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A Historic Step Towards a World Without Orphans
Christians From Around the World Come Together to See Every Child in a Loving Family
Making history, the Global Forum for a World Without Orphans was held on 11-14 February 2016 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. For four days, 450 leaders from 60 countries gathered to activate, connect, and equip the Body of Christ worldwide to address the orphan crisis and see every child growing up in a nurturing permanent family. "The church, as a family adopted by God the Father, has the capacity and the calling to make our society to be a world without orphans", said Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance Bishop Efraim Tendero during the opening session of the Forum.
Globally, more than 1 billion children are exposed to violence every year, according to the latest report released by the respected Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This violence and many other factors deprive millions of children an opportunity to grow up in a loving and caring family. Many studies have demonstrated that institutional care is not the best solution for the development of children. A cultural and infrastructural shift to family-based care - strengthening families, kinship and foster care, and adoption - must take place.
“The Forum showed that this shift is starting to happen and the global Christian community is in an amazing position to lead the response to the needs of children”, shared Ruslan Maliuta, leader of the Forum’s planning team. “Across many nations we can see amazing stories of families stepping up to receive orphans. Local churches are embracing these families and championing the cause in their communities. National movements are bringing sustainable transformation to the way children are being cared for in their societies. There is still a long way to go, but the movement has begun”.
The Forum was organized by partners in the World Without Orphans movement with the support of key leaders from Transform World, 4/14 Window, World Evangelical Alliance, Pentecostal World Fellowship, Lausanne Movement, Global Children’s Forum, Viva Network, CBN and other groups.
Speakers also included the Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, Dr. Prince Guneratnam; the President Emeritus of Compassion International, Wess Stafford; Founder of Home for Good, Krish Kandiah; Adoption Advocate, Sergey Demidovich and many others. In addition to inspiring and challenging plenary sessions the program featured best practise models from around the world and provided a platform for experts and activists to share their experiences and develop strategies.
It was a transformational time for many delegates, which a leader from Bangladesh best summarized in saying: “It changed my heart, my way of thinking and led me to a new direction altogether”. The participants went back to their home countries inspired and equipped to launch new initiatives, mobilize church networks, and implement solutions.
Full video sessions from the Global Forum for a World Without Orphans held in Chiang Mai, Thailand are available at www.worldwithoutorphans.org/video
World Without Orphans is a global movement with a goal that every child will grow up in a safe, stable, and nurturing permanent family and know their Heavenly Father.