Global Civil Society Series: For the Sake of Our Most Vulnerable Children
Update: February 18, 2021
On February 12th, as part of undergraduate course Global Civil Society (Prof. Katsuhiko Mori : International Relations), the third open lecture of this series was held. The special guest for this lecture was Ms. Minori Tanimura, Manager of the Corporate and Major Donor Unit for World Vision Japan. The theme of this lecture was "For the Sake of Our Most Vulnerable Children." Ms. Tanimura's lecture saw approximately 80 students participate in the lecture.
Ms. Tanimura began her lecture with the words of World Vision's founder, Bob Pierce: "Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything." From there, Ms. Tanimura discussed the history of World Vision, the organization's vision, the global impacts of World Vision's relief, development, and advocacy activities, as well as the importance of marketing and communication. The lecture also touched upon World Vision's contributions towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as World Vision's global COVID-19 emergency response, especially from the perspective of vulnerability and sustainability. Ms. Tanimura also took the time to explain the secondary effects that COVID-19 has had on the most vulnerable of society, young children, who now face increased rates of pregnancy and increased cases of child poverty.
Regarding COVID-19, which has exacerbated the issue of child vulnerability, World Vision's global response has increased its focus on education and child protection. World Vision has implemented distance learning for refugee children in some cases as a response. A case of the community-led total sanitation approach was also presented in terms of sustainability. It was discussed that child sponsorship and area development programs are keys to transforming people and communities.
Comments and Thoughts from Participants:
- I was surprised to hear that child poverty and the risk of domestic violence drastically increased due to school closures as a result of COVID-19. But I think that if we were to consider one positive outcome from this situation, it would be seeing how World Vision has managed to implement distance education for refugees. This makes me imagine the possibility of expanding distance learning so that children all over the world could attend classes.
- Through this lecture I learned that World Vision identifies vulnerable and most vulnerable children by using clear vulnerability factors and criteria. At first, I thought it was strange that an NGO or NPO would have a marketing department, but I gradually began to understand that in order to spread certain ideas and achieve goals, it is necessary to identify a target group and raise money, just like traditional corporate marketing.
- I think the model of support where focus is placed on empowerment of the individual child, as well as child well-being through taking into account child sponsorship, social infrastructure, and educational development is a very powerful strategy. I was very struck by the idea that even if we cannot do "everything," that there is still "something" one can do to help.