There are lots of reasons why orphans exist. And I’ve heard some explanations that are quite absurd… It’s one thing to have a debate on the state of the world’s at risk children. It’s another thing to hear their individual stories.
Here is one of them:
Malleswarao watched his father stab his mother to death at the age of 8. His father then hanged himself. Officials at Malleswarao’s home village brought him to the Children’s home. He was very afraid and traumatized and would talk in his sleep. He would repeat “please don’t kill!” during the night and cry during the day. After several months at the children’s home he began to smile and interact with his new family.
Recently Malleswarao’s was playing cricket with the other boys and was hit by a bat. He reacted strongly to the sight of his own injury and began to see flashbacks of his parent’s death, but this time he had loving adults to comfort him. He cried out for Pastor Kiran as Daddy, a term the kids will use for the person taking care of them even if they are not their natural father (they call us uncle and auntie and they call Kiran Daddy). Malleswarao is improving again and smiles along with the other children. He is moving on from the details of his past life and embracing his future.
Thirty children at the home have witnessed the death of at least one of their parents, often at the hand of the other parent or from suicide. Ten percent of the kids lost their parents to HIV-AIDS.
At least one parental suicide was involved in 40% of the cases.
In Hindu culture, the face of a widow is considered bad luck. They are not allowed at celebrations. They are a class of untouchables all by themselves. A widow is typically blamed for the bad luck of her husband’s death. These women are extremely vulnerable to abuse and prostitution. They are treated as subhuman. The CTL sewing initial project took five treadle sewing machines and offered 7 widows the opportunity to learn a skill which can sustain them and their children. Widows who complete the training can “earn” a sewing machine. These machines, which run on foot pedal power, cost $200 each. We hope to expand this program, both for the widow’s sake and because we believe it will prevent the creation of more orphaned children.
There are lots of ways to become involved if you feel the call.