In April, we had two main themes: prayer and lifting up the voices of the most vulnerable. Neither theme was new to our work, but last month they took a leading role.

We’ve always been excited about lifting up the voices of the vulnerable here at World Vision Advocacy, but this month we had new questions to wrestle with: How do we remember the vulnerable when we’re feeling vulnerable ourselves? How do we lift up people around the world and our neighbors across the street?  

Here are a few ways we’re doing both:

Lifting voices

We’re lifting people’s voices by sharing their stories. Someone may be vulnerable because of their circumstances, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have something to say! We’ve been proud to hear from:

We’re also talking about the ways COVID-19 puts children at risk — and advocating for their protection. Lockdowns and school closures have implications for children in the developing world that might not be obvious to all of us: increased risk of domestic violence, psychosocial stress, child labor, child marriage, and other detriments brought about by a lack of access to social networks and economic strain. (Learn more about these impacts.)

And finally, when you can’t lift your voice in person, you can lift your pen! World Vision Volunteer Advocates have been working on submitting letters to the editor of newspapers all over the country to talk about the importance of international disasters assistance funding and remind people that the effects of COVID-19 will be greatest in the areas with the fewest resources. So far, 12 letters have been submitted and two published. Check out the map to see the impact of these letters all over the country!

map of United States
Letters to the editor submitted and published as of May 4, 2020. (Photo from Google My Maps)

Lifting prayers

Our other April theme was prayer. The Bible tells us to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17), and we’ve been really embracing that command! In a time when our leaders are making difficult decisions about public safety and welfare while also worrying about their own families, we asked advocates around the nation to pray, and you did! Advocates sent 888 emails to Congress letting them know they were praying for them in this tough time. If you’d like to join in, you can start with these four prayers for our local and national leaders.

And, as you prayed, you were also an answer to prayer! As the economic impact of COVID-19 increased, we asked you to email Congress about protecting nonprofits along with businesses in the next coronavirus response package. We feel so blessed that you sent 3,403 emails, posted 51 times on Twitter, and made 57 phone calls asking Congress to support American nonprofits. Thank you!

Girl praying in Cambodia
Ros Sreyleap, 5, prays in Cambodia. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Chetra Ten)

What’s ahead?

In the coming months, we’ll be advocating for ways to help protect children from direct and indirect impacts of COVID-19, and we’ll continue to lift up the voices and stories of the vulnerable. (Learn about our recommendations to governments on how to keep children safe.)

We’ll also continue to pray. We’ll pray for our advocates, for our local, national, and international leaders, and for the health and safety of children and families in the U.S. and around the world. And we’ll pray that God would help us advocate wisely and effectively — please pray with us!

Advocate with us

People of faith can have great impact when we raise our voices together. Come be a part of it by joining our Online Advocate Network! Sign up below and we’ll send you a weekly email with easy actions you can take to lift your voice for justice:

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Top photo: Girl in Honduras. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

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