NICK EICHER, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: caring for orphans.
MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: On this week’s Listening In, host Warren Smith talks to Elli Oswald. She believes the church needs a new approach to orphan care. Many of the children in orphanages around the world do have parents.
But they end up in institutions because their parents can’t care for them, often for financial reasons.
EICHER: So instead of building more orphanages, Oswald says the church should focus on supporting families. She says parents should never face the prospect of choosing their children or their economic survival.
ELLIE OSWALD: If you look at the statistics, UNICEF has said there are about 140 million orphans and vulnerable children around the world. So that’s a large number. And you can see that on websites all over the world. It’s a huge number of orphans. But what we also know, through information all over the world, different regions, continents, 98 percent of those children are actually being cared for by family members. So it changes your idea of what you think of as an orphan. So if 98 percent of orphans are actually currently living with family members, who are in orphanages? Or who are on the streets? And that information, we know from data from countries all over the world, is about on average, 80 percent of children who are in orphanages have a living parent. So that’s a bit of a shocker for some of us. But it leads to some really important questions regarding why children are in orphanages in the first place.
EICHER: That’s Elli Oswald talking to Warren Smith. If you’d like to hear their complete conversation, you can find Listening In wherever you get your podcasts.