We believe every child deserves to grow up in a loving, stable family.
But that’s not the reality for millions of children around the world who are currently orphaned or abandoned without a family to call their own.
140 million children are orphaned or abandoned worldwide
5 million of these children are in Ethiopia alone
430,000 children are in the US foster care system
Who are vulnerable children and families?
Vulnerable Child: A child under the age of 18 years and who is currently at high risk of lacking adequate care and protection. A child who has lost one parent, both parents, or their primary caregiver, has been abandoned, has been abused by parents or caregivers, is living in a household where someone is chronically ill, is living in extreme poverty, is living in a war or conflict zone, is marginalized, stigmatized or discriminated against. - TAP
Vulnerable Families: Biological families at risk of breaking apart
Why does the the global orphan crisis exist? Well, it’s complicated. Contributing factors include: poverty, death and disease, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, social exclusion, culture, war, corruption. You can read more about this here.
What is poverty? Common definitions describe poverty as a lack of material resources, including money, food, shelter and other material needs. We believe that material poverty is a symptom of poverty, but not the full definition of poverty. The full definition must include the breakdown of relationships and ineffective systems. Without the relationships necessary for healthy growth, the cycle of poverty will only continue.
The ability to overcome poverty must be rooted in a holistic approach.
Meeting only basic needs is not enough. Selamta serves orphaned children but we are not an orphanage. We believe the only way forward is by focusing on each individual and their wholeness, the wholeness that comes through healthy relationships with God, self, others and their environment. In order to love others well, we need to know we are loved. That love is the foundation we build on.
Family. Dignity. Hope.
At every opportunity, keep biological families together. When that is not possible, we recreate family for those who have lost their own. Each person, child or adult, deserves to be treated with dignity. Regardless of their situation, everyone comes with assets, gifts and talents and those must be nurtured. Hope in and of itself isn’t a strategy, but when families and children know love, have been equipped and feel empowered, they will have hope for a bright future. Let’s change forever together.
Photos above, unless otherwise noted, are provided by The Archibald Project (@thearchibaldproject), an orphan care advocacy organization that uses media to share inspiring stories to inspire people into action. To see more of their work, please visit www.thearchibaldproject.com