World Day for War Orphans Date in the current year: January 6, 2024

World Day for War Orphans World Day for War Orphans is observed annually on January 6. It was created to raise awareness of the fact that millions of children have been orphaned due to war, highlight their plight, and mobilize international efforts to support these children.

Wars have always had a devastating effect on the civilian population; moreover, statistics shows that the number of civilian war victims has been steadily growing over the past decades from around half of all war victims to 90%. It also shows that 1 in 6 children globally live in areas that are affected by armed conflict and its consequences.

For a young child to lose a parent or both parents is always a tragedy. However, overcoming the trauma of losing a parent or parents may be especially hard for war orphans because they are simultaneously affected by other consequences of war such as being displaced or living in occupation, losing their friends, a lack of access to education, poverty, homelessness, malnutrition, disease, and more.

War orphans are particularly vulnerable and at risk even when they have surviving family because their whole lives have been turned upside down. They cannot start healing from the trauma of losing a parent or both parents until they’re safe from the effects of war and don’t need to focus on surviving. Some war orphans have to look not only after themselves but also after their younger siblings, which increases their burden. Children who have been affected by war desperately need help, and World Day for War Orphans was launched to highlight this.

World Day for War Orphans was created by SOS Enfants en Détresse (SOSEED; SOS Children in Need), an international humanitarian NGO based in France that is dedicated to helping children in distress, victims of abuse, mistreatment or neglect, and families in precarious situations, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity, or political views.

How can you observe World Day for War Orphans? The best way is to donate to or volunteer at a charity that helps war orphans and families impacted by war. They include, for example, the Children and War Foundation (CAW), Children of War Foundation (COWF), ChildVoice, War Child (with independent branches operating in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Sweden), Save the Children International, and many more.

You can also visit your local orphanage or IDP shelter to bring some joy to the lives of children and families affected by war, learn more about the devastating effects of war and the various challenges that war orphans face while growing up, and raise awareness about World Day for War Orphans and the plight of war orphans on social media to encourage others to take action.

World Day for War Orphans is not the only observance that aims to raise awareness of the plight of orphaned children. There are two observances named World Orphans Day. The first was created by Worldwide Organization for Charity and is observed on April 20, and the second was launched by Stars Foundation and takes place on the second Monday of November.

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World Day for War Orphans, international observances, SOS Enfants en Détresse, war orphans, victims of war