Recent stats in South Africa confirm that there are roughly 2.3 million orphans – 1.2 million have lost their father, 460,308 have lost their mother, and 374,520 have lost both parents. That is a staggering number!
Father's House is working in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, which has one of the largest child populations in South Africa, and the highest orphan numbers, with 17% of children in that province recorded as orphans who have lost a mother, a father or both parents.
South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.7 million people living with HIV. HIV prevalence among the general population is high at 20.4%. This often leaves children dealing with the death of one or both of their parents.
There were approximately 55,000 children living in a total of 33,000 child-only households across South Africa in 2018.
How Father's House is Responding...
On a recent trip to South Africa we came face to face with the overwhelming number of children in need of hope, healing and love. Sadly, the country’s high crime rate takes the media center stage, leaving the plight of orphaned and abandoned children in the shadows. South African Social workers are overburdened with their caseloads, resulting in service delivery to vulnerable children being extremely slow and frustrating. Absent fathers and female-run households are somewhat of a cultural norm, leaving millions of children without a father figure. This fact increases the risk of abuse for women and children and leaves young boys without good male role models.
A growing trend in South Africa is the establishment cluster homes, where orphaned and abandoned children are housed in a “group home” system and raised by a house mother. We applaud these organizations for attempting to meet a dire need but are thankful that the Lord has given Father's House South Africa a very clear vision to place children in a family with a mother, and a father. I am persuaded that in order to break the cycle of absent fathers in South Africa, we need the Father’s House model to bring healing to children’s hearts and thereby change the course of a child’s life. We are seeking long-term solutions and believe that by following the vision that God has given, individual lives can be mended, hearts healed and a generation changed.
The visit with our current Father’s House families was a wonderful testament to the hope that Father’s House has given to each of our children. We are excited that in the midst of the negative cultural norms, God is raising up Christian couples who want to love and raise orphaned and abandoned children within Father’s House. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for this life-changing ministry.