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About Us

Viva is all about life!

We are inspiring lasting change in children’s lives through the power of collective action because we have a vision to see children safe, well and fulfilling their God-given potential.

We believe that a network of churches and community organisations, locally focused and united in purpose, is the best possible vehicle for bringing lasting change for children.

How Viva began

It was this belief that sparked the starting of Viva by founder and former CEO Patrick McDonald in 1996. When he went out to volunteer in Bolivia as a 17-year-old he found four different churches providing food for street children in a local park, each one doing so on a Monday.

None of the churches were aware of the work of the others, so the local children feasted on Mondays and starved the rest of the week.


The simple act of introducing these churches to one another ensured that more children were fed more often.

You can watch a short video about Viva's vision here.

Viva today

Although Viva has grown and changed since the days of that story, the straightforward but striking truth that we can do more together than we can alone is still the driving force behind the organization.

Today we work in 21 different countries, supporting thousands of projects working with children at risk in 35 city-wide networks. Through our partnerships with these organisations, ranging from large international charities to tiny grassroots initiatives, we are currently working in the lives of 987,000 children across the globe.

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