Families come together from all walks of life. No matter how you choose to become a parent, giving a child the love of a family is an amazing gift. But, unfortunately, not every child has had the chance to experience this amazing feeling.
World Orphan Week, originally established in 2005, is held annually during the second week of February. This event raises awareness for the large number of children around the world missing one or both of their parents. Although the term “orphans” isn’t widely used in American culture today, it’s still common in other parts of the world like China, Russia and Haiti.
Each year, the number of children in this painful situation grows. Many of them are older with little hope of being adopted, and very few of them have a positive frame of reference for life outside of an orphanage. Even worse, most of them struggle to imagine what a loving family could look like.
But, hope isn’t lost.
Hopeful adoptive families can consider something called “orphan hosting.” If you’ve never heard of it before, the details can be somewhat confusing. No worries — we have the answers you need here during this year’s World Orphan Week.
What is Orphan Hosting?
Orphan hosting brings a child to the U.S. to help get them exposure and, hopefully, get them adopted. Typically, hosting lasts for about four to five weeks during the summer. There are also holiday programs available for families who want to give a child the gift of being loved during the hardest times of the year.
In some cases, hosting a child from a different country can even lead to adoption, which is a bonus for families who have adoption as their end goals.
Orphan hosting is a life-changing experience for children around the world and an incredibly eye-opening experience for the families that welcome these children into their lives. If you’ve always thought about helping a child from another country, this is one of the best ways to do so.
This program allows your family to share the gift of togetherness with a child in need. Not only does it allow a child to expand their horizons, it also gives them the amazing opportunity to feel the love of a family for the very first time.
How Does Orphan Hosting Work?
Hosting an orphan from another country is easier than it sounds.
Host families often need to meet certain eligibility requirements. Before you can host, you should expect to provide some information — including your health history, financial situation, education and more. You can learn more about what those requirements are here.
If you’re thinking about this path, you can learn more about becoming a volunteer here. You can also learn more about opportunities to become a backup host family, a chaperone host family and an airport coordinator. There are also a few other organizations you might think about working with if you’re hoping to host a child from another country:
How You Can Get Involved Today
There are plenty of ways that you can show your support for World Orphan Week!
As with any organization, one of the hardest parts about World Orphan Week is making the message known. You can do your part by spreading the word on social media or in your own community. You can also share fact sheets, flyers and brochures about World Orphan Week with people you know. Education is one of the best places to start, so don’t be afraid to share what you know.
Another option is to start your own fundraiser for orphaned children around the world. This can be a great way to show how much you care. There are plenty of platforms, like GoFundMe, CrowdRise and YouCaring, that you can use to get started. Like with anything on the internet, however, it’s important to stay safe. Transfer all funds directly, keep track of everything you donate, and protect yourself from online scams. For more tips on how to stay safe, start here.
If you’re thinking about starting a fundraiser for a specific organization, here are a few names to check out:
Of course, there isn’t a limit to what you can do to show your support. Feel free to get creative for this year’s World Orphan Week!