WWO At a Glance: Transforming the Lives
of Orphans and At-Risk Children
Orphans are the world’s forgotten children. They live in anonymity—feared, stigmatized, avoided, voiceless and invisible. But orphans—like all children—yearn for love and dream of bright futures for themselves. More than 153 million children in the world have lost one or both parents. Many, through no fault of their own, are destined to live out their childhoods in institutional settings or on the street, devoid of loving caregivers, sick and hungry, without dreams and without purpose.
Worldwide Orphans (WWO) is working to ensure that orphaned and at-risk children can have a happy, healthy childhood, in spite of their circumstances. By providing boys and girls with love, play, education, health care and hope, we give them what every child needs…a chance.
A child loses one month of developmental skills for every three months spent in an orphanage. By the time a child turns three, they are often a full year behind in development, and the disadvantages start to accumulate, including learning disabilities, ADHD, auditory processing disorder and attachment issues. WWO delivers programs to address the needs of the whole child, giving them strong bodies and the coping, social and life skills they need to be happy and independent in the future.
OUR UNIQUE APPROACH
PROTECTION: Our first and most immediate goal is to provide safety and protection to orphaned and at-risk children, adhering to the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
INTIMACY: We nurture children with the love and attention that is every child’s birthright. All WWO programs include training for caregivers and staff on early childhood development. Our One-to-One program recruits adults from the community to pair up with individual children and play with them every day so that they can know what it means to be attached to a loving caregiver.
PLAY: We encourage creativity, healthy competition, team work and self-expression through camp, global arts and sports. Our toy libraries enhance cognitive development through joyful play and experimentation.
HEALTH CARE: Children who are sick can’t learn, grow and thrive. Our care for orphans, including those living with HIV/AIDS, is based on attention to the whole child. HIV/AIDS, special needs, developmental delays – whatever the issue, we address it.
HOPE: Without an education, children are destined to repeat the cycle of poverty. Orphans, who age out of institutions by 16 without a proper education, are condemned to a life on the streets; of begging, prostitution, human trafficking, early marriage and criminality. We work to provide at-risk children with a first-rate education so they can reach their potential.
PREVENTING FURTHER ORPHANS: Many families living in extreme poverty believe that their children will have a better life in an orphanage, but that is rarely the case. WWO works with families at risk of abandoning their children to give them the skills and confidence they need to keep their children at home. Where abandonment has already occurred, we use a social work case management approach to reconnect and—where possible—reintegrate children with their families.
WHERE WE WORK
BULGARIA • ETHIOPIA • HAITI • SERBIA • VIETNAM
OUR IMPACT IN 2012
52,200 people tested for HIV in Ethiopia
2,500 adults and children receiving health care and follow-up care in Ethiopia and Vietnam
1,000 children benefitting from social work and support groups and Family Resource Centers in Vietnam
1,100 orphans and at-risk children playing at toy libraries in Bulgaria and Haiti
850 children participating in camp and camp follow-up in Ethiopia, Haiti and Vietnam
432 attending the WWO Academy, grades k-5, in Ethiopia
565 local staff and volunteers in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Haiti and Vietnam
360 boys and girls receiving One-to-One care in Bulgaria, Haiti and Vietnam
6 students receiving college assistance in Serbia