When I visited the Web site of KiteChild, I was immediately struck by the statistics flashing in the corner. On of them said that every day, 5,760 more children become orphans. Another said that every 2.2 seconds, a child loses a parent somewhere in the world. Another said that by 2015 it is projected that there will be 400 million orphaned children in the world. That’s more than the population of the entire United States.
If you grew up with loving parents and family members, imagine for a moment what life would have been without them.
KiteChild is a charity that works with over 40 orphanages around the world. It started as an online network that allowed communication and cooperation among orphanages around the world, from Peru to India to Kenya to Mexico (incidentally, the reason the US is not one of the countries is that the US does not have orphanages anymore, instead primarily using a foster care system, which KiteChild also helps through its partners.
There are a couple ways to help. First, on KiteChild’s home page is a list of projects you can choose that will go directly to helping member orphanages. As of this writing, projects range from helping to purchase piglets for a pig farm or helping to pay for solar panels for a children’s home and medical unit. Donations are tax deductible under 501(c)(3).
Their Web site also provides links that help you volunteer for orphanages around the world, mentor foster kids here in the US, or to help create awareness for KiteChild.
This past summer, KiteChild began selling these stylish bracelets as a way to help support their orphanages as well as bring awareness to their mission. These are no cheap plastic bracelets of the kind you’re used to seeing from charities–they’re fashionable leather bands professionally designed by Lucky Flirts Jewelry. Each bracelet purchased supports the “Leather Bands for Learning” campaign that provides educational material for kids. The bracelets are available in black, red, and gold to support charities in Africa, Latin America, and India respectively. But one today for yourself or for a friend: it makes a wonderful gift and more importantly, a great conversation piece for talking about the plight of the world’s neediest.