World without orphans: A far-fetched idea?

Standing before a group of fitness enthusiasts, Princess Ncube, a 10-year-old orphan from Bellevue, Bulawayo, wore a brave face.

It was clearly evident that the little girl, who is seeking funds to undergo a heart surgery in India, was in pain.

A donation amounting to US$1 000 brought smiles to her face. Princess’ father is late.

According to the United Nations International Children’s Fund; 17, 8 million children worldwide have lost both parents (double orphan), with 153 million having lost one parent (single orphan).

In Zimbabwe, there are close to two million orphans with an estimated 3 900 orphans being raised in orphanages.

To make sure that they are not forgotten, once a year there is a special day dedicated just to them — World Orphans Day, which falls on the second Monday of each November.

Today, some churches will visit orphanages, street children, underprivileged children and widows; distributing food, educational material, toys and clothes.

The day is often referred to as Orphan Sunday and is observed in more than 70 countries, among them Zimbabwe.

Orphan Sunday was created to raise awareness on the plight of orphans and displaced children across the world.

It also encourages active participation in raising awareness, support, and funding for children who have lost their parents.

Millions of children the world over have become orphaned for many reasons; among them war, famine, displacement, disease and poverty, etcetera.

Professor Jephat Chifamba from the Department of Physiology at the University Of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences highlighted the importance of Orphan Sunday.

“This day serves as a reminder and seeks to increase awareness on the issues involving orphans. In my view, the welfare of orphans must be looked into on a daily basis rather than waiting for Orphan Sunday,” Prof Chifamba said.

According to Prof Chifamba, orphans need support in the form of food, education, life skills and psychosocial support.

“I’m challenging churches, companies and individuals to go out there to help orphans.  I encourage families to adopt orphans since  they need families.

Prof Chifamba, who is also in charge of children’s ministry at Borrowdale Community Church, asked, “When an orphaned child reaches 18, that child is asked to leave. Where will that child go?” asked

Statistics show that less than 100 children are adopted in Zimbabwe each year.

Meanwhile, Princess Ncube is seeking funds to help her undergo heart surgery in India.

Well-wishers can deposit money in the Steward Bank Account number 1004333434

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