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Worldwide Orphans Foundation: Using Partners and the Media to Make a Difference

Four Orphan Boys

Image source: Salsa.democracyinaction.org

When I try to imagine all of the needy people in this world—the poor, the hungry, the abused, victims of natural disasters, casualties of war—I always circle back around to the children. Children need. It’s the biological way of our species. Babies are born entirely helpless, relying on the love and protection of their parents. But what about children who don’t have parents? How do those innocent, defenseless creatures survive?

An Orphan Using Face Paints

Image source: Facebook.com

Of course, the sad truth is that often, they don’t. But for those who do—those lucky few who find care at the hands of humanitarians and good Samaritans—life begins again. But orphaned children are extremely unsafe. They depend on the adults that surround them, and those adults aren’t always the kind of people they should be. This is why organizations like Worldwide Orphans Foundation are so critically important. They work, not only to protect orphaned children physically (with proper nutrition, and medical care), but to give them opportunities. WWO expects these children to become productive, healthy adults. Sometimes the expectations of the adults you admire can be a powerful motivator. WWO also works to integrate children into their own communities, to give them a sense of home and of belonging.

Dr. Jane Aronson, founder of WWO:

Founder of WWO Holding an Infant

Image source: Njjewishnews.com

Like many non-profit humanitarian organizations, WWO partners with other aid groups, from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to Chances for Children, an orphan-based initiative in Haiti. Partnering is a great strategy for building a support base and for legitimizing your efforts on a global stage. Organizations can help each other raise funds, partner on specific initiatives, and recommend staff and volunteers. Like with any business, connections and networking are critical for growth.

Founder of WWO With Two Children

Image source: Dailykos.com

WWO has also built a strong media and press kit. These materials facilitate media attention by providing curated images and texts that best communicate the work and mission of the organization. Many small non-profit organizations fail because they don’t work to create a healthy media presence. Unfortunately, catering to the media is part of raising awareness for an issue. Without public support and awareness, funds are more difficult to raise, volunteers are more difficult to find, and local communities in need of services are less likely to welcome an organization with open arms. Community engagement is essential for a successful initiative. Public relations should be an integral part of any non-profit enterprise.

WWO welcomes volunteers for U.S.-based fundraising and for international projects working directly with orphans in their communities. They have ongoing projects in Ethiopia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Vietnam, and Haiti.

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