Blog

Alcohol and Orphans

May 1, 2014 by Diana Coombs

Why are there so many orphans in Africa?

That is a very good question and one that has many factors to explain why there are so many orphans. I’m not going to dive into all the details, but, I do want to draw the correlation between how empowering former alcohol brewers and rehabilitating alcoholics is helping stop children from being orphaned.

More and more grandparents and relatives are left with the responsibility of caring for their family member’s children. Parents die of sickness and disease and some abandon their children, never to be seen again. It is these orphaned children that ELI welcomes into our Children’s Homes. We recently welcomed in 13 new young girls and boys who have been orphaned. Three of the children in particular have been impacted by the evils of alcohol abuse.

New Children Running

A brother and sister were left with their grandmother when their single mother became an alcohol brewer in order to make money to support her children. She ended up drinking the deadly brew she sold and became an alcoholic. Her lifestyle choices ended her life in 2011, leaving her children to their grandmother, who could not care for her grandchildren. She sought help from ELI to properly care for the children and give them an opportunity for a better life.

Another child lost both of his parents to illnesses and was left in the care of his grandmother, who relies on income from brewing alcohol. The environment was not safe for this child to live in because of the drunk men and women who would spend their time at his grandmother’s home. A local pastor in the village noticed the care needed for this child and requested ELI to take him in. We gladly welcomed him in February of this year.

New Children holding hands

Alcohol abuse damages families. Fathers and mothers are unable to properly care for and love their children because of the way alcohol inhibits them. Men “check out” and leave their wives and other family members to care for their children. But God has His better plans for these men and we are helping them come into relationship with God to see the calls on their lives to be men of integrity, faith and love in action. ELI’s Anti-Alcohