For a World Without Orphans￼
20 July 2022
What is the World Without Orphans (WWO)? Read on in this informative article and learn how this organization makes a difference, too.
Our God, from your sacred home you take care of orphans and protect widows. You find families for those who are lonely. (Psa 68:5-6a)
How I Became an Orphan
I was fourteen years old when my world changed drastically overnight when my father died suddenly. My mother was a widow and my siblings, all younger than me, and I had become orphans. This event led me to be a missionary and to work in ministry to children for more than 30 years.
How did I become a Ministry for Orphans?
I started in Switzerland, my home country, and from there traveling to many countries all over the world, training others for the ministry to children. When God called me to minister to children in 1990, in a camp for underprivileged children in Romania, I knew this was it! This was what I was going to do for the rest of my life. It was an adventurous journey. And still am at age 65 following my calling and passion and knowing that I am at the place where I can pass on all that I have learned in many years of ministry.
How do most other kids become Orphans in recent years?
Many children have experienced what I did. An estimated 6.7 million children have lost a parent or caregiver due to Covid-19, with India, Brazil, and the US as some of the most affected countries. The ongoing war in Ukraine and several other countries will make even more orphans. In Africa, about 17 million children have been orphaned over the past 30 years due to the HIV epidemic. Natural disasters, sicknesses, and wars are continuing to make children orphans. Many children with living parents also end up in orphanages due to poverty, domestic violence, or the inability of their parents to care for them.
How did World Without Orphans (WWO) Get Started?
The vision for a World Without Orphans (WWO) started over 10 years ago in Ukraine with the prayer of three men with a heart to bring change to the thousands of children in orphanages in their country. God clearly spoke to them, that the church was the answer to the problem, so they started to network with others and mobilize the church to care for orphans, pray and reach out to them, and for Christian families to become foster parents.
But How did I specifically become involved with World Without Orphans (WWO)?
Through my involvement with the 4/14 Window and my teaching engagements on children at risk in many countries, I got to know WWO. Because of my own childhood experience and my work with street children in India, I had a heart for orphans and vulnerable children and knew orphanages were not the answer to their needs. I was able to join the planning team for the first global WWO forum in 2016. We wanted to spread the vision for a world, where every child is cared for in a safe and loving family and reaches his God-given potential. It can only be achieved if we all, as individuals, churches, and ministries, work together.
The European WWO team was formed in 2017. The team, with members from different European countries, advises teams in new countries in Europe in starting their own network, bringing together people from churches, NGOs, and the government. The leaders of countries like Ukraine or Romania, who have established networks, are a great help to the new network leaders. Many of these networks are right now heavily involved to help refugee children and their parents.
The European WWO team is one of many WWO teams the world over. There are teams in South Asia, the Americas, and Africa.