Child Sponsorship, Evangelism, and Belonging in the Work of World Vision Zimbabwe



In this article, I examine the child sponsorship program of World Vision Zimbabwe—offering perspectives from nongovernmental organization (NGO) employees, sponsors, sponsored children, and rural communities being assisted. I demonstrate how transnational processes of giving and membership in a global Christian family contrast with Zimbabwean interpretations of humanitarian assistance and efforts to initiate a Zimbabwean child sponsorship program amidst growing local inequalities. in effect, new perceptions of economic disparity are produced by the very humanitarian efforts that strive to overcome them. I explore the intimate and personal relationships encouraged by sponsorship and the political economies within which they are situated, which include jealousies, desires, and altered senses of belonging. [Africa, NGOs, humanitarianism, transnationalism, development, Christian evangelism, Zimbabwe]