Orphans are Small Children and Babies
A common misconception; many believe orphans must be small children or babies. This is not the case.
Orphaned children are considered to be in need of support and provisions up to 18 years of age.
While there is some truth to the idea that younger children need more in the way of everyday care, older children and teenagers still need protection and guidance as they enter adulthood.
Whether a child loses their family at 7 or 17, they are an orphan in need of our help.
Both Parents Die, Leaving their Children Orphaned
This assumption is another one that can leave children deprived and suffering needlessly.
An orphan is commonly known as a child who has lost both their mother and father. However, we work with many orphans who have lost only one parent, for example, their father, leaving their mother disadvantaged and struggling to provide for her children alone.
Similarly, parents do not need to pass away to leave their children orphaned: abandonment and absentee parents can also result in an orphaned child.
So perhaps there are more children craving love and care than we first thought…
Orphanages are Awful Places
Perhaps one of the most disturbing myths surrounding orphans is the notion that orphanages are horrible places, more likely to mistreat and scar their residents than raise and guide them.
Despite some unfortunate cases of mistrust and abuse, when led correctly with the needs of the children put first above all else, orphanages are actually wonderful support systems for the children who depend on them. Just earlier this year, HRF built an orphanage in Bangladesh for orphans in need.
Our orphan sponsorship programme ensures the children under our care receive love, guidance, education and support in all they do - everything they would get at home as part of a family.
We hope this article has cleared up any misunderstandings you may have had about orphans, whilst demonstrating just how valuable the work we do really is. With so many children at risk of being disadvantaged after the tragedy of being orphaned, it is crucial that people understand their position and appreciate the support that orphanages and orphan sponsorship can provide.
Please, spread the word, bust the myths and help these children and young people overcome loss and life’s obstacles.
For more information on our orphan sponsorship programme, please see here.