I have a lot of things that I’d like to share with you, but one thing in particular seems appropriate today. The following statistics are devastating. I’m not sharing them with you to scare you into donating, but because I’d like you to be informed and aware of the sad reality for orphans. Far too many people aren’t…
This is from Lyndi Shupp’s blog; please don’t forget to check out her blog, donate and pray for her family as they deal with a bump in their journey and bring Freddie home:
Your future doesn’t look too bright. When you are 16, you will have to leave the orphanage. You don’t have family to turn to. There are few jobs in your country. There are few programs to feed you or house you. And your self esteem is very low for all you’ve been through.
Right now, there are over 100,000 children living in orphanages in [Eastern Europe]. Official numbers vary, and it is difficult to pinpoint the exact number. Reports from 100,000 to 150,000 exist, with 120,000 being the most commonly cited number. There are officially another 100,000 in state care, such as semi-orphanages and other forms of care.
Whatever the final number, the reality for these children is bleak. Because the [Eastern European] government provides extremely inadequate funds for clothing, shoes or other basics, and the budget for food is grossly inadequate as well, many children suffer from poor nutrition, medical issues that result from this like rickets, hunger, cold and lack of medicines. Orphanages depend on international aid for survival.
Around the age of 16, orphans must leave the orphanage. There is no further funding for them to remain in the orphanage and because of overcrowding, it is not possible for them to stay longer in most cases. Sometimes, this happens even younger – children as young as 14 have had to leave our older kids’ orphanage, the Internat. They are without the basic skills to protect themselves and provide for themselves.
Orphans are given the option to attend some sort of further education according to [Eastern European] law. They can also live in a government-run dormitory if space is available, and as long as they study – usually one to two years. The conditions in these dorms are far worse than in the orphanage – they are usually violent, dangerous and worse, these orphans spend a great deal of time alone and without encouragement and love.
When an orphan leaves the orphanage, they must secure housing, food, warm clothes and shoes and other basics for living if they are not able to go on to further education, or after that education is done. Internat directors are charged with helping these students as they leave the orphanage, but in a country with few social programs to help and where jobs are very scarce, this is a monumental, daunting task.
- 60-70% of boys leaving the orphanage will become involved in crime for survival.
- 60-70% of girls leaving the orphanage will become involved in prostitution for survival.
- About 1 in 6 of these children will commit suicide before their mid-20′s because of hopelessness.
This information is directly from Eli Project. I take no credit for writing it, however I did change the place name(in brackets), so I would not be sharing the specific country where Erika and Ilya are. If you are resourceful, you can obviously figure this out, but please refrain from announcing it on our blog. Thank you!
P.S. Thank you, Katie, for suggesting that I add our fundraiser to the sidebar.