An ad from World Vision advertised on Channel Seven today: A gift that lasts a lifetime | World Vision Australia (another Aussie mentioned TV personality's Melissa Doyle's story to me previously, so World Vision's promotion of this story is effective)


Eleven years ago, I [Melissa Doyle] sponsored a little girl in Mongolia. Today she's following her dreams at university. Child sponsorship empowers children to overcome poverty in all its forms. It's the gift that lasts a lifetime

I'm not skeptical that the "little girl" has gone to university, but I'm skeptical about whether World Vision can claim credit for it.

While Mongolians may be stereotyped as a country of nomadic herders, by non-Mongolians and Mongolians alike, data from UNESCO indicates that a significant number of Mongolians go to university, and that women aren't under-represented at uni overall. Anecdotally speaking, I've heard that sometimes people from the countryside go to the capital Ulaanbaatar to get an education, and don't return to the countryside afterwards.

As background, I've heard that Mongolians from rural areas often go to boarding school, and start education later and finish education later.

Mongolia is only 2% Christian, so there could be an ulterior reason for an Evangelical Christian charity to target little Mongolian girls rather than little Australian or American girls. (Their FAQ on this, Wikipedia section on evangelism)

Is World Vision's child sponsorship program responsible for people going to university in Mongolia? Also, compared to countries where World Vision advertises for aid, do Mongolians have difficulty going to university?

  • I don't see a claim of causation being made - I think you're reading that into it. A person's educational path is a product of complex socioeconomic factors and personal decisions and I don't see any way that any single factor could be shown to be "responsible" for this. Feb 17 '18 at 2:13
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    Obviously WV is hoping you will reach the conclusion that their program had some positive effect, and that this may suggest they are worth of your support, but that is something that you would have to evaluate subjectively. This case obviously might be cherry-picked - is there any claim made that this child's case is typical? Feb 17 '18 at 2:17
  • If this question gets closed for non-notability, please don't delete it - I may decide to look further into other content, to see what else World Vision or others have claimed about Doyle's sponsorship, such as this or this Feb 17 '18 at 2:56
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    Didn't realize Melissa Doyle was a celebrity; that changes things a bit. Feb 17 '18 at 3:16
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    @Sklivvz World Vision’s advertising would have you believe that some Mongolians wouldn’t be able to attend university if it weren’t for their intervention. Until I took an interest in the country a few years ago, I would have believed such advertising without question. Feb 17 '18 at 11:20

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