In Zambia, there are more than one million orphans – giving it one of the highest per capita orphan rates in the world.
An orphan is any child who has lost one or more parents through death or abandonment. However, there is more than just one kind of orphan.
Double Orphans: have lost both parents
Single Orphans: have lost just one parent
Social Orphans: have been abandoned by either their parents, family members, or caregivers.These children are effectively orphaned by society and left to fend for themselves.
When a child is orphaned, they usually become the responsibility of a family member or neighbor. Because they are another mouth to feed, these children are usually not welcomed and considered a burden. Many are forced to find their own food and sleep outside.
Theft, rape, and ritual witchcraft are very prevalent in the slums where these children live. If you ask a Zambian child living in the slum compounds of Lusaka when they feel most afraid, you will quickly learn that nighttime is when a child is most fearful.
With most homes having little more than a hanging sheet for a door, it is no wonder that children often struggle with sleeplessness or severe nightmares.
While their life is difficult, they are not without hope. Jesus says in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” We trust that God sees each of these children and is at work to bring change in their lives.