India is the largest orphan-bearing country in the world, with an estimated 15-31 million orphans. Interestingly, this is about the same number of Christians found there. A typical orphanage houses 65-250 children who are cared for by only 5-25 staff members. Many of these children have been abandoned due to poverty, lack of education for the kids, gender preferences, and other issues. The outlook for an orphan in India is grim due to its strong family-based culture: your family pays for your higher education, arranges your marriage and provides you with a place to live. For these reasons, it’s extremely difficult for an orphan to navigate early adulthood. We see many children succumbing to crime, prostitution, homelessness or suicide.
Thankfully, adoption is becoming a more culturally accepted practice in India. Laws have been amended so that Indian believers are now allowed to adopt. The church is especially standing in the gap for orphans… adoptions are happening in high volume, foster family-style care in orphanages is becoming the norm, and believers are learning about trauma and best practices for caring for neglected and abandoned children. Most importantly, they are providing hope for hundreds of orphans and giving them an opportunity to know their Heavenly Father!
Though the adoption movement is growing within the Indian church, the children’s homes still ache under the weight of overwhelming need. Adoptions are slow and tedious and these children need a place to call home for the interim period, which can last for over a year. Our partner in India is encouraging local Christians to engage the orphan crisis, reunifying children with their families, and caring for 15-35 children in his registered transitional home. At the moment, most of these children are sharing one small mattress or sleeping on the floor.
$3,000 will give the children in care new bunk beds, new mattresses, new sheets, pillows, and blankets. This helps the children’s home to continue caring for these children while making every effort to place orphans in loving families in India.