Being an orphan in Benin is a little different than in other parts of the world. Children are viewed as property, property that is “owned” by the father and the father’s side of the family. When a father passes away, the mother is “released” to marry into another family and in essence orphaning the child. Most children are given to the father’s oldest brother becoming nothing but a new burden on the family. Although they are not living in an orphanage, they are very much alone and on their own. Through our program, the child receives education, frequent medical visits, needed medications, and food distributions. Those that are sponsoring these orphans are completely changing the course of their adopted child’s life. No longer will the child have to beg, work, and feel worthless, but now they can be educated, have value, and begin to find a purpose and plan for their life.
Through our project, the orphaned child does not live in an orphanage, but with extended family or an older woman in the village. So, when the sponsored child receives the monthly food distribution it not only sustains the child, but the entire family that he or she is living with. We have had testimonies from some of the sponsored children of how this program is rescuing them from child labor in the fields; that alone makes the project completely worth it. Each sponsor commits to a one year sponsorship of a child and may continue after that as long as they like. If it was not for our sponsors, these children would not have their basic needs met nor would they have the hope to dream. It is amazing to watch how one person can truly make a difference in the life of another, a difference that can transcend age, race, religion, and distance, a difference that will impact generations, a difference in the sponsors life as well as the orphans.
Below are pictures of orphans that need sponsorship today!