Our History


Going when no one else would

World Vision International was founded in 1950 by Bob Pierce, following his direct encounter with child poverty on a trip to China and his immediate desire and commitment to help vulnerable children. He set up World Vision International in order to involve more people in long-term solutions and broader impact and it quickly grew around the world with Support Offices raising funds in the U.S, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada and supporting relief and development work, initially in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


"So many suffer so much while so few sacrifice so little"

Robert Pierce, Founder and President 1950-1967


School children

World Vision Ireland was established along with its Irish Board in 1983 as part of the World Vision International partnership. Our initial work at World Vision Ireland was primarily focussed on supporting communities affected by drought in Africa, for instance in Tanzania and Kenya. As these same communities were able to recover from the impact of drought and become more food secure, we partnered with them in implementing longer term Area Development Programmes (ADPs) addressing their education, health and livelihoods needs in an integrated way. Since these early ADPs, our work gradually expanded to new ADPs in neighbouring communities and to some in new partner countries with the launch of programmes in Swaziland, Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Mauritania.


World Vision Ireland is a child-focused overseas aid agency

We have been active in Ireland since 1983 and are part of World Vision International, the largest privately funded NGO in the world.



From the late 1990s onwards, World Vision Ireland was in a position to respond to long term humanitarian crises with emergency relief and rehabilitation programming in countries such as Somalia, Sudan and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since then, we have also supported responses to large scale rapid onset emergencies including the 2005 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and the Sulawesi Earthquake that hit Indonesia in late 2018.

Our current work reflects this historical development of our programmes, as World Vision Ireland continues to strategically support communities in emergency, rehabilitation and recovery and in long term sustainable development.