As we observe the World Orphan Day today, May 7th, 2010, everyone should ask him or herself what he/she have done to improve the life of an orphaned kid around you. Caring for orphans and vulnerable kids around us is a duty for all and not no be left to government alone. So we urge you all to pause, reflect and decide to take a positive step towards caring for orphans around us.
Even the bible commands us to do the so:
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.
The orphan situation in Kenya
There are over 2.5 million orphans in Kenya. This number is so significant putting in minds the total population is only 36 million people. Therefore this translates that orphans comprise up to 9% of the whole community. Among the 2.5m orphans, only a third finds a place in orphanage and charity care organizations. Rest find their way in the streets and child labor.
The leading cause of parents death is HIV/Aids and neglect, that is, purposely being neglect and thrown away or abandoned by parents though this contributes minimal number compared to HIV/Aids.
Something needs to be done fast, the problem of orphans can be ultimately dealt with when every person can take up the burden of caring for orphans as a personal obligation.
This can be done by:
1. People opening their homes to adopt orphans and make them part of their families. Despite the economic situation and poverty in Kenya if more families take orphans the problem will be solved up to 80%, this will further ease the work of orphanages and child care units this will also make many people belong somewhere, having in mind the worse dilemma of humankind is lack of belonging, the orphanages will only serve as transit points and preparation fields waiting for better areas. For this reason Fountain of Hope Life Centre believes in supporting orphans through their guardians. Most people in their bloodline, i.e., grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
This helps them so much to stay linked to family tree and have a sense of belonging something un real in orphanage, with the recognition the great role orphanages serve in orphan care, it is very accurate that although many kids call them home its not home and this downs to them with agony when one grows up to understand and learns that the people they call Dad, Mum, Uncle, sister, brother, sister, etc. are as a matter of fact without any blood link to them and only be kind to them because they are Christian with pure caring heart and also maybe they are employed and are just doing their work.
For this reason Fountain of Hope Life Centre has decided to take up the work of mobilizing people to adopt orphans and this we believe will be a giant step towards solving the orphans issue.
2. If one is unable to adopt an orphaned child one then can support children homes and orphan support organizations like Fountain Of Hope Life Center. With as little as Ksh. 2516/= (34 US$) a household of a family caring for five orphans or Ksh. 700/= (10 US$) supports one orphan for a week. One can also donate foodstuff, clothing, Bibles, toys, books, etc.
3. Volunteering time with children homes and orphan care organizations.
4. Pressing the government to put more resources for caring for orphans. This including giving more support to child care organizations, waiver on duty for the importation of goods that are aimed at orphan support. Ensuring education opportunities for orphans.
5. Advocating for the rights of orphans including right from exploitation and protection of their inheritance, many orphans have been deprived the right to be the heir of their late parent's property mainly by close relatives.
6. Spiritual guidance. Pastors, churches, Christian mission organizations should make sure they devote time to visit orphans either in homes, orphanage or in their guardians home to give spend time with them and teach them the word of God. Leading by example Fountain of Hope have a weekly meeting with orphans and the needy kids on Saturdays where we have time to chat, share Bible stories, pray together and interact. To make sure they enjoy life like other kids we organize parties for them or take them out to visit game parks, swimming, games, etc.
We welcome you all to do something to touch souls of orphans and vulnerable kids around us.
James N. Waruiru
Project Coordinator/Secretary to the Board
Fountain of Hope Youth Initiative Group
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