Up to 140 million orphaned and vulnerable children worldwide
Richard Stearns, President of World Vision United States said:
‘I believe that this could very well be looked back on as the sin of our generation…I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask me, what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?’
Orphaned and vulnerable children are abandoned, abused or traumatized as a result of disease, poverty, stigma and tragedy, including natural disasters and war.
Recent statistics issued by UNICEF, estimate the total number of African children who may now be orphaned (a child who has lost at least one parent as a result of HIV AIDS) to be up to 25 million in Africa of which 22 million live in sub-Saharan Africa.
In South Africa alone, there are an estimated 118,500 children living in 66,500 child-headed families.
Child-headed describes families led by children from as young as ten looking after siblings and other orphaned children, many ill themselves. HIV may be the major contributing factor to their predicament, but poverty keeps them trapped in a world of destitution.
Nelson Mandela once equated the world to a human body. He said:
In the same way a human body cannot deny the impact of gangrene in a limb, the world cannot ignore the consequences of this scourge in Africa. To do so is not just immoral, it imperils us all.
Mandela’s powerful analogy stands for any situation in which children are manifestly put at risk or left alone to fend for themselves.
There is no geographic restriction on where war and disaster happens
Beyond Africa, poverty besets millions of children all over the world. War wreaks havoc in their lives. The children of Syria are living evidence, many of whom have been refugees for years, living in tents in freezing conditions in winter.
There is no geographic restriction on where natural disasters may occur. We only need to reflect on the horrors suffered by children as a result of the two dreadful tsunamis, and shattering Nepalese earthquake in recent times.
In the face of these devastating circumstances for so many millions of children in the world today, how can we make a difference?
How can we all become responsible for spurring a movement that will, at the very least, bring attention to their plight?
How can we each use our creative endeavour and problem solving skills to think outside of the square and come up with new ways to support, help and comfort the children?
This is the work that CreateCare Global encourages, nurtures and supports.
How our programs work to help the children
We facilitate a connection between a growing worldwide community of compassionate people and the grassroot organisations that care for orphaned and vulnerable children. Between us, we find the SMALL ACTS that are meaningful ways in which we can help and make a difference in the lives of these children, their carers, and even the agencies that work to house, feed and educate the children.
We know from the programs we are already invested in, like Knit-a-square, that when people are provided with a means to help, no matter how small , they do, and more.
Let us work together at the intersection of creative endeavour and hope to raise awareness; and to enrich the lives of these children who so desperately need our help.