There are 8 million orphans living in institutions today.
Tragically, most children living in institutions will grow up without ever knowing the love of a family. Due to deeply rooted systematic problems such as lack of access to education, corruption, poverty, and misguided policies, children are kept out of the arms of loving families.
In many institutions, orphans are warehoused in rooms filled with cribs that resemble cages. These precious children are left in these cribs all day long—they are not touched, comforted, or even known by name. They don’t have access to the education, therapies, or medical care they need to grow and thrive. In most cases, there is no plan for how these children will leave the institution—meaning they will never know the love of a family or what it means to be a successful, independent adult.
Institutionalization also leads to toxic stress. According to the Harvard University Center on the Developing Child, “Toxic stress response can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity—such as physical or emotional abuse, [or] chronic neglect …without adequate adult support …When toxic stress response occurs continually or is triggered by multiple sources, it can have a cumulative toll on an individual’s physical and mental health—for a lifetime. The more adverse experiences in childhood, the greater the likelihood of developmental delays and later health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse, and depression.”
Tragically, if no one intervenes, most of the children living in institutions will continue to live in deplorable conditions with no hope of ever finding a path to family. Fortunately, with early intervention and supportive, responsive relationships with caregivers, the effects of toxic stress can be prevented and reversed.
All God’s Children International is committed to intervening in the orphan crisis. By partnering with AGCI, you can be a hero for children who have no one. Learn more about how you can get involved here.