Orphan Sunday set to address what can be done for the millions of children suffering loss
For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS) -- There are more orphans in the world today than at any other time in history. Ironically, controversy swirls around the global challenge of orphans on every continent. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, AIDS and conflict has wiped out almost an entire generation of adults, and governments are hard-pressed to meet the growing demands of displaced children in staggering proportions in their nations. It is estimated that in Africa, over 10% of the population are orphaned children.
Jodi Jackson Tucker serves as International Director of Orphan Sunday with the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), a coalition of 150 orphan-serving organizations.
“Children who lack parents are the number one target for human trafficking and every other exploitation and suffering,” explains Tucker. “But churches are stepping up for these kids in powerful ways across the globe. Orphan Sunday calls more Christians to action.”
Throughout history, Christians have placed special focus on the plight of orphans. That commitment is reawakening in a big way, from orphan care ministries to international and indigenous adoption. Tucker and her husband have adopted five children—one from the U.S. and four from Uganda.
Worldwide, it is estimated that millions of children have lost at least one parent. Meanwhile here at home, more than 100,000 children in our foster care system have been legally terminated from the hope of reunification with their biological parents, and are now waiting to be adopted.
Without the protection of caring families, children face huge risk of sex trafficking, famine, extreme poverty and other abuses. One study in Eastern Europe found that children growing up in orphanages are ten times more likely to fall prey to sex trafficking than others. Even in the U.S., research suggests that 75 percent of children exploited sexually for commercial purposes previously spent time in foster care. These children age out of the foster care system and have nowhere to go. Without a support network or family they become easy prey.
Christians are being called to change this crisis, and rescue the next generation. On November 3, 2013, thousands of churches around the world in over 50 nations will celebrate Orphan Sunday (www.orphansunday.org). This celebration began eleven years ago in Zambia, and has spread to churches globally that are seeking to respond to the orphan crisis. Every event is unique and locally organized, from concerts and student gatherings to sermons and sponsorship drives. These celebrations highlight the needs of orphans and how ordinary people can make a difference in the life of one.
Tucker has seen firsthand both the need and the compelling ways families and churches like hers are responding worldwide. “The big statistics are overwhelming,” says Tucker. “It just takes one caring adult to transform the life of a child. One child at a time, we can change the course of history.”
Orphan Sunday is an initiative of the members of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, www.cafo.org