Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

MonNov 11

World Orphans Day – November 11, 2024

World Orphans Day, celebrated on November 11, is an important date for Americans to come together and show that they care about the orphans in their community. Millions of young children face problems because one or both of their parents are no longer in this world. It is important for the community to make arrangements for their education, health, shelter, food, and social well-being. World Orphans Day is the perfect opportunity for well-meaning and socially responsible Americans to show that they stand with orphans in their time of need.

History of World Orphans Day

The world’s first orphanage was established by the Romans in 400 A.D. The main reason for opening an orphanage was to provide food, shelter, and other health care needs to children who had lost their parents and don’t have any caregivers to look after them.

The idea of looking after orphaned children is not new. The Greek legal system made it mandatory to provide financial support to orphans until they are 18. Churches in the Middle Ages also established shelters and orphanages for children.

During the 1900s, the living conditions of orphans in England became worse. Many children even suffered from malnutrition due to a lack of food and proper medical care in care facilities. Soon, orphanages gained a bad reputation for not giving the required care and attention to orphans. Because of this, people in western countries were encouraged to legally adopt orphaned children to provide them a better future and take care of their health and education.

In 2006, the Stars Foundation — an entertainment organization that raises funds and raises understanding of children orphaned or displaced by poverty, war, AIDS, and natural disasters — observed the first World Orphans Day. The main idea was to create awareness about the current situation of orphans worldwide. People are encouraged to support orphans by giving them the care, respect, and sense of security they deserve. People all across the globe raise funds for orphaned children to help them have access to quality health care and education.

World Orphans Day timeline

America's First Orphanage is Established in New York

Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, a philanthropist, opens America's first private orphanage.

Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” is Published

Charles Dickens writes about child labor and orphans in the Victorian era.

The Orphan Train Movement is Introduced

Special trains transport children from crowded cities to foster homes in the Midwest.

Birth of Modern Foster Care in America

The Social Security Act authorizes the first federal grants for child welfare services and ensures that inspections of all foster families’ homes take place prior to placements.

World Orphans Day FAQs

How often are children orphaned in the world?

A child is orphaned every 19 seconds, and 99% are never adopted.

How many orphans are there in the world?

In 2020, UNICEF estimated that around 153 million children in the world are orphans.

Where does money donated for World Orphan Day go?

Money is raised in communities or regions, and it stays in their own communities for programs that support displaced children, orphans, and youths at risk.

How to Observe World Orphans Day

  1. Organize a charity drive

    It isn't necessary to organize a charity drive on a grand level. You can arrange one in your school, college, or neighborhood and collect funds for children. You can collect clothes, books, and toys. If you are donating used toys or clothes, ensure they are clean and still in good form.

  2. Prepare a meal

    There is no feeling better than feeding others with food that you prepared yourself. Prepare a nice, hearty meal from scratch and take it to a local group home for orphans. The children there would love to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal that's prepared with all the love, care, and affection that they deserve.

  3. Sponsor an orphaned child or get involved in their need

    It is not necessary to legally adopt a child to support their day to needs and education. Those who want to support numerous orphans can sponsor them by paying for their education and other day-to-day expenses. On a smaller scale, you could motivate a local knitting group or senior home to knit squares and make blankets for a home in your area.

5 Facts About Oliver Twist That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Real-life inspiration

    The novel took inspiration from the life of child laborer, Robert Blincoe.

  2. Childhood and child labor

    Charles Dickens started working at a factory when he was only 12.

  3. From books to the big screen

    The book was adapted into a movie in 1968.

  4. A serialized story

    The story first appeared as a serial in 1837, and when the third installment was completed, it was published as a book.

  5. Collaboration with the Disney franchise

    Disney made an animated movie, based on the novel, in 1988.

Why World Orphans Day is Important

  1. It reminds people to care for orphans

    When people show compassion and sympathy towards the struggles experienced by young orphans, it enables the children to cope with the grief of losing a parent. Such trauma can lead to psychological problems, especially in younger children. Therefore, when an entire day is dedicated to caring for orphans, it reminds people to look after them and help them heal their emotional wounds.

  2. It motivates people to pay for the education of orphaned children

    Orphaned children who have lost their parents often leave their school as they are unable to pay for their books, transport, and school fees. When people sponsor the education of these children, it helps them stay in school and complete their education.

  3. It helps to eliminate child labor

    Orphans, living in poverty-ridden countries where child labor is practiced, often end up working from an early age. One of the main reasons why these children agree to work is because of a lack of financial support. They have to work every day to support themselves and their families. When they are given funds for food and shelter, they can play and attend school just like other children of their age.

World Orphans Day dates

2021November 8Monday
2022November 14Monday
2023November 13Monday
2024November 11Monday
2025November 10Monday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.