On January 12th, 2010, a devastating earthquake reduced much of the nation of Haiti's capital to rubble. It has been reported that the earthquake has been the worst in over 200 years. The estimate of the cost of repair is said to be nearly $13 billion. Haiti's president released a statement in April that the death toll is upwards of 300,000.
Commendably, Americans' desire to help provide relief and support to the sufferings of those living in Haiti drastically increased in the weeks and months that followed. Specifically, interest in adoption and orphan care in Haiti reached an all-time high, as people learned about families being torn apart and children, now orphans, in need of care and love.
In no way to belittle people's heart to serve and care for those in need, I think that it is also appropriate to consider the fact that orphans around the world face peril every single day. Orphaned children are vulnerable and at very real risk of becoming victims of violence, exploitation, trafficking and other abuses. Many orphans cannot receive the proper care that they need. Certainly, they do not receive the love of a family that they hope for. In a system that is overburdened, these children's lives and voices go underrepresented every day.
We must go beyond reacting to the needs of orphans and be proactive in our approach to caring for global orphans.
America World Adoption's Orphan's Ticket Home campaign seeks to support orphans and help them gain all necessary paperwork, in order to be eligible for adoption through our Orphan Identity initiative. Through this specific initiative we help obtain birth certicifates, medical reports, psychological evaluations, background reports, abandonment certificates, and custody reports for orphaned cihldren.
For hundreds of thousands of children, this paperwork is the difference between living in a center, being reunited with their biological family or being given the chance to be adopted into a forever family. Without such paperwork, many children sit in the system for years, often becoming increasingly vulnerable to abuses and neglect, yearning for a home and a hope. Every moment of ineficiency is a moment of institutionalization for a child who desperately wants to be called a son or daughter.
By investing time, money and resources, America World has been able to help hundreds of children's legal cases progress more efficiently, over the past two years. I exhort you to seriously consider partnering with us and changing the lives of orphans, one at a time. For more information about the Orphan's Ticket Home campaign, please visit our website at www.orphanstickethome.org.
Let's commit to not wait for the next disaster to care for orphans, who are in need on a daily basis.
O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more. -- Psalm 10:17-18
By His grace,
Jason West, Director of Development