Protecting and nurturing children is absolutely vital to a more prosperous future and a world free of poverty, violence and inequality. But we can make a difference only when everyone gets involved to support change.
When we stop behaving like xenophobic, isolationist silos, we might be able to prevent masses of people trying to escape abuse in their communities. We wait for crises to happen. We spend little time and money on prevention and we are in denial about the condition of the human spirit.
As I look back on all the orphans I have met through my international development work as a pediatrician and adoption medicine specialist, I recognize that the most startling aspect of the orphan is their lack of self-soothing skills.
I write this blog while I am still in Congo, before my memory loses the smallest of the details. I wish you could smell and feel what I have experienced and witnessed. But my words, I am afraid, are all I can share with you.
Armed with a new study, Both Ends Burning, a nonprofit organization focused on advocating children's right to permanent families, is urging the Department of State to reopen adoptions from Nepal, which have been closed to U.S. citizens since 2010.
The economic state and legacy of military rule in Burma created conditions so oppressive that some Burmese would families leave their infants on the Thai border with the sole hope that they would be saved by a Thai mother.
There are some things I can't lie about. There is nothing to be done for waiting children in orphanages, unless there is foster care or trained staff who offer enrichment services like the kind WWO provides. There is simply nothing, but injustice in orphanages.
Boko Haram's deliberate plan to sow chaos throughout the country has devastated the lives of many Nigerian children. And the destructive extended effect of the tragedy means that its impact will reach far beyond the lives of the kidnapped girls.
A day dedicated to mothers is beautiful. And, we need to realize that there are still 17.9 million orphaned and abandoned children who need mothers of their own. These children may never have the opportunity to grow up in a loving, stable home.
From fairy tales and comic books, to classic and contemporary novels, the orphan's journey is a compelling and recurring theme in literature. Why are we drawn to them? What do they have to teach us? And what does our endless fascination with them reveal about us?
"We are going to turn all this into a garden," says Atassi, waving her hand towards the driveway. Looking out over the barren property, it seems like an impossible task. But as we leave, I notice a single red rose blooming among a small patch of weeds.
There are some things we now understand about human development. Besides the need for food and water and basic shelter, we humans are all the same in one fundamental way: we need to know love and be loved.