DEFENDING THE FATHERLESS

"Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."

James 1:27

The Orphan Crisis

What is the cause of the global orphan crisis? While there are several contributing factors to the global orphan crisis, including poverty, HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, unwanted pregnancies, and war, those of us at Man Up and Go assert that male complicity in the abdication of their biblical responsibility to care for their families has been one of the most overlooked factors. 

Sadly, fatherlessness is not unique to developing nations. In fact, according to recent U.S. Census Bureau statistics, 24 million children in the United States alone – that’s one out of every three – live in birth father absent homes. Furthermore, several National Longitudinal Studies on Youth have well documented the negative effects of absentee fathers on childhood poverty, emotional & behavioral problems, maternal & child health, youth incarceration, juvenile crime, teen pregnancy, child abuse & neglect, drug & alcohol abuse, childhood obesity and education. It is Man Up and Go’s assertion that children, regardless of global geography, benefit in every measurable way by the presence of a committed father in the home.

Exactly how many orphans are in the world?

To better appreciate the broader context of this question, it is best to start with an accurate understanding of exactly what defines an orphan. No matter how well-intentioned our efforts, without this fundamental framework, the Man Up and Go organization realizes that we run the risk of undermining our advocacy efforts on behalf of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Despite a common misconception that a child must have lost both parents to be defined as an orphan, UNICEF embraced a more comprehensive definition during the mid-1990’s in response to the AID’s pandemic. The terms, “single orphan,” and “double orphan,” referencing the loss of either one or both parents respectively, was adopted in order to convey the enormity of a growing crisis affecting millions of children who had lost one or both parents to AIDS. 

According to current UNICEF statistics, the estimated number of orphans worldwide is reported to include:

  • 163 million children who have lost either one or both parents (referred to as “single orphans”)
  • 18.5 million children who have lost both parents (referred to as, “double orphans”)

It is worth noting that while statistics are an important means by which we can more adeptly identify the far-reaching impact of this crisis, it is also worth noting their intrinsic limitations. Unfortunately, present global orphan statistics drastically underestimate the actual number of orphans worldwide, inasmuch as they fail to account for children who live outside the well-defined boundaries of family and community. According to current UNICEF statistics, this includes an additional:

  • Estimated 150 million street children
  • Estimated 8 million children living in institutions
  • Estimated 1.2 million trafficked children
  • Tens of thousands of child soldiers

And yet, these numbers don’t even begin to tell the full story of fatherlessness.  Many dads are simply not present in the lives of their children. As many as 350 million children grow up without a father around the globe simply because Dad has chosen to vacate his position in the home. Proper interpretation of these statistics is vital if we are to respond with advocacy strategies that appropriately address each cross-section of children in need, from “double” orphans to those who, for reasons only known to the negligent father, no longer have Dad in the picture.

Our research shows that it takes just $20 to have a tangible impact on one of our families, helping to equip them with biblical tools for their spiritual, physical and economic needs. Man Up and Go’s goal as an organization is to reach 20,000 families by 2020 and a gift of any kind can help us get there. And while that number is a significant one, the more important thing is that you would be making a real impact on whatever family that would be blessed with your gift.

While gifts of any kind are dramatically impactful to ending fatherlessness, monthly giving helps to keep Man Up and Go mobile and on the move. This process is also hassle-free with our Man Up and Go Easy Tithe Portal, which you can find online and even follow an easy four-step tutorial on how to set up your account and scheduled giving. These donations are also tax deductible, which our portal recognizes through our Easy Tithe records.

Man Up and Go is a missions organization – so of our biggest financial needs, the funding of missions trips is certainly one of the more prevalent and practical ones. Since 2011, we have taken 366 missionaries on 22 missions trips, including the commissioning of 10 mid-to-long term missionaries in Africa, Nicaragua, Haiti, and South Africa. These missions trips have reached and served nearly 9,500 children, many of whom are orphans, as well as nearly 1,500 women, most of which are single mothers.

These trip are extraordinarily impactful and are the backbone of our ministry. However, as you likely know, missions trips are also increasingly expensive, so we need your help to continue reaching the fatherless and widowed.

Each and every type of gift is valuable to our organization, but there are few gifts that provide more personal satisfaction than Kerith’s Child Sponsorship Program. This program runs in conjunction with the Kerith Children’s Home, an orphanage located just outside of Pallisa, Uganda and provides orphaned and/or abandoned children with nutritious meals, clothing, and education, as well as spiritual guidance and development.

On our Kerith’s Child Sponsorship Program page, you will find a list of children and orphans at the Kerith Children’s Home who need a sponsorship. A full sponsorship is $45 per month, covering all food, health care, school and clothing needs of the child. A partial scholarship is $30 per month, covering all of the above minus schooling fees.

Get involved with Man Up and Go today

Man Up and Go is so excited as an organization about how God is leading us and the people that He is allowing us to reach and serve, for the glory of His name. We also want to get you involved in this mission field and would ask that you consider donating to our ministry today. Contact us at (727) 266-0226 or visit our website for more information.