Why we need supporting the orphan and needy children?
Due to incompatible social, economic and political situations millions of children are left parentless and vulnerable in developing countries. HIV/AIDS one of the most furious and threatening diseases among others, is leading vast number of needy children, orphans and vulnerable. According to a report released by UNAIDS, more than 13 million children under the age of 15 have lost one or both parents to AIDS and most of these children are found in Sub Saharan Africa. The number of orphan children with AIDS is expected to rise in the coming years as indicated in ‘children on the Brink (2002) a joint report of USAID/UNICEF. From the UNICEF 2016 report it’s found that 140 million children worldwide are orphans. Therefore the situation of orphan and vulnerable needy children in especially difficult circumstances is crucial and needs to be concerned focus to take as part of the effort to improve the lives and well-being of orphans and other vulnerable children without parental care.
According to the Central Statistics Authority of Ethiopia’s (CSA) Housing and population census, the population of Ethiopia is estimated to be 105.9 million (2019) and from this more than 2.7 million are living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The population of Ethiopia is increasing at high rate; this is due to high fertility rate and this has resulted in a high rural urban migration, which makes the capital city’s population to increase at a very high and according to CSA report. One in 10 children under age 18 are not living with a biological parent and 7% of these children are orphans, with one or both parents dead. The percentage of children who are orphans rises rapidly with age, from 2% among children under age 5 to 6% among children age 5-9 and 17% among children age 15-17. The percentage of children under age 18 who do not live with a biological parent remained the same between 2011 and 2016 (11% and 10%, respectively). The percentage of children under age 18 who are orphans declined slightly, from 9% to 7%. As many studies shows that Addis Ababa is a place with large number of orphans from different societal and economic reasons.
The city (Addis Ababa) suffers from a chronic shortage of essential socio-economic services, inadequate physical infrastructure, and unhealthy environmental condition. Moreover, HIV/AIDS has been taken an increasing toll and is creating unprecedented child welfare problems.
Effects of the Problem
The effects are many, but some of the most fundamental one are the following:
Child Mortality: – According to CSA’s housing and population census orphan and vulnerable children have the least chance to survive. Governmental statistics shows that one in every 13 children dies before celebrating the first birthday. It is obvious that the majority of the deceased are from among orphans and vulnerable children.
Streets: – those who survive abandon the family and become street urchins. They are abused sexually and suffer physically, psychologically and socially.
Prostitution: – the female and male children become prostitute to earn for their livelihoods. They develop health problems and are not getting medical assistance and sufficient diet. Many of them are exposed to death as the result of HIV/AIDS and infection.
Robbery: – Most children are also involved in many social evil practices such as theft, pick pocketing, fighting, robbing and raping. So, many street children experienced police arrest and school dropout.