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What Happens to All the Waiting Children?

Challenges facing orphans worldwide …


As They Grow Up

  • Orphans are 13 percent less likely to attend school than non-orphans.
  • Only 10 percent of all the children orphaned because of AIDS have access to critical social services.
  • Children — especially infants and young children — who live in orphanages, children’s villages, and other group institutions, generally suffer because they do not receive the emotional and psychological support they need.
  • Children living in an orphanage environment experience significant delays in both physical and mental development compared to children living in a family environment.
  • Children who lose their parents, especially in the developing world, often face years of economic hardship, lack of love and affection, little education, abuse and risk of HIV infection, malnutrition and illness, stigma, discrimination, and isolation.

When They Become Adults

  • Orphans have few means of supporting themselves and are often forced to work in commercial agriculture, as street vendors, in domestic service, and in the sex trade.
  • 70% of homeless mothers who were in the US Foster Care system as a child have at least one of their own children in foster care.
  • 70% of youths in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes- 9 times the average (U.S. Dept of Justice, Sept 1988)
  • Within two years of leaving a Russion orphanage-~15% of all orphans have committed suicide while another ~60% are involved in criminal activity (gangs, drugs, prostitution).

Orphans in Africa

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, one in six households with children is caring for at least one orphan. Yet this still leaves millions of children who are left in the care of strangers — or with no one.
  • In countries increasingly ravaged by AIDS, orphaned children not only lose their parents but also teachers, health workers and civil servants who die of the disease.