What Should I Know About Orphans?
There are many countries throughout the world where orphanages are filled beyond capacity. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that there are anywhere between 31 to 35 million orphans in the world – living without family, community support, or government programs. Historically, there have been more orphans in developing countries, but now orphan populations are growing faster in urban areas than rural ones.
Every year around the world, an estimated 15 million children are born to parents who are already parenting one or more additional children. At least half of all orphaned children live with an older sibling under the age of 18.
Though there has been an increase in the number of orphaned and abandoned children due to various social and economic factors worldwide, there is hope. As awareness grows about the needs of orphans, more and more people are responding by sharing what they have with those who need it most. For example, Haiti Children Project is a non-profit organization that is committed to serving the orphaned and abandoned children of Haiti. Since their founding, HCP has helped thousands of orphans receive life-saving aid and much needed support.
What Are The Different Types Of Orphanages?
Orphanages – or orphan homes – have been around since the 1800s and vary in size from a few children to several hundred. In most orphanages, children live with a house parent, or guardian, who may be a religious figure or caregiver. These individuals are responsible for providing children with food, clothing, housing and medical attention.
Orphanages can include formal facilities that operate as public institutions where donations play a key role; others consist of community-based family homes that receive little or no outside support. Many orphanages rely on private funds or foreign contributions to provide necessities, and some may accept children based on religion, ethnicity or disability. Though orphanages can serve as temporary places for children awaiting adoption, many are simply overwhelmed with the number of orphans in their care due to lack of funding and support.
What Are The Different Types Of Orphans?
There are three types of orphans: A child is considered an orphan if both of his or her parents are deceased. A half orphan has one living parent, but that parent does not have the means to care for the child. An abandoned child’s parents cannot be located and/or do not want him or her.
How Can I Help Orphans?
Pray for orphans worldwide, and request prayer from others. Visit your church’s website to see if a missionary is already serving in an orphanage or community with a large number of orphans. You can also ask your pastor for referrals for short-term mission opportunities that may be available locally. If no missionaries are working with orphans in your area, you can serve by simply befriending orphans in your community. Orphans are surrounded by people helping to meet their physical needs, but they desperately need someone to be there for them emotionally and spiritually as well.
Make a financial contribution to an organization that helps orphans worldwide. You may want to consider giving to organizations like World Vision , which provides food, shelter, education and spiritual training to children in developing countries. You can also give to local organizations that care for orphaned children or to your church’s missions committee.
Orphanages rely on private funds or foreign contributions, which allows you to partner with them in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of orphans worldwide. There are many projects you can sponsor, like food and shelter, as well as support for local medical and dental clinics. For more information about sponsoring projects in an orphanage, find a missionary or visit your church’s missions committee.