As I read the profiles of the children we will be working with at the orphanage, I was surprised that many asked for prayer for their families. My understanding of an orphan needed to be expanded.
UNICEF classifies a child as an orphan if:
- Their parents or caregivers die.
- They lose contact with their caregivers (street children or refugees)
- They have been separated from their parents (detained parents or abducted children.
- Their caregivers have given them over to the care and custody of another (disabled children or children from poor families that cannot care for them).
- They have been kept in prolonged hospital care (HIV-positive children).
- They have been detained in educational, remand, correctional or penal facilities as a result of an administrative or judicial decision (suspected or convicted offenders).
Today UNICEF estimates that 163 million children are orphans.
I never realized it, but every year there were orphaned children sitting in my classroom.
This is sobering.