November is Orphan Awareness Month. According to stats SA, an orphan is defined as a child younger than the age of 18 years who has lost one or both of their parents by death, disappearance, or abandonment. Tragically, millions of children around the world become orphans for many reasons; war, famine, displacement, disease or poverty. In South Africa, a 2018 general household survey revealed that about 11.7% of children under the age of 18 are orphans. This is both alarming and heartbreaking and it’s time we ask the question, ‘What are we doing about it?’

Once a year, on the second Monday of November, there is a special day dedicated to orphans called World Orphans Day. This day has become a reminder that draws upon the plight of our orphans, to create awareness and encourage support and funding towards a noble cause.

This November we honor a great organization based in East London called Guardians of Hope (GOH). They are dedicated to providing a safe environment, surrounded by support, love and care for abandoned children and babies. The team’s primary aim is for family reunification but where this is not possible; they also support permanent fostering and adoption.

Orphan Care Awareness Month is an opportunity to champion the cause of the vulnerable and take a moment to consider how you might be able to make a difference. This could be by means of donations, organizing fundraising events or serving as a volunteer. Your act of service might seem insignificant to you, but it might just have a significant impact on an orphan’s life.

Bonnie Currin; Guardians of Hope Marketing Director, has taken it upon herself to raise awareness and funds during the month of November by running 10km a day and dedicating each day to a baby currently in the care of GOH, or who they have recently taken care of. She is asking the public to sponsor one of the days for R100 which will go towards the caretaking expenses of the babies at GOH, so hoping to raise as much as possible while running 300km during Orphan Month. To participate, please see details on the Guardians of Hope Facebook page.