An orphan is a child whose parents are dead or have abandoned them permanently. In common usage, only a child who has lost both parents due to death is called an orphan. When referring to animals, only the mother’s condition is usually relevant. If she has gone, the offspring is an orphan, regardless of the father’s condition.
Adults can also be referred to as orphan, or adult orphans. However, those who reached adulthood before their parents died are normally not called orphans; the term is generally reserved for children whose parents have died while they are too young to support themselves.
Beyond suffering and the ultimate tragedy of death, the children that do survive, often do so in ways that demeans and criminalizes themselves and brings suffering to others as well. The sad reality though, is that if a good and caring person is not there to provide what they need, who is? Pimps, child labor bosses, terrorists, rebel armies with child soldiers, child traffickers, even less – than- good- willed -relatives who want a personal slave. The end result is truly heartbreaking as many of the orphan children out there will die of starvation and issues related to malnutrition. They will die from preventable diseases. They will die at the hands of others and themselves. They will spend much of their life in jail.
But we can do something to help these kids make it in the world. By donating clothes, school fees and any other material that will help these kids make it in the world is our responsibility.
Perhaps there are those who are able to go about their lives unfettered by such concerns. But for those like us, our fate is to face the world as orphans, chasing through long years the shadows of vanished parents. There is nothing for it but to try and see through our missions to the end, as best we can, for until we do so, we will be permitted no calm.