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• 17 April

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Building a Supportive Network: Volunteering for Widows and Orphans

The loss of a loved one is brutal.

Normally, it is a time for friends and families to come together and support those most affected and most vulnerable. Tragically, in many communities across the developing world, orphans and widows are subjected to severe social ostracisation and prejudice despite the fact that their heartbreaking new status is beyond their control.

While making regular charitable donations online to established charities for widows and orphans, nurturing a deeper understanding of what needs to be achieved when helping widows and orphans will make sure that the monies collected are used in the best way possible. This obviously includes ensuring there is sufficient nutritious food and shelter, but also providing education, mentorship, training, and encouraging the women and children to work towards self-sufficiency and self-determination.

Emergency Food and Shelter

In countries ravaged by poverty, where the statutory health and safety of workers is non-existent, where industrial accidents are a regular occurrence, where the rates of those infected with HIV/AIDS and the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic are more prevalent, many women become widowed at an earlier age. Instead of sympathy, they are often left destitute. Local laws of inheritance mean that they are left without any form of income or financial support. Often, they will have moved away from their own families into their husband’s communities, which means they are left isolated from their own support network.

Providing emergency access to food and shelter for women, their children, and orphans is the very basic of support services that should be administered through charities that help widows. To have the reassurance that, at the very least, you and your children have food on the table must be a significant relief for these women, giving them time and space to grieve their loss and gather their thoughts towards the future.

It is helping women and children prepare for the future where the best charities for widows and orphans can make a significant difference. Read on to discover how your online charity donations can help those women and children who find themselves desperately trying to rebuild their lives after a tragic loss.

Educating Orphans

It is all too easy for orphaned children to slip through the net of education. Often, they might be left in the care of grandparents, who are too old or regressive in their thinking to encourage their grandchildren back into education.

However, studies indicate that education is a powerful tool for transforming poverty not just on an individual level but across communities, too. Education creates a more productive approach to the labour market, improves the overall health and well-being on a communal level, and contributes to an area’s overall economy.

Donations online are a vital source of income to fund ways of getting these children back into education. On top of this, Orphans in Need is always looking for qualified teachers who are keen to volunteer as a way of supporting isolated and vulnerable orphans by offering their vital skills and expertise.

Education is not just about teaching these children to read and write. Education exists for children to look beyond their immediate surroundings. Too often, poverty can encourage a sense of learned helplessness, whereby those caught up in the cycle lack the determination and motivation for positive action, as they feel it will make no difference to their existence. Through education, children can be encouraged to take on greater agency for their own lives, to question and, therefore, break the cycle, to understand how small individual steps can compound greater societal shifts.

Training and Mentoring Widows

It is not just the children who can learn and progress beyond the stigma of losing a parent. Widows suffer greatly from discrimination in many communities in the developing world. While marriage brings status and rights, widowhood removes these almost immediately. They are left without money, income, and often a home.

While the emergency food and shelter aid supplied by a widows and orphans charity alleviates the immediate destitution, supporting the women in rebuilding their lives beyond this community prejudice is essential.

For many women who may previously have been married at an early age, widowhood is an opportunity to spread their wings and look to establish themselves back into the community in their own right. For many women who have not had the experience of generating their own income, this will require a significant shift in approach and mindset.

Through education, training and mentoring, many women find that the opportunities that open up to them are far wider and more varied than they could possibly have imagined. Either by looking for employment or setting up their own businesses, many women find that they have a second chance at a life that is fulfilling and productive, as well as giving them the ability to be self-sufficient.

There is absolutely no doubt that making an online donation to charity is a fundamental step towards helping widows and orphans reeling from the loss of their main provider and protector. Orphans in Need takes this so much further to work directly with these women and children in helping them rebuild their lives.

If you are keen to fortify your online donations and are interested in working with us as a volunteer, please contact us and tell us a little bit more about who you are and what skills and knowledge you can contribute.