Death is a tragedy that we all know exists but are scared of. You might never feel its intensity until it robs you of the one you love. Death alone wouldn’t be the thing that scares us the most but the emptiness it leaves in our hearts that might never be filled.
As we all plan for our families, we never know what will befall our loved ones when we are gone. A situation where the parents die leaving behind helpless children is catastrophic. Some children are taken up by close relatives while others are left alone to figure out how to survive on their own. In a situation where you are required to lend a helping hand; raise children of your deceased sister, brother or friend. It might seem like a smooth journey but it’s a tough task. Even when they are leaving alone and fending for themselves, they need the support of whoever would be willing to help in whichever way possible. To support just one through CCFU(Child Care Foundation Uganda) one needs to save only $39 in a month. This may sound small, simple and affordable but not everybody can do it.
Facing the loneliness
A child who has just lost a parent is delicate and prone to every form of abuse but like any other child needs to be known, loved and protected, The responsibility ahead of us as a program/project. He/ she is battling with more than you can ever imagine, the loneliness and the thought that they will never see their parents ever again is heartbreaking.
One child shared at a graduation, “When my parents died in a car accident, I never knew what it meant until all the sweet speeches given at the burial faded away and the many people who had come for burial left. It dawned on me that we are alone in this world and all the people who had come for burial had done it for our parents not necessarily us the children. Our grandmother stayed and tried to bridge the gap, but it was not the same. As time went by, I forgot the numerous people who attended the burial but I remember the only person who stayed when everyone had left.” She spoke as she thanked her grandmother.
If you take on a niece, nephew, friend’s child or any other child who has just lost a parent, take time to study their personality/ character. Some children can reconcile with the loss after a week or a month whereas others can take longer.
How to raise an orphan
Manishimwe Nelson a Managing Director at CCFU, says orphans are delicate; anything can open the wound. They have needs like all other children but have no access to them. If you can please help at least one by visiting www.childcareug.com or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In the years I have spent dealing with orphans and vulnerable children, I have realized that an abandoned child has hope of seeing their parents some time but an orphan has lost hope and thus they are hard to deal with,” He explains. Nelson adds, “I personally fear to hurt an orphan, when I accidentally say or do something that might hurt them, I apologize fast before the word goes deep. Do not allow an orphan to think deeply about some bad things or statements told to them by either a teacher or any other person. “If you are like me working with OVC’S, treat all children the same. It is hard to balance love but if you are to help that child, you must make sure they are not alienated by either your children or spouse. Work hard to raise their self-esteem.
.If you have adopted a child, make the child your own, the way you would treat your child. If he or she is young, let them call you mummy or daddy. Don’t let them feel the difference between your own child and them. Be careful never to let them hear you say you are not their own parent. Be proud of them and affirm them like you do to your own children.
Things you should never tell an orphan
Avoid anything that might drive them into thinking about the past. If you choose to talk about their late parents, do not talk ill about them, just share the sweet memories only. A child is only interested in keeping the sweet memory not the bad.
Do not be mean to them, if you cannot help an orphan, do not hurt them. Truth is, no one chooses to be an orphan. Sometimes they might joke about it but be careful not to go on that path especially if your parents are still alive.
We have made it even easier and convenient for those able and willing to support. Just visit our website www.childcareug.org,choose the best possible way you want to support and use pay pal.
Due to the rise in childhood deaths and the failure of poor children to go to schools to learn better ways to live, CCFU was born to find a lasting solution to the community problems. Recognizing that ministries of health in most developing countries lacked, enough resources and so need such projects programs to complement their work is so important, As CCFU, We call upon other non-governmental organizations to promote child survival. In this era of mobile phones, Facebook, Twitter, the internet and today’s social media, such social mobilization and groups we can change the situation at hand if we work together.
How many orphan children do you think there are?
There are a huge number of orphan children in Uganda. In fact, more than 2.9 million children are considered orphans by one definition or another. Sadly, there are orphan children who are even abandoned by the statistics! World health organization counts only those who live on the streets, but the numbers out there suffering and lamenting in poverty are just overwhelming.
Where do orphan &vulnerable children come from?
First we can address the obvious…things that we read and hear about in the news all the time: War, disease, poverty, natural disasters, abandonment, and accidents are among some of the leading causes. These can be directly associated with orphans by the definition of a child who has lost one or both parents. Within and aside from the aforementioned are: cultural pressures, neglect, abuse, child slavery, religious inequity, child prostitution ETC. These are more closely associated with children without parental care that may not be a child that has lost one or more parents. They may live with a relative or neighbor or are on the street or in the jungles and subjected to one of the prior mentioned abuses. Sometimes they simply live with a blind, ill or very old relative that loves, but cannot care for them. They are many varied combinations that contribute to a child suffering without parental care, but the results are the same, regardless of the cause. Statistically the subgroups such as these would not be counted as orphans, but by attributes associated with abuse and neglect, they are one and the same in terms of outcome for the child. Perhaps in some ways their status almost makes them invisible and the danger they are in, is misunderstood by many not familiar with their culture. You could be in position to help one such a child.
What do you think happens to the average orphan child?
Beyond suffering and the ultimate tragedy of death, the children that do survive, often do so in ways that demeans and criminalizes themselves and brings suffering to others as well. The sad reality though, is that if a good and caring person is not there to provide what they need, They might grow up to become terrorists, rebel armies with child soldiers, child traffickers, even less – than- good- willed- relatives who want a personal slave. The end result is truly heartbreaking as many of the orphan children out there will die of starvation and issues related to malnutrition. They will die from preventable diseases. They will die at the hands of others and themselves. They will spend much of their life in jail. They will do harm to others and impact the world in a negative fashion. This calls us all to take action and help them become what God wants them to be in the near future. By your commitment to sponsor one of these, we can overcome.
BUT IT’S A MASSIVE PROBLEM; CAN WE REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE? YESSSSSSSSSS WE ARE ALREADY MAKING A DIFFERENCE.VISIT US WWW.CHILDCAREUG.ORG
Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all is that we know how to turn tragedy into triumph…we just need more help doing it! We know how to turn terrible statistics into wonderful statistics. And when you help the children, you are doing a wonderful thing, but the good you have done doesn’t stop there. It spreads! The world and global society benefit when we help orphan children.Instead of harming themselves and others, they grow up to be responsible, healthy, adults that give back to the community they live in instead of taking away from it.The good that is done, is generational. CCFU
When we give the children what they need to THRIVE, not just survive we break the cycle that creates orphans in the first place, and the next generation of children will have YOU to thank for the fact that their parents didn’t abandon them…but instead raised them in a healthy and loving environment. There will be less crime, less disease and less orphan children to take care of!
We believe that with your partnership we can be able to go further. Just commit to sponsor only one child. It costs you only $39 a month. We thank you so much for your support. God bless you.