Our June Gift- Miracle Foundation
Check out this blog post to learn more about our June gift recipient, Miracle Foundation, and the work they do to help parent the parentless and help children without family.
Our June Gift- Miracle Foundation
If you’ve been keeping up with DollarFund, you may have noticed that all of the issues we’ve chosen to champion are particularly devastating to children. Trafficking, clean water, hunger, and cancer all seem to reek the most senseless havoc on our younger generations. The old cliche, “children are the future” has never been more pertinent. The wellbeing of the world lays in the hands of our children, which is why we choose to bring focus to orphans and the parentless. This extraordinary and surprisingly complex issue has struggled to gain traction, due to the obscure statistics and resources, making it even more dire and in need of attention.
To be considered an orphan by UNICEF, a child needs to have lost only one parent. This differs from how Americans define “orphan” and can confuse when looking at the statistics. The HIV/AIDS epidemic of the mid 90’s created a sharp increase in parental deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa and sparked the beginning of the orphan crisis. Due to the nature of how HIV/AIDS is spread, it was deemed appropriate by UNICEF to figure that if one parent died due to the virus, their partners were also likely to become sick, leaving children on their own. Even if a partner survives, a single parent living in poverty is highly unlikely to be able to provide basic health and food needs.
There are an estimated 150 million orphans around the world, 18 million of which are “double orphans” – having lost both parents.
These numbers do not include children living on the streets, trafficked children, or child soldiers; all of which live without a parental or family structure, even if they are not technically orphans.
These figures have always been estimated due to a lack of being able to document children living outside of a household or government system, though it is assumed that the actual numbers are much higher.
As you read this, millions of children are separated from their families, living in institutions or on the streets. Many survive with substandard care, unloved and at risk – all of them dreaming of a family. In the worst cases, the orphanage environment exposes children to devastating abuse and psychological trauma, creating adults who are 10x more likely to become sex workers and 50x more likely to be in prison.
But, we are also in the midst of a profound paradigm shift. Efforts are being made to reform foster care systems, support families before separation occurs and reunite families where preventable separation has occurred. We all know kids everywhere deserve better.
The movement has begun and Miracle Foundation is on the front line.
For the past 21 years, Miracle Foundation has improved the lives of more than 15,000 orphaned and vulnerable children at more than 300 orphanages in India. To accomplish this, they developed a methodology based on 5 well being domains and the UN Rights of the Child. This tool allows them to collect and track data across a wide spectrum of health and wellness factors to give every child the chance to reach their full potential. After years of on-the-ground experience and careful analysis, Miracle Foundation is turning their expertise from orphanages to families and leading a global movement to bring children home whenever possible. They are also training the social workforce on alternatives to orphanage care, reaching into communities to strengthen Child Protections Committees at the local level, incentivizing youth and identifying vulnerable families long before the need for child placement arises. They are working to apply their technology and measurement skills to the US Foster Care System, connecting families to vital services through an easy-to-use app and streamlining the complex reporting requirements that foster families face.
Miracle Foundation’s work in the past was grounded in helping orphans in need to have a better quality of life but has evolved to also ensure that every child has an opportunity to grow up in a family. They’ve learned that children who are separated from their families yearn to go back and feel the love and belonging a family can offer. At Miracle Foundation, the vision is a family for every child in our lifetime.
Miracle Foundation is working to end the need for orphanages in our lifetime.
What to do
Like many of DollarFund’s other causes, there is no silver bullet answer. Preventing orphans requires solving many of the worlds devastations, so in the meantime we must focus on making better lives for the current and future parentless. We do this by creating loving, nurturing, and permanent homes. There are so many great organizations doing amazing work like bringing much needed attention to child welfare, to focusing on children in need of homes all over the world, and so much in between. We love getting to partner with these organizations and be a part of the good work to help children in need.
Everyone deserves a home where they are safe and welcome. Help DollarFund spread the message for children in need of not just homes and parents, but of love and security. Show the world you’re in the giving spirit by being one of our monthly donors and spreading this story far and wide.