Elsewhere online
August 03, 2016

World Vision Donor Learns Story Behind His ‘Sponsored Child’

The New York Times looks at the intersection of a global aid charity, an individual donor, and a Palestinian village in a human-interest story that grew out of a reporter's chance encounter at the Sydney airport.

Correspondent Diaa Hadid recounts a conversation with an Australian police officer who, upon learning that she covered the Middle East, told her that in 2003 he’d signed up with Christian nonprofit World Vision to sponsor a 5-year-old boy named Othman in Husan, near Bethlehem, and was curious about what had become of him.

Ms. Hadid went to Husan and found Othman, now 18, and his family. The article examines how aid charities use the personalized “sponsorship” approach to raise money to make improvements in villages like Husan — where World Vision says it has spent $1.5 million to dig wells, repair roads, build a community center, and provide other services — and the mistaken notion on some donors’ part that they are sending money directly to “their” child.