Blessed is the Hand that Gives
Over 140 million children under the age of 18 in the developing world have lost one or both of their parents. In sub-Saharan Africa alone there are 43 million orphans, representing more than 12% of all children (UNAIDS et al. 2004). Although most orphans are cared for by family members or communities in some way, many of these families are living in poverty. Some form of assistance is required to provide these children with adequate food, health care, clothing, education and psychosocial support. The need for public assistance varies by country depending on the number of orphans, the socio-economic conditions and local decisions about the type of support to provide and the best way to provide this support.
Resources needed are estimated as the number of children needing support multiplied by the coverage (the percentage receiving support) and multiplied by the unit cost of providing the service. Estimates are prepared for different types of support including education, nutrition, health care, family/home, economic stability, community support and organizational costs. Children also need shelter.
Children at the orphanage belong to very poor family backgrounds. Most of them are very bright children with strong need for education. St Irene Orthodox Mission houses over 180 needy children who need various types of support ranging from those things necessary for survival, such as food and health care, spiritual nourishment, to those interventions that will provide a better quality of life in the future such as education, psychosocial support and economic self-sufficiency.
In an ideal world all children would have access to all types of high quality services. In the real world many children, orphaned and not, are malnourished, sick and without shelter. We believe that a comprehensive programme to support children should include all essential elements including food, health care, education, clothes, shoes, bedding, psycho-social support, economic self-sufficiency, etc.