Since caring for orphans and widows means so much to you, I want to let you know about a special day. October 3rd has been designated by the United Nations as World Habitat Day. It seems that everything in today’s world has it’s own “day of recognition” so, what makes this one so important?
Is it to take a second and think about the environment in which we are living, and how our carbon footprint will affect wildlife in their natural habitat? Important, but no. Is it to reflect on the state of our own towns, our cities, and our and villages? Well, sort of.
At the most fundamental level, the purpose of World Habitat Day is to expose the basic right of adequate shelter to every single person on the planet. Its purpose is to remind the world that it is our responsibility to take care of each other and to make sure widows and orphans - our brothers and sisters - are given the basic human necessity of adequate shelter.
An Orphan’s Home
What does your “habitat” look like? Is it big or small? Are you in a city or in the countryside? What type of climate surrounds you? What threatens your “habitat?”
Webster informally defines a habitat as “one’s preferred surroundings,” and it is only when we reflect on questions like these that we have to think: what about the forgotten orphans of the world who don’t have four strong walls to protect them and keep them safe from threats? What about the abandoned widows who don’t have a roof on their mud hut, causing flooding and destruction to their home every single time it rains? The ideology amongst the United Nations is that, “everyone deserves a decent place to live,” and we at Kinship United couldn’t possibly agree more.
What Does A Lack Of “Habitat” Do To An Orphaned Child?
Homeless, orphaned kids go through their entire life with all odds against them and their environment, inadequate as it may be, affects every single part of their life. Think about it for a second. Think about being seven years old. You’re seven years old and you’re alone. You have no father. You have no mother. You have no home. You are just a young child living on the street who is disadvantaged in nearly every aspect of your life. Your health deteriorates almost immediately, with hardly any access to food, other than scraps you find in trash cans - the same place the stray dogs are finding their next meal. The stagnant water you are forced to drink fills your tiny, malnourished body with parasites and bacteria that will kill you if left untreated. You are freezing and start going to extreme lengths to stay warm, like drinking benzene, a toxic gasoline, just to counter the hypothermia. This is your “habitat.” Doesn’t seem like it would be your “preferred surroundings,” does it?
With a heart like yours, you have been rescuing orphans and widows who have been living in situations just like this, often times much worse, for the last 15 years. You have been bringing orphans into a new habitat - a Kinship Home - where they no longer have to suffer. That is why this year on World Habitat Day, we are celebrating YOU. We are celebrating the fact that YOU graciously give your hard earned money so that these “habitats” can continue to be built around the orphaned children and destitute widows in our world. Their new surroundings start to look much different than what they have been used to - four sturdy walls and roofs that don’t collapse in on themselves the moment it begins to rain. We celebrate your big heart for giving our in-country leaders the resources they need to rescue the forgotten and abandoned.
Recognize This Day Because THEY Deserve It
The widow who has been forced out of her home after her husband died and is living on the street because she is no longer considered family - she deserves to have this day recognized. The orphaned child sleeping on the curb who is so desperately trying to survive - he deserves to have this day recognized. Today take time to think about them. Pray for them. Let your heart remain open to them. They deserve it.
I hope World Habitat Day takes on a deeper meaning in your life now - it certainly has in mine. One of my favorite things about traveling is seeing how other people live. What are their days like? What do they do for fun? Where do they live? I have had the chance to see ornate, beautiful mansions positioned right next to poverty-stricken shanty towns. I have seen dung-packed walls and tin roofed shacks in heartbreaking garbage dump slums. Whether it is a simple grass thatched hut in the desert or a tiny brick and mortar house, a house, a “habitat,” is a every child’s safe zone. Without a place to call home, an orphaned child is left exposed to countless risks and dangers and we don’t plan on stopping until we know that all children are safe.