On Tuesday, June 1, 2010, many countries around the world celebrate International Children's Day. Below are some facts on children and a short video clip of oprhans in Viet Nam. Help us MAKE THE DIFFERENCE, be a volunteer or donate.
UNICEF and global partners define an orphan as a child who has lost one or both parents. By this definition there were over 132 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean in 2005. This large figure represents not only children who have lost both parents, but also those who lost a father but have a surviving mother or have lost thir mother but have a surviving father.
Of the more than 132 million children classified as orphans, only 13 million have lost both parents. Evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of orphans are living with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other family member. 95 persent of all orphans are over the age of five. This definition contrasts with concepts of orphan in many industrialized countries, where a child must have lost both parents to qualify as an orphan. UNICED and numerous international organizations adopted the broader definition of orphan in the mid-1990s as the AIDS pandemic began leading to the death of million parents worldwide, leaving an increase number of children growing up without one or more parents. So the terminology of a 'single orphan' - the loss of one parent - and a 'double orphan' - the loss of both parents - was born to convey this growing crisis. Howevr, this difference in terminology can have concrete implications for policies and programming for children. For example, UNICEF's 'orphan' statistic might be interpreted to mean that globally there are 132 million children in need of a new family, shelter, or care. This misunderstanding may then lead to responses that focus on providing care for individual children rather than supporting the families and communities that care for orphans and are in need of support.