1. Definition

Orphans are children whose parents have died, disappeared, abandoned, deserted, separated or lost both of their parents. Extreme poverty, chronic disease, conflict, starvation, prostitution, natural disasters and countless other tragedies have combined to produce orphaned and abandoned children worldwide. These children are subject to severe abuse and exploitation and often die on the streets, neglected and alone.

  1. Stats and Facts
  • It is estimated there are between 143 million and 210 million orphans worldwide (recent UNICEF report.)
  • The current population of the United States is just a little over 300 million… to give you an idea of the enormity of the numbers… (The current population of Russia is 141 million)
  • Every day 5,760 more children become orphans
  • 2,102,400 more children become orphans every year in Africa alone
  • Every 15 seconds, another child in Africa becomes an AIDS orphan
  • There are an estimated 14 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa (a number higher than the total of every under-eighteen year old in Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Ireland combined)
  • This figure is estimated to reach 18 million orphans in Africa alone by 2010 (only two and a half years away)
  • 8 out of 10 children orphaned by AIDS lives in sub-saharan Africa
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Each year 14, 505, 000 children grow up as orphans and age out of the system by age sixteen
  • Each day 38,493 orphans age out
  • Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no family to belong to and no place to call home
  • In Russia and the Ukraine, studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit sucide before they reach age eighteen
  • These studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
  • Another Russian study reported that of the 15,000 orphans aging out of state-run institutions every year, 10% committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years…


  1. photos Charts and Diagrams



  1. Current News Articles

Zambia:78% windows and orphans suffer injustice.


A Man stabbed his wife to death then threw himself into the path of a train, leaving his 13-yeah-old daughter an orphan, an inquest heard.


  1. Story!

A story of 3 orphans working together to stay alive. All they want is education so they can have a better life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeKYKH-2kqI

  1. MDG’s and UNCRC statements

MDG’s #1 Eradicate Extreme Poverty #2 Achieve Universal Primary Education.

UNCRC Statements: Article 6: All Children have a right to life. Governments should ensure children survive and develop. Article 7: All children have the right to a legally registered name, the right to a nationality, and the right to know and, as far as possible, to be cared for by their parents. Article 8: Governments should respect children’s right to a name, a nationality, and family ties. Article 11: Governments should take steps to stop children being taken out of their own country illegally. Article 21: When children are adopted, the first concern must be what is best for them. The same rules should apply whether the children are adopted in the country where they were born or taken to live in another country. Article 22: Children who come into a county as refugees should have the same rights as children born in that country. Article 28: Children have a right to an education. Discipline in schools should respect children’s dignity. Primary education should be free. Article 31: All children have a right to relax and play and to join in a wide range of activities.

  1. Biblical References and stories

Exodus 22:22: “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.”

Deuteronomy 10:18: “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.”

Jeremiah 49:11: “Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive. Your widows too can depend on me.”

Job 31:16-23: “If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary, if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless— but from my youth I reared them as a father would, and from my birth I guided the widow— if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing, or the needy without garments, and their hearts did not bless me for warming them with the fleece from my sheep, if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint. For I dreaded destruction from God, and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things

Psalm 10:14: “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. The victims commit themselves to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.”

James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”


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