❼ The Unsexy Details of My Work with Orphans

People want to know what I do to help orphans but I don’t like to share because the truth is not sexy.

I’d rather tell you only the cool parts like when I get to travel or deliver fancy speeches.

But now that Story Story is out and doing extremely well (thank you!!!), I’m feeling a greater sense of responsibility to be transparent.

So here we go.

make a difference and help orphans

How I’m Helping / Planning to Help Orphans

#1. Getting Smart

I’ve been reading UNICEF reports and looking at the facts and numbers. UNICEF logo

Two things I’ve learned are really interesting and the third absolutely blows my mind.

Turns out that the vast majority of orphans are in Africa and these children become orphans for two reasons:

  1. Their parents die of AIDS (~30%)
  2. Their parents are forced to abandon them when they have no money or can’t find jobs

Most interesting to me, however, is how these children are cared for once they are orphaned.

Apparently, as a matter of culture, Africans typically don’t allow orphans to end up in orphanages.

When a parent dies from AIDS or a child is abandoned, the extended family will usually step in and care for the child (~90%).

This is huge!


Because it means that it is essentially impossible to help just orphans.

To help an orphan in Africa, you have to help the whole family. And, by extension, the whole community.

Which leads to #2 and #3 below.

#2. Creating Jobs

When you buy my book, you’ll read about how I became an Ambassador for the Global Orphan Project.

In this role, I have one core responsibility.

That is, to encourage people (like you) to buy Made in Africa products.

Buying made in Africa products helps to create jobs in these communities which in turn helps maintain the extended family structure that currently protects orphans.

#3 Giving Back

With the exception of Story Story, I donate 100% of the proceeds from this blog.

This means that every time you share the blog posts you enjoy here, you and I are making a difference – together! :)

I also encourage you to get your GoMAD bracelet and even start your own blog.

All of this money goes directly toward supporting the orphans I visited in India last year.

How I Hope to make a difference in the Future

#1. Speaking Up

Like I said, I don’t like to talk much about my work with orphans because it’s hard and it’s not always all glitz and glam.

But as you can see, I’m changing for the better and reforming my ways Lol.

In the future, I won’t shy away from opportunities to address topics like job creation and orphan prevention.

So contact me if you’re looking for a Speaker for your school or conference.

#2. Shaping Policies

My personal person, Mo Onemola-Adewunmi, did an awesome job speaking at an event earlier this week.

modupe onemola adewunmi

Her talk and many of the conversations it engendered got me thinking more seriously about policies and politics.

The specifics of how I can help shape better policies are still quite vague in my mind but the idea is there, hazily glowing.

I want policies that will create a world where children are protected and not abandoned.

A world where parents are educated, empowered, and enlightened.

The kind of world where a mother doesn’t wake up in the morning wondering whether she should keep her child or give it away.

That’s the kind of world I’m dreaming of.

  • What is your main priority right now? Type the first thing that came to your mind :)
  • Do you have a blog? Leave the link below
  • Are you currently making a difference in some way? how? I wanna know!
  • What questions do you have that I haven’t addressed in this post?

4 thoughts on “❼ The Unsexy Details of My Work with Orphans

  1. I might have a very harsh opinion about most families who take orphans in, it is very common to see those children become a mini slave (though the case may seem right for some people), like some of the above mentioned! In a situation where the family depends on a trade or business, some of these children end up being unintentionally refused education in exchange for making ends meet.

    I might be wrong but I feel these kids need exposure to vocational training! We might have to start exploring areas in Africa where the market seem promising but isn’t being maximized and being a business with future benefits, they would both be educated (even if no secondary and university education is involved) and empowered to fend for themselves.

    UNICEF is doing a lot of work on research but they may not have real idea of what goes on, as much as it is okay to depend on their report, anyone or organization with the intention to change the world might have to send a team to Africa for a very long period of time to really see from every aspect.


    1. Very valid opinion Mitch and I appreciate your sharing. I think I understand what you mean as well about how the children are treated. Actually, in my book, I mention my experience with witnessing this in Nigeria. It’s truly a catch 22 where the family is “helping” the orphan by taking the child in but at the same time treating the child terribly.

      For me, as a person who wants to help these children, it’s a little bit of a moral conundrum because helping the whole family means helping people that are sometimes not very kind to the children.

      I don’t know that there are any easy answers to these issues and it’s very encouraging to have people like you who are well informed and take the time to observe what is happening on ground. May God give you the strength to keep doing what you do.

  2. Hi Kola! Interesting post. I hope to see more posts of the work you do with orphans and if there’s any way I can help please feel free to let me know.

    To answer your questions main priority is to get a head start on doing what I love. Blog name is http://www.steadystepss.com and I am currently helping people live a healthier lifestyle.

    1. Thank you so much, Biola! Just checked out your blog – how cool! I love your post about portion control. I know i’m always wondering how much 1 serving is and i refuse to find out so i can continue to eat like a lion LOL

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