The Gift of Being Cared For…and Cared About
One of the many blessings in my life has been the opportunity to spend a lot of time around young people all over the world. I love seeing the world through the eyes of children of all ages. Other than here in the U.S. the place I’ve spent the most time with children is in South Africa – and the vast majority of these children have been orphans.
With no father or mother to be there for them, many orphans in places like South Africa face challenges that most of us have trouble comprehending. I’m talking about life threatening challenges such as finding food, shelter, protection, health care, education…the list is long. One need that often goes overlooked is that these children also very much need to feel that someone, anyone cares about them.
Current estimates are that a staggering 40 million+ orphans and children at risk live in sub-Saharan Africa alone – even the largest city in the world does not have this many people. And yet here we have 40,000,000 children with no parents and, in many cases, no support network. Of course we don’t have to look to such far-off places to find people who need our help.
In virtually every village, settlement, town and city across the globe there are people who feel very much alone and overwhelmed by the challenges life has put in their path. The magnitude of this challenge can be overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are a number of great organizations who are tackling this challenge one child, one village, neighborhood or settlement at a time. I am fortunate enough to be connected to a number of them through Philanthropegie.
Equally important, I’ve seen first hand that many of these organizations understand (much better than I) the importance of providing love and hope along with safety and sustenance.
Orchard: Africa, for example, works closely with local leaders to ensure that it’s not just the children’s bodies that are fed, but their souls as well. I believe this is critically important for children who otherwise have so little reason to feel hopeful.
In this season of giving, I encourage you to give thought to how you can make a difference in the lives of children-in-need. Helping children who are at risk feel cared for and cared about is a truly amazing gift.