What you need to know about Orphan World Relief…
A MESSAGE FROM DOUG RIGGLE
Welcome. I appreciate your interest in Orphan World Relief.
This press kit contains information about orphans and kids in foster care, as well as the global issues facing children by sharing their unique and personal stories, and why this message is important.
If you’re interested in scheduling an interview or are searching for additional information, please email me at email@example.com.
I look forward to working with you!
Globally there are between 147 and 210 million orphans and at-risk kids. (https://www.unicef.org/media/media_45279.html)
In the United States, annually, there are approximately 400,000 kids in foster care with around 110,000 available for adoption. Each year, 23,000 of these kids age out of the system are largely on their own. From there the statistics tell an even sadder story. Research shows that those who leave care without being a family connection have a higher likelihood than youth in the general population to experience homelessness, unemployment and incarceration as adults.
Orphan World Relief provides support to kids in need in a variety of ways:
- International Programs – we work with well run programs globally to provide a consistent level of financial support as well as help them find ways to become more self-sufficient. Periodically we provide additional financial support for emergency relief.
- Refugee Efforts – beginning in 2019 we started supporting efforts to help refugee children stuck on the island of Lesvos (Lesbos) off the coast of Turkey. More than half of the refugees on the island are children who come from over 40 countries.
- Children Entering Foster Care – locally we provide backpacks for children entering foster care for the first time. Often they show up at a foster parent’s home with just the clothes on their back. The backpacks (My Comfy Kits) give them a sense of dignity while providing them some basic comfort items to help this difficult transition.
- Children Leaving Foster Care – our newest program currently in development, works with kids leaving the foster care system to help break the cycle of poverty, homelessness and crime. Our foster care center will provide assistance with: life skills, career development and guidance, family mentors, and more.
- Education – people don’t act because they don’t know or fully understand the needs. One of our biggest areas of support involves the educating of others. Every interaction with someone is an opportunity to teach, learn and make a difference.
Why Our Message is Important
THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN ENTERING FOSTER CARE IS INCREASING
Every year in the United States, over 400,000 kids are in our foster care systems with ~110,000 available for adoption and ~23,000 kids aging out of the system. Those who age out without a family connection face bleak prospects:
- 20% will be homeless;
- Only 50% will be gainfully employed by age 24;
- Less than 3% will ever get a college degree; and,
- 7 out of 10 girls will be pregnant by age 21.
With these bleak prospects, the cycle that got these kids in foster care to begin with will be repeated with their children facing the same, if not a worse fate.
FEWER ADULTS ARE ADOPTING CHILDREN IN NEED
From 2004 to 2016, the number of adoptions in the United States have fallen by 76%. This drop is having an impact on the number of children in state and country-run foster care systems not to mention those adopting from overseas.
“If we can intervene early to help kids in their development, it not only helps them but also the broader society.” – Kathryn Humphreys, Tulane University. “Don’t want to raise a psychopath? Be sensitive to a child’s distress: New study is the first to show that an intervention can prevent the precursors to psychopathy.” ScienceDaily, 3 December 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151203152109.htm
Local actions can create global impact.
In our interview, we can talk about how no one is too young or too old to make a difference in the lives of children.
They say age is just a number. We’ve had children as young as 5 make an impact in the lives of foster kids and orphaned children. One young boy saved up his nickels, dimes and pennies to help provide backpacks for kids entering foster care. A Girl Scout troop has taken it upon themselves to, not only share about the needs of orphans with their friends, but have become a regular part of our volunteer team.
The real number of orphans around the globe
In our interview, we can discuss the seemingly contradictory statistics concerning the number of orphaned children globally.
Various sources estimate the number of orphans globally. UNICEF produces a yearly estimate that some people disagree with. “UNICEF and global partners define an orphan as a child under 18 years of age who has lost one or both parents to any cause of death. By this definition, there were nearly 140 million orphans globally in 2015…”
There are disputes about counting a child with one living parent as an orphan. My compassion for children doesn’t end at the fact that they have a living parent. Our foster care system is full of children in need with one or more parents.
Personally, I consider a child as an “orphan” if they do not receive appropriate parental support. In fact, there are children today living in a two parent household who are functionally orphans.
Sample Interview Questions
- What led you to start a nonprofit focused on orphans?
- Why orphans and at-risk kids?
- What are your biggest challenges?
- Where is the biggest need in the globe?
- What turns a child into an orphan?
- What led you to adopt your son?
- Your son passed away, would you adopt again?
- How can people get involved?
- What are some of the biggest issues facing children in foster care?