Worldwide Orphan Foundation: For A Happy Childhood

Patricia Abaroa

Worldwide Orphans works to transform the lives of children who have lost their parents and offers them a sense of hope and belonging.

Amy Poehler may not have received the Primetime Emmy for her work on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, but she didn’t let that spoil her evening. Along with Jon Hamm, Poehler hosted a loser’s party where winners were only allowed to attend after making a $1,000 donation to the Worldwide Orphans Foundations (WWO). The night ended with $30,000 in donations, from winners and losers, alike.

Poehler is not alone. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Kyle Maclachlan, Oprah Winfrey and dozens of other celebrities have all been vocal advocates of the organization that looks to transform the lives of orphaned children in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Haiti, Serbia and Vietnam.

Worldwide Orphans Foundation
Dr. Jane Aronson, Andrew Garfield, Amy Poehler.

Dr. Jane Aronson, a renowned pediatric infectious disease and adoption medicine specialist, founded WWO in 1997. WWO stemmed from Dr. Aronson’s desire to improve conditions for orphans around the globe. With partner Diana Leo, Dr. Aronson has three adopted children of her own.

WWO rallies around its mission: to transform the lives of orphaned children and help them to become healthy, independent, productive members of their communities and the world. The organization focuses on aiding both orphaned and at-risk children so they can thrive by having happy and healthy childhoods. WWO works to pinpoint the needs of orphaned children; which are then addressed through medical, developmental, psychosocial and educational programs that are respectful to their cultures.

WWO provides children with a sense of intimacy by way of their one-to-one program that recruits adults to pair with children. The importance of this project is reflected in children who begin to understand what it means to be attached to a loving caregiver: because, according to Dr. Aronson, being nurtured is a child’s birthright. WWO also addresses all healthcare issues, including HIV/AIDS, and encourages creativity, teamwork, sports (Andrew Garfield currently serves as WWO’s Ambassador of Sport) and provides education. Many orphaned children are developmentally delayed: studies have shown that children lose one month of developmental skills for every three months spent in an orphanage. By the age of three, orphaned children are usually a full year behind, developmentally.

Worldwide Orphans Foundation

To assist families considered at high-risk of abandoning their children, WWO focuses on providing them with skills and confidence to adequately raise children. In situations where children have already been orphaned, WWO will work to reintegrate children to their families.

WWO gives children hope for what’s to come. The foundation strives to deliver not only sound bodies, but also the coping, social and life skills children need to be independent in the future. WWO stands firmly behind the belief that all children, regardless of circumstances, yearn for love and dream of bright futures for themselves.

The 9th Annual Benefit Gala for WWO will be held on November 18th, in New York City. This year’s gala will be hosted by Seth Meyers and will honor designer Diane Von Furstenberg.

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