• Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa
  • Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans
  • Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone)
  • 143,000,000 Orphans in the world today spend an average of 10 years in an orphanage or foster home
  • Approximately 250,000 children are adopted annually, but…
  • Every YEAR 14,050,000 children still grow up as orphans and AGE OUT of the system
  • Every DAY 38,493 children AGE OUT
  • Every 2.2 SECONDS, another orphan child AGES OUT with no family to belong to and no place to call home
  • In Ukraine and Russia 10% -15% of children who age out of an orphanage commit suicide before age 18
  • 60% of the girls are lured into prostitution
  • 70% of the boys become hardened criminals

Many of these children accept job offers that ultimately result in their being sold as slaves. Millions of girls are sex slaves today, simply because they were unfortunate enough to grow up as orphans.

Reliable statistics are difficult to find, even the sources often list only estimates, and street children are rarely included. But even if these figures are exaggerated by double, it is still an unacceptable tragedy that over a million children would still become orphans every year, and every year 7 million children would still grow to adulthood as orphans with no one to belong to and no place to call home. They are totally vulnerable and easily fall prey to predators and slave recruiters.

The disastrous outcomes of most children who age out of institutional care is evidence that these children don’t know the meaning of love, and are unable to comprehend God’s love. Receiving Jesus Christ makes no sense and too many of them will never have a chance to become adopted children of God.

The Christian Response

The Christian solution for this tragedy is to give orphan children the good news they really long to hear — The Gospel of Adoption.

The good news that orphan children need to hear is not only the fact that they will be adopted by a loving family, but also the good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross to make it possible for them to become adopted children of God. Our adoption by God is the ultimate expression of His love, and was the ultimate purpose of Jesus’ life on earth and death on the cross. This is truly the Gospel of Adoption, and it is written in Galatians 4:4-5 and John 1:12

If orphan children never experience a family’s love, how can we expect them to comprehend God’s love? Adoption by a Christian family is the best way for orphan children to become adopted children of God. Not all are called to adopt, but anyone can love and minister to orphan children by helping other families adopt.

Portugal and African Orphans

Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), Lisbon, April 7, 2007

War, AIDS, malaria, cholera and famine have gradually turned Africa into a continent full of orphaned children and teenagers. According to the latest statistics released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are 48.3 million orphans south of the Sahara desert, one-quarter of whom have lost their parents to AIDS.

Between 1990 and 2000, the number of orphans in Africa rose from 30.9 million to 41.5 million, and those orphaned by AIDS increased from 330,000 to seven million.

Projections by the two U.N. agencies suggest that by 2010, there will be 53.1 million children under 18 bereft of their parents, 15.7 million of whom will have had parents who died of AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

In response to these stark figures, Portuguese authorities have indicated that their country maintains strong historic links with Africa, and Interior Minister Antonio Santos da Costa has called on the Portuguese Refugee Council (CPR) to create a reception centre exclusively for African children arriving in Portugal unaccompanied by an adult. The minister’s challenge was immediately taken up by CPR’s chairwoman, Maria Teresa Tito de Morais, in spite of the fact that because of a lack of funds, “few unaccompanied children have arrived in Portugal” so far, as she explained to IPS.

The spine-chilling statistics on African orphans estimate that the numbers of orphans in various African countries are:

bc563abca2fb5505072a10d74e15799bNigeria … 8.6 million
Ethiopia … 4.8 million
Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) … 4.2 million
Swaziland … 2.5 million
South Africa … 2.5 million
Tanzania … 2.4 million
Kenya … 2.3 million
Uganda … 2.3 million
Sudan … 1.7 million
Mozambique … 1.5 million
Ivory Coast … 1.4 million
Zimbabwe … 1.4 million
Angola … 1.2 million
Zambia … 1.2 million
Ghana … 1 million
Cameroon … 1 million
Malawi … 950,000
Madagascar … 900,000
Rwanda … 820,000
Niger … 800,000
Burkina Faso … 710,000
Mali … 710,000
Somalia … 630,000
Chad … 600,000
Burundi … 600,000
Senegal … 560,000
Benin … 370,000
Guinea … 370,000
Central African Republic … 340,000
Sierra Leone … 340,000
Eritrea … 280,000
Congo … 270,000
Liberia … 250,000
Mauritania …170,000
Lesotho … 150,000
Botswana … 150,000
Namibia … 140,000
Guinea-Bissau … 100,000
Gabon … 65,000
The Gambia … 64,000
Djibouti … 48,000
Comoros … 33,000
Equatorial Guinea … 29,000

