We often hear news about parents passing away in an accident, leaving behind young children. As unfortunate as it may be, it is a reality and it happens quite often that the passing of a parent or both parents leaves a young child orphaned for life.

Orphans don’t have any legal guardians.

There are 140 million orphans in the world.

They face a lot of challenges in life, but they are true fighters.

You can help an orphan through various orphan sponsorship programs.

In this article, I will tell you who are orphans, what orphan sponsorship is, and how it is beneficial.

So, let’s find out.

Who is an Orphan?

Orphan is a child under the age of 18 whose parents have died, are unknown or have abandoned them permanently. Almost hundred and forty million orphans are registered in the world. The real number might be higher. According to UNICEF, around 10, 000 children become orphans daily. The number of orphans is increasing due to problems like wars and conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics, poverty and mass migration.

What do orphans need the most?

Orphans are not living with their immediate family and lack the emotional and physical bonding with them. But there are basic necessities that are required to have a healthy life. Government and other institutes try their best to provide support based on the availability of funding, level of need and the socio-economic condition.  Most of the support is required in the following five categories:

  1. Food: Food and clean water are the most basic need for all children and adults. Most of the orphanages get bulk grain that needs to be prepared or cooked meals. They get it from the sponsors in terms of cash donations or staple food.
  2. Health care: For children who are under five years old, childhood immunizations and vitamin supplements are required. For age 10-17, routine health care and reproductive health services are required. In some countries health care is completely free for children.
  3. Education: Education is also the basic right of every child and one should not be deprived of it if s/he is an orphan. Education requirements are school fees, funds for uniforms, books and other supplies.
  4. Family/home support: As orphans don’t live in their own house, they require bedding, clothes, shoes and economic self-sufficiency. Most orphanages get donated clothes and shoes for free. Older children of age 10-17 may also be given skills training, grants or microfinance loans to have economic self-sufficiency.
  5. Community support: As orphans goes through mental trauma, they need proper counselling and individual support. Community workers volunteers but they need proper training and transportation.

What is Orphan Sponsorship?

Orphan Sponsorship Program is one-to-one program that provide comprehensive, individualized care for a specific child on an ongoing basis. From nutrition to health care, hygiene and counseling, everything is provided under the orphan sponsorship program. Donation in the form of monthly or annual payment is used to support orphans and their needs.

How does it work?

Hope Now USA is working with Shpola Orphanage and running an orphan sponsorship program. The orphanage provides education and housing to 200 children aged 6 – 16 years.

Under the orphan sponsorship program, when you sponsor an orphan, you make a relationship with the child. You become prayer partner, you write letter to them, give birthday gifts and donate $25 per month. This $25 is then used to provide Christian education, urgent medical care, warm clothes, orphanage repairs, graduation advice, hygiene support, prayer partner and counseling. $2 from your $25 is used for overhead cost coverage of the orphanage.

You can personally meet your sponsored child by joining as leader at annual Shpola Summer Camp. Also you can come along to Fall Sponsor’s trip where you can meet your sponsored child in person. So the relationship with your sponsored orphan child is not limited to monthly donation but also deeply built through letters, guidance, and physical meetings.

How Orphan Sponsorships are beneficial?

  1. It is an effective way to contribute your help to individuals and communities in need, without ever leaving home. If you feel that you cannot volunteer in such programs, you can always make a difference by donating money to these programs while sitting in your home.
  2. You will not be only helping a single child through orphan sponsorship programs but also the whole community. For example, $2 of your $25 goes to cover the overhead costs of running Shpola Orphanage which gives shelter to 200 children. So, indirectly your small donation helps 200 children. Your generosity will create a ripple-on effect.
  3. Education is crucial in combating poverty. Orphan sponsorships also focus on providing education and a sponsored child has better chance of finishing their education. They don’t have pressure to make an earning for their livelihood. So their focus is more on the education that leads to better opportunities in life.
  4. Through sponsoring an orphan you know where your money is going and it is not wasted. You get updates on your sponsored child and build a healthy relationship with them. You know that your money is spent on a deserving child.
  5. Your donation of $300 a year makes a huge difference in the life of a sponsored child. For less than one dollar a day, you will be able to provide access to food, education, social support, and medical care to orphans.

So, if you are willing to donate $25 every month and develop a relationship with an orphan then you are most welcome to join Hope Now USA team and make a difference in a child’s life. Be their mentor, pen pal and prayer partner. And Hope Now USA team is running other programs too including graduate program, elevate scholarship, summer camps and family care. Do check them out on their website.