrition has improved over the last two years and mortality rates have fallen,” he says. “The community has received a certificate from the government in recognition of [its] improved nutritional status.”
Jalu and Na Ou are part of a modern generation of the hill tribes in northern Thailand. They believe they can balance their traditional lifestyle and culture with providing opportunities for their children. Instead of moving regularly, as many villagers do, they have built a bamboo-stilt house; they send Jati (pictured above left), their five-year-old daughter to daycare, and have enrolled her for school in a neighbouring village. They have regular health check-ups and are careful that their kids only drink boiled water. But there’s one aspect of the traditional lifestyle that, until recently, they were unable to change. Jati’s family, like most in her community, owned almost nothing and were desperately poor. Jalu and Na Ou are farm labourers, and spend long hours away from home whenever there’s work to make up for the times when there is none.
“It’s sometimes hard,” Jalu says. “Some days we don’t have any food for our family. When that happens, we need to borrow from our neighbours until we find work and can pay it back.”
World Vision has been working with the families of Jati’s village for a year, and already Jalu can see the difference. He’s an enthusiastic supporter of World Vision’s ideas for income generation, which take into account the lifestyles and the skills of those they support.
Six months ago, a “rice bankwas established for families whose children attend the daycare centre. Jati and Na Ou were given seed, basic agricultural training and tools, on the condition that with their first successful rice crop, they returned the same amount of seed to be given to another family.
Now they have their own seed for the next crop, and will continue to grow their own rice. Jalu works, earning around 100 baht (AU$3.70) a day, while Na Ou takes care of the family and garden, which now provides enough food for the family to survive. Even when there’s no work, there’s still food for the children from Jalu’s garden and his neighbours’ garden.
Displaced kids in a hill-side village above Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The little boy in the red overalls lost both his parents when they were swept away by tsunami waves washing over the bridge under which they had sought refuge. Children in Aceh now have a brighter future thanks to World Vision's work.
While World Vision works year-round in the region’s poorest communities, it’s perhaps most visible when it responds to humanitarian disasters. As the world watched in horror at the devastation wrought in Indonesia by the 2004 tsunami, aid workers were on the scene providing emergency relief, disaster recovery and hope for the future.
Eleven-year-old Zakia (pictured below right) is a grade-six student in Indonesia’s shattered Aceh province. Her school was partly demolished by the tsunami when something like eight metres of water flooded into the schoolyard and parked a huge fishing trawler in the playground – 6km from the coast. What remained was destroyed by a gas explosion; one of the tsunami’s terrifying after-effects. Only 140 of the 835 students survived.
Zakia, age 11. Sitting
in her new school
building built by World
Vision in Aceh,
Indonesia World Vision worked to rebuild Zakia’s school, and a year after reopening, the student population has increased to 700 students and the school has begun to win awards. “This school is better than our previous school, where we didn’t have good facilities like today,” Zakia says. “Now, we have a beautiful building and a good library where I can read a lot of books.”
DID YOU KNOW?
World Vision is part of a global partnership operating in 96 countries. It was founded in the United States in the 1950s by a missionary named Bob Pierce, who realised during a life-changing trip through China and Korea that words alone were not enough for those living without food, clothing, shelter and medicine.
World Vision’s work in South-East Asia and other parts of the world includes:
• Digging wells so families have clean water for drinking, cooking and washing
• Improving sanitation by building toilets and providing hygiene training
• Providing opportunities for children to gain an education
• Building health clinics where medicine, vaccinations and health education are provided
• Supplying seeds, tools and training in sustainable farming techniques, to help families grow enough food to live on
• Running workshops to encourage micro-businesses like bakery stalls or sewing services, so families can earn an income
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Alan Joyce, Jetstar, CEO;
Emily Chuang, Jetstar
International Cabin Crew;
Tim Costello, Chief
Executive, World VisionThe lives of vulnerable children in Australia and South-East Asia will be transformed thanks to the generous support of Jetstar and its customers.
The StarKids initiative, being launched this month aims to raise at least AU$3 million over three years for World Vision, to fund programs assisting children in Australia and countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.
It will raise awareness of the causes and effects of poverty on children and their families and the work of World Vision through people’s positive stories of change.
“World Vision is the most trusted and respected international development agency in Australia,says Alan Joyce, Jetstar CEO.
“More than 390,000 children around the world are sponsored by Australian households through World Vision and a further 300,000 young Australians participate in their major fundraising event, the 40 Hour Famine.”
“We at Jetstar, are looking forward to our new partnership with World Vision in their very valuable work transforming the lives of vulnerable children.”
World Vision Chief Executive Tim Costello said the partnership was a great achievement for both parties.
“It is a great opportunity for World Vision to showcase our programs around the world to those who are interested in learning about the world we live in,” he says.
“This partnership shows that Jetstar is making a strong public commitment, with World Vision Australia, to strengthen local communities through social investment and philanthropy.
“StarKids is giving staff and customers alike the opportunity to contribute towards the sustainability of the communities in many of the destinations that World Vision works and Jetstar flies.”
In the coming months, Jetstar and World Vision will launch different donation programs for passengers and staff.
Jetstar staff will be actively involved, holding events and volunteering their time to raise funds for programs supported by World Vision