The reception centre to be established in northern Portugal will “take in orphan children who are still in foreign countries, even their home countries, waiting for fate to give direction to their lives. This will be a means of preventing them from becoming child soldiers, for instance,” said Tito de Morais.

To date, despite its special relationship with several African countries that were former Portuguese colonies, “Portugal has not had a strong tradition of receiving unaccompanied children,” she said. “In 2006 we have only taken in 10, but since the government expressed an openness to welcome African orphans, we immediately went to work so that in two years time, or two and a half, the reception centre should be ready,” she added.

“In the initial stage we will be able to receive 40 children, divided into four groups: newborns to three-year-olds, and ages four to six, seven to 10, and 10 to 12. Meanwhile at our current refugee centre we have set aside room especially for children, and we are already in communication with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about identifying children in need of international protection, who may arrive before the new centre is ready.

“On another front, we will contact several mayors in the north of the country in January, because the cooperation and commitment of the municipalities is essential, as securing the land for building the centre is the first step toward making this cooperation possible.”

During the Balkan wars in the early 1990s, which were contemporary with the civil wars in Angola and Mozambique, Portugal took in orphans, particularly from Bosnia. At that time, a survey was carried out among couples potentially interested in adopting children. The poll found that the vast majority of respondents would prefer to adopt an African child from a former Portuguese colony, rather than one from the former Yugoslavia. The reasons given were the shared historical, linguistic and cultural identity with Angolans and Mozambicans.

This result, a contrast with majority attitudes in the rest of Europe, according to Tito de Morais shows that “Portuguese people have a special sensitivity for welcoming vulnerable children, whatever their race or nationality, and in our experience, African children have never been excluded.”

Portugal’s relationship with Africa, while often traumatic, has been a fundamental factor in the last six centuries of its history. Portugal, a pioneer in colonialism in Africa, founded its first colony there in 1415, and was virtually the last European power to leave the continent, in 1975. To this day, the cloud of what some historians and analysts call “the debt of colonialism” continues to hang over Portugal as a kind of collective “post-imperial guilt complex.”

Brazilian writer Gilberto Freyre (1900-1987) took a more benevolent attitude towards Portugal’s colonial history in his book, whose title translates as “The World Created by the Portuguese” (1940), in which he concluded that Portugal’s openness towards Africa, Brazil and its former colonies in Asia was due to the multicultural and multi-racial nature of Portuguese society over many centuries.

As a result, Portugal today “is the most diverse country in Europe, and travelling in its former African colonies one finds that there are white Africans, and in this country, that there are black Portuguese,” Silvio Manuel de Paula, an Angolan-born pilot who holds dual Portuguese and Angolan nationality, told IPS.

“That alone suffices to explain Portuguese openness to welcoming and adopting African orphans,” de Paula said.

Read original article: HERE


  • One third of deaths — some 18 million people a year or 50,000 per day — are due to poverty-related causes. That’s 270 million people since 1990, the majority women and children, roughly equal to the population of the US.
  • Every year more than 10 million children die of hunger and preventable diseases – that’s over 30,000 per day and one every 3 seconds.
  • Over 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day with nearly half the world’s population (2.8 billion) living on less than $2 a day.
  • 600 million children live in absolute poverty.
  • The three richest people in the world control more wealth than all 600 million people living in the world’s poorest countries.
  • Income per person in the poorest countries in Africa has fallen by a quarter in the last 20 years.
  • 800 million people go to bed hungry every day.
  • Every year nearly 11 million children die before their fifth birthday.

NOTE: These statistics were taken in 2003