Global Vision International (GVI) was founded in 1998 with the mission of working “hand in hand with local communities, NGOs and government organizations to facilitate real change on the ground.” Global Vision International programs range from environmental and wildlife protection to global education, community development, health and construction projects that help communities use their resources sustainably and to their benefit. The ultimate goal of the organization is to fulfill local communities’ needs and requirements so they may move forward towards a better future.
GVI currently operates in over 25 countries all over the world in collaboration with international partners like the World Wildlife Fund and Save the Children. The organization received multiple awards for its excellent programs that allow individuals from around the globe to help those in need. The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, CNN, The Boston Globe and other newspapers and magazines have also praised the organization for providing opportunities for sustainable tourism and teaching individuals the ins and outs of being a responsible global citizen.
Originally GVI programs were geared towards community development, education, health and environmental protection. These were considered the essential elements of international development efforts by organizations like USAID and the U.N. Recently GVI inaugurated new programs that will add another level to development and will help create more equal societies. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are now essential components of GVI’s goals.
So far GVI has helped provide microloans for women entrepreneurs in Latin America and has begun women’s education classes in Africa and Asia. This is a big step towards achieving global economic growth because, like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says, “Empowering women is smart economics” as “closing gender gaps benefits countries as a whole, not just women and girls.”
The IMF claims that achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality will ensure international development goals in education, health and poverty reduction are met. Increasing the number of women participating in the paid labor force has been found to accomplish many positive goals. Such goals include raising both economic and agricultural productivity, increase spending on the education and health of children and shifting policies towards providing greater access to clean water and sanitation.
It is very good news for international development that organizations outside the U.N. and the IMF have incorporated women’s empowerment into their programs and policies. When more organizations incorporate women into their projects greater change is possible. GVI is only one of many groups that have adopted the necessary innovations for change.
– Christina Egerstrom