November 14th is World Orphans Day, a day to honor and pay tribute to the 35.8 million children worldwide who live without parental care. The day is meant to raise awareness about one of the most pressing issues of our time, an issue that will only continue to grow as more children are orphaned in conflicts around the world and more families experience extreme poverty.
It’s not always easy caring for a child who has lived outside of the family home their whole life. Often, these kids have been deprived of basic care and affection for years before they find their way into an orphanage or foster home, if they’re lucky enough to find one at all. They often arrive with little or no formal education, are malnourished, and lack the social skills to navigate necessary interactions. Some were trafficked, while others were abandoned by their families. If they have suffered abuse, they will struggle to re-establish trust in a new family, and it is easy for other kids who are just as vulnerable to suffer at their hands.
Background of World Orphan Day:
The Romans built the first orphanage in history in 400 A.D. The primary goal of opening an orphanage was to meet the needs of children who had lost their parents and had no one to care for them in terms of food, shelter, and other health care.
Taking care of abandoned children is not a novel concept. The Greek legal system mandated that orphans receive financial support until they were 18 years old. In the Middle Ages, churches also created child shelters and orphanages. In England, orphans' living situations deteriorated during the 1900s. Due to inadequate food and medical attention in care facilities, many children even experienced malnutrition. Orphanages quickly developed a bad reputation for failing to provide the necessary care and attention to orphans. As a result, it encouraged people in western nations to legally adopt orphaned children to give them a better future and take care of their health and education.
Observing World Orpheus Day: A Guide
● Set up a charity drive.
A large-scale charity effort does not have to be planned. One can be organized in your neighborhood, campus, or school to raise money for kids. You can amass toys, books, and clothing. Before giving used toys or clothing, make sure they are clean and in good condition.
● Make supper.
Nothing gives you greater satisfaction than serving someone food that you have cooked. Make a wonderful, hearty lunch from scratch and deliver it to an area orphanage. A beautiful home-cooked supper served with all the love, care, and compassion that they merit would be much appreciated by the local kids.
● Sponsor an orphaned child or assist with their needs by doing so.
Legal adoption is not essential to providing for a child's daily needs and education. Those who desire to help many orphans might sponsor them by covering their daily costs, including their schooling. On a smaller scale, you might inspire a neighborhood knitting group or senior living facility to knit blanket squares and squares for a local home.
If you're thinking about adopting a child from an orphanage overseas—or if you’ve already done it—this is particularly relevant information for you. Parenting any child is challenging, but parenting a child who has been without parental care for years is exponentially more difficult. They will have different personalities, be unable to read the complex emotions that are part of regular human interactions, and struggle with many other developmental issues. Building a community and having a life of their own is difficult enough when they’re younger, but if you’re needing to support an older child who has been without parental care for years, you will need professional help to meet their needs.
Even if you think your child is ready for adoption at a young age, there are still many risks involved. Even if your child is adopted by loving parents and raised in a loving home where they have access to appropriate medical care, this doesn’t mean that they won’t suffer psychological damage.
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