When is an orphan NOT an orphan?


When it’s Ugandan!

A woman dies in childbirth.  Her baby survives.  If the child’s father is still alive, in the UK we wouldn’t call that child an “orphan”.  There is still one natural parent living.

In most of the rest of the world, outside the priviledged West, it's different.  In rural Uganda it’s certainly different.

What can the father do?  He can’t earn his living and look after a toddler, let alone an unweaned baby. He can’t afford infant formula, which is both extortionate and in short supply, nor can he breastfeed the baby himself!  So he can’t even feed  his son or daughter.  His only choice is to give the child up.  In Uganda, the baby is an orphan.  We can split hairs all we like about what the word "orphan" means, but help will be needed for some years – or the child’s life and health will hang by a thread.

That’s the world NOTDEC works in – with many sponsors supporting kids whose fathers are alive and kicking. 

Or should we cling to our priviledge and split hairs?