Philippines Without Orphans
Country Profile: Philippines
Total Population: 110,000,000
Number of Christians: Approx. 13,200,000 (86% Roman Catholic, 12% Christian, 2% Muslim/others)
Under 18: Approx. 55,000,000
Estimated Number of Orphans: 2,750,000-5,500,000 (Estimated by UNICEF at 5-10% of population under 19 years old)
Alternative Care in Philippines: Undocumented kinship care & orphanages
PWO is part of a growing worldwide movement to address the orphan crisis. It is a call to end orphanhood by transforming families – the building blocks of society.
PWO seeks to pursue initiatives that preserve families and help them thrive, resulting in the prevention of orphanhood. As this is not always possible, PWO also collaborates to develop and execute localized family-based solutions, such as adoption and fostering, in an effort to give all children in Philippines the opportunity to thrive. PWO believes that placing children in loving families resolves a host of other issues.
PWO does this by:
- Creating awareness through broad-scale collaboration.
- Equipping influencers and decision-makers with learning resources and localized solutions.
- Enabling locals to take action through different guided solutions and networking initiatives.
The Philippines: Real People, Real Stories
The PWO team is regularly on the receiving end of stories from foster/adoptive families, pastors, orphans, and everyone in between.
Below is an update from the leader of the Philippines without Orphans movement that we would like to share with you:
We have a pastor within the network who joined us to work with one of the largest government institutions in the country. He represented churches, a school, and a few non-profits. The idea was for us to apply the concept of “broad scale collaboration,” so we put our resources together to serve the children. To summarize the effort, the Lord touched his heart and they started activities for hundreds of orphans where the gospel was shared. When relationships with both the government employees and children were built, they were given permission to take hundreds of children to retreats. We witnessed children give their testimonies after receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Then an opportunity knocked on our door – The orphanage told us that they wanted to give us some of their aged-out kids. Since there were no families willing to take them in, this pastor took in 17 of them as his own and passed on a few others to another pastor who runs a non-profit. Their immediate family now has 24 members. Everyone goes to school and church. But most of all, everyone now belongs to a safe, loving, permanent family! It has been an exhausting journey for them, but we are working together to hold them up until the Lord’s work is finished.
Another story to share would be of a Facebook message that we received from a pastor who heard of us through a WWO representative at a conference in another country. We talked to him over the phone and sent him some materials as he mentioned that they were having trouble with their two foster children. Several months went by and we did not hear from the pastor. Until one day, one of us received an emergency call. The pastor shared the background of the two foster kids who were supposedly siblings. He told us that he didn’t need Bible verses. He specifically told us that he needed someone to tell him what to do. Then he dropped the bomb. The two fostered siblings became brother and sister through illegal adoption in their previous family (7 & 11 years old at the time of the conversation). The biological families were abusive, and so was the adoptive family, so they were removed by Social Welfare and placed with this pastor. He found out that the 11-year old boy was raping the 7-year-old girl regularly in his home. They attempted to handle it on their own. Their biological children were also beginning to get pulled into the picture. In summary, one of us made an emergency flight to the area in order to help handle the situation. By God’s grace, a plan was created. The children were to be separated. The pastor took one, and the Lord sent another pastor (who was given the full story) to take the other child. Both children are in the process of being legally adopted by their new respective families. Both families continue to work together for the recovery of all the children involved. The pastors, their key leaders, and other supporting pastors were all trained and counseled with trauma informed care. There is now an orphan care movement in that province, and it brings us joy that we continue to be part of their journey.
We have been blessed to see how the pure love of Christ defeats even the darkest night!
Praises and Prayer requests from PWO:
Answer to Prayer: We specifically need more “qualified champions” to lead and be accountable for specific initiatives, and the Lord has been answering our prayers by sending us the right people!
Challenge for Prayer: Please pray that our pastors are healed from their own pain and suffering, so that they can lead the Body of Christ to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Please pray for our foster and adoptive families - that they will be able to recover and thrive, and that they become evangelists of foster care and adoption in the country. Lastly, please pray that the Lord raises a strong team of prayer warriors.