We can ask Him to set the lonely in families, for justice, for safety, for provision. We can pray for lawmakers, providers, caregivers and counselors. We can talk to Him about children with parents who are sick and dying, for child-headed households, for mothers and fathers contemplating giving up their children, and children affected by war. For families who have room and resources to care for fatherless children, that He release and speed any care supplies to refugee camps, for those who mentor and teach orphans, for street children, and for the health of orphans.
Orphans are more vulnerable to slave labor, suicide, violence, homelessness, lack of education, health problems, alcohol and drug abuse, and sex slavery.
SEX TRAFFICKING: Orphans are often targeted by traffickers. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans. The head of Florida’s trafficking task force estimates that 70 percent of child trafficking victims are foster youth. A study in New York found that 75 percent of children who were sexually exploited for commercial purposes had spent time in foster care.
LACK OF EDUCATION: Children raised in orphanages have an IQ 20 points lower than their peers. In the US, nearly 25% of youth aging out of foster care did not have a high school diploma or GED, and a mere 6% had finished a two- or four-year degree. One study shows 70% of all youth in foster care have the desire to attend college. Overseas, the vast majority of orphans lack the proper education needed to be admitted to the secondary educational facilities, or they drop out quickly if they manage this feat due to the pressures of providing for themselves without proper support. Health and lack of money can contribute to this.
HEALTH PROBLEMS: In the orphanages, funding is often an issue. Institutions can have alarmingly high death rates. Once out of state care, the children have even less access to basic health care, and street kids lack access even to basic necessities such as toothpaste and soap. Orphans run greater risks of being malnourished and stunted than children who have parents to look after them.
Over 14 million children age out of orphanages every year—that’s one every 2 seconds. They often are shown the doors and are expected to find something to eat, find a place to live and find a job.
All without adult guidance.