Children begging for pennies, working menial jobs, languidly sitting in the city streets—these are familiar sights in sub-Saharan Africa.
A continent ravaged by war, starvation and disease is also home to 43.4 million orphans, according to a 2004 unicef report, “Children on the Brink.” This represents a 30 percent increase since 1990, and the number will continue rising unless the spread of the aids virus slows down. Between 60 and 80 percent of Africa’s parentless children have been orphaned by aids taking their parents.
Many of these orphans, who are themselves at high risk for contracting aids, organize into gangs after being turned away by extended family. They are also vulnerable to human traffickers.
Even within organizations set up to protect and care for the orphans, children don’t always fare much better. In Lagos, Nigeria, one such institution was caught forcing pregnant girls to hand over their babies, who were then sold to wealthy families. And this in a relatively stable nation. In places like war-torn Congo, helping 3 million orphans is a nearly impossible task.
There is a solution to this terrible problem. God is a Father who intends to bring all of those orphans into His very own Family—and soon.
For much more information about this world’s only sure hope, write for our free booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow—What It Will Be Like.