World Orphan Week 2010 - Coming up February 8-14

Somewhere in the World a Child Loses a Parent Every 2.2 Seconds.

There are 143 million orphaned children living in the world today and as many as 100 million more children abandoned on the streets world wide, living in substandard and dangerous conditions (UNICEF estimates). 

Generations of children have been left to raise themselves. What future awaits them? What future can be predicted for their countries?

World Orphan Week is the time to respond to the World Orphan Crisis.  Lend your voice to the world's orphaned and abandoned children!

This site offers information and resources for students, parents and educators about the World Orphan Crisis and becoming a part of World Orphan Week (WOW 2010).

If you would like to become involved outside of a school setting please get in touch with us by emailing: to find out more.

World Orphan Week is a time to reflect on the plight of orphans around the world, especially those living in poverty and those affected by humanitarian crises.  The earthquake in Haiti has prompted many Canadians to consider the ways in which they can help the children affected by this disaster.  Many Haitian children have been orphaned or separated from their parents and other family members, and many more remain homeless.  Without assistance, many of these children will join the millions of others living around the world who have to struggle to survive on a daily basis.

SOS Children’s Villages has been working in Haiti since 1979 and has extensive experience working with children and families in the area. The epicentre of the earthquake was just 10 kilometres from the SOS Village of Santo, which is home to almost 200 orphaned and abandoned children.  There is a second SOS Village in Cap Haitien in the north.  SOS has been actively helping Haitians by supporting the emergency response and by providing aid.  In the long term, SOS will continue to support children and families in many ways.

SOS Children’s Villages offers Family Strengthening Programs which help prevent children from being orphaned or abandoned.  They also offer support to relatives caring for orphaned children.  In crisis situations, like the earthquake in Haiti, vulnerable and impoverished families are often unable to cope with the situation.  SOS Family Strengthening programs offer support and resources to families in the short, medium, and long-term that can allow them to continue caring for their children or their orphaned relatives at home. 

When a child’s relatives are not able to care for them, alternatives for in-country, preferably family-based, care also exist, such as is provided in SOS Children’s Villages.  Orphaned children that come to an SOS Children’s Village are brought into a safe, family-based care system that gives them the opportunity have siblings, a mother, and the chance to go to school and grow up happy and healthy in their own nation and according to their own culture. 

In an emergency like the current Haitian situation, SOS Children’s Villages and SOS Supporting Facilities, which include community centers, schools, and medical clinics, act as outposts that can provide relief aid and support not only to orphaned and vulnerable children, but to the community at large.  Water, food, medical supplies, and other basic necessities have been distributed to people in the Port au Prince area from SOS Children’s Village Santo, which is only 8 km from the city.  Unaccompanied children can find temporary refuge there as well, and are cared for until family members can be found or arrangements for their care made.