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Each year, war makes orphans of many children all over the globe. In fact, UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund) estimates that approximately 150 million children worldwide are orphans, and many of these are due to deaths caused by war.

The World Day for War Orphans is observed each year as a time to raise awareness about the plight of these children, and also to find opportunities to provide them with resources to help overcome this trauma.

History of World Day for War Orphans

In modern times, the problem of war has become more and more impactful on the lives of civilians all over the world. Children are particularly vulnerable and at risk when the violence of governments and war spills over into the lives of average citizens. Today, millions of children are without parents due to war. They need help to not only survive but to find healing from the trauma that has so negatively impacted their lives.

An annual observance, the World Day for War Orphans was established by the French organization, SOS Enfants En Détresse (SOS Children in Need). As many children are part of the number of displaced persons each year, they are at extremely high risk for suffering from problems such as hunger, homelessness and disease.

World Day for War Orphans is a time to share the burden, raise awareness and get involved by helping, even on a small scale.

How to Celebrate World Day for War Orphans

World Day for Orphans may be honored by implementing some of these ideas:

Learn Vital Facts About War

One important way to observe World Day for War Orphans is to stay informed regarding some of the important statistics about the way that war affects humans. Here are some pieces of information to get started:

  • The number of civilian victims of war has been steadily increasing over time, from around half in the early 20th century to almost 90% by the 1980s.

  • In 2015, statistics showed more than 140 million children were orphans, including 61 million in Asia, 52 million in Africa, 10 million in Latin America, and more 7 million in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

  • Some 200 million children in the world live in zones where there are high intensity conflicts that include violence, war and genocide.

  • Statistics show that 1 in 6 children in the world are affected by armed conflict.

Make a Donation to a War Charity

One way to consider paying heed to the World Day for War Orphans is to make a donation to help orphans and families who have been impacted by war. Consider supporting one of these organizations:

  • The Children and War Foundation. Dedicated to improving the lives of children after they are affected by war and disaster. 
  • War Child. Working in countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, War Child educates, protects and stands up for the rights of children impacted by war. 
  • Children of War Foundation. This organization delivers access to education and health care to global communities affected by war, poverty, natural disaster and other challenges.

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