AFNOW primarily works in four areas :
- Provision of sponsorship for Orphans, Needy Children’s education
- Enhance widow’s economic status, livelihood and family welfare through micro-credit
- Raise awareness of the plight of the orphans and widows in the community
- Provide life/livelihood skill trainings for orphans and widows
Based on a total population in the Gambia of 1,364,507 (recent census) this gives an estimated total number of orphans of 62,245. There are more than 275 orphans in the community of Gunjur alone.
We just wanted to share these statistics as a reminder, a reminder to give. A reminder to advocate.
The agonizing reality of these numbers breaks our heart and drives us on our knees. The tears of the children and grief of the parents who cannot care for their beloved babies weighs so heavily on our heart at times.
In the midst of it, i have to believe that God loves every soul equally and passionately. These precious children need advocates. They need men and women willing to make a difference, willing to stand in the gap and act on their behalf.
Who is an orphan? : A child under 18 years who has lost one or both biological parent.
Needy child: A child whose parents due to circumstances cannot afford to provide for his/her basic needs like education, food clothing and health care.
Nothing can take away the pain of the children who have lost one or both parents due to illness, accident or conflict or of children whose parents due to circumstances are not able to care for them.
But we can, through concerted action, help alleviate the suffering that many of them face and can provide brighter prospects for their future.
The plight of widows is absent in statistics, unnoticed by researchers neglected by nations and local authorities and mostly overlooked by civil society organizations. Yet abuse of widows and their children constitutes one of the most serious violations of human rights and obstacles to development today. Poverty is often made worse by little or no access to credit of other economic resources, and by illiteracy or lack of education. Without education and training, widows cannot support themselves or their families.
Empowering widows through access to adequate healthcare, education, skill training and lives free of violence and abuse, would give them a chance to build a secure life after bereavement. importantly, creating opportunities for widows can also help to protect their children and avoid the cycle of inter-generational poverty and deprivation.