According to Unicef, there are nearly 140 million orphans around the world. That's almost 10% of the world's population of children who don't have a parent. With such huge numbers, it's clear this is global problem, and any of us would want to help a child in need. Fortunately, there's lots you can do.
Why Volunteer At An Orphanage?
Even if you don't have children of your own, it's impossible not to believe that every child deserves to grow up with at least one parent or guardian. Sadly, there can be many different reasons why this doesn't happen though.
Orphanages can provide a crucial safety net for youngsters who are left without anyone to care for them. In some parts of the world this could be the difference between life and death. Volunteering with an orphanage can be a hugely rewarding thing to do. It will also help you to develop new skills, build your confidence, and meet lots of new people.
How To Help Orphanage Charities
VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
There are lots of charities around the UK dedicated to helping orphans. From putting together winter care packs to protect children from the cold, to working in an office for an organisation such as Save the Children, there are plenty of ways you can donate your time. It may also be possible to volunteer at an orphanage to help children directly.
SPONSOR AN ORPHAN
Not all charities will support volunteering at orphanages. This is because their goal is to keep children out of orphanages in the first place, while in some countries there's the risk that children become the victim of institutionalisation or trafficking, sometimes in order to generate money. You can avoid this when you choose to sponsor an orphan. You can help to provide proper meals, clothes, education, healthcare and other vital provisions for a vulnerable child.
WORK IN A CHARITY SHOP
Plenty of charities operate shops which play a big part in raising funds, including Mary's Meals. Whether you're sorting through stock that comes in, working the tills or helping customers, even a couple of hours a week can be a huge help. And don't forget to donate things you may be thinking of getting rid of, rather than throwing them away.
TAKE YOUR HELP ABROAD
In South Africa, an estimated 3.7 million children are classed as orphaned and vulnerable. Of these children, around 150,000 are the head of the household, with other brothers, sisters and relatives to look after. This is a problem across the African continent, so if you're looking to volunteer abroad, check out charities such as Ndlovu Care Group to see if there's anything you can do to help. You may be able to volunteer at a medical centre, nutritional unit or research centre if your skills are suited.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
Make sure you do your research before deciding to volunteer at an orphanage. If you do decide to help in this way, it can be upsetting being around vulnerable children, so make sure you properly prepare yourself. Volunteering with children will require background checks and training, so most charities ask for a minimum time commitment that may be between three and six months.
Where To Get Started
With so many children around the world waiting for your help, you may be desperate to get stuck in. Start by taking a look at these great charities which do incredible work helping orphans.
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