“Orphans should be placed under the care of public guardians.” (Plato)
Since time immemorial, the problem of people dying and leaving their children behind in this world has been a challenge for societies. As death is a natural phenomenon and its time is not known, the likelihood of parents leaving children behind is a fact of life which should be accepted..
Early in the development of societies and civilisations therefore, there have been efforts to improve the well-being of those children who are left behind by their parents.
There are millions of children in the world currently who have become orphans for many reasons. There are various causes leading to this problem. For instance, there are many wars, famine, displacements, poverty and diseases such as HIV AIDS and other killer diseases.
It is therefore necessary to set aside a day on which to ensure that these orphans are not forgotten. It is for this reason that once every year there is a special day dedicated just to these ‘unfortunate’ members of society – World Orphans Day. This day falls on the second Monday of each November.
In the Gambia, like in all other countries, there are many orphans. This is due to diseases and other causes of death which occur at a time when parents are bringing up their young children. There have been for instance, many instances of loss of lives due to some human rights violations in the past two decades or so.
Sometimes, these people left children behind who ultimately became orphans. There is for instance, the SOS Children’s Village which is host to many children who have no parents. It is necessary to give assistance and strengthen the work of institutions like the SOS and others of its kind in order to help protect the orphans amongst us.
In addition to the efforts of Government through the ministry of Women’s Affairs, Children and Social Welfare, individual members of society should also help to ensure that as many orphans as possible are assisted to reach their full potentials.