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City of Banjul
Monday, September 21, 2020

Orphans, widows and collective responsibility

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According to statistics, it is estimated that 143 million children are orphans around the world, most of them losing their parents to HIV/AIDS and other dangerous diseases. The statistics are dismal. Some of the major killer diseases around the world are preventable with proper sensitisation and early response. 

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Helping orphans is not only altruistic. One of the most profound influences on the lives of people around the world is religion, faith and spirituality. The foremost laws laid down by all religions particularly the Abrahamic monotheistic faiths has always concerned themselves with the welfare of human beings especially the vulnerable ones. Almost all of them command their followers to look after young, vulnerable parentless members of their communities. Islam goes further in exclaiming the person that abuses and usurps the rights of the orphan will be punished severely.


While we talk about orphans we must not also forget widows. Most of the times when children are orphaned paternally; women are left to their own devices in taking care of their children. We know for a fact that in most societies, women are marginalised and suppressed, making it harder for them to support their families in the event of their husband’s death. Consequently, many are forced to do everything just to make ends meet.


Every member of the society should contribute in helping these most vulnerable people. There are many cases of brilliant students dropping out of school when orphaned and because there is no one to offer them bursary. Considering that education is a fundamental human right of every child, the government and all other stakeholders, should make the fulfillment of that right a reality for these under-privileged children. 


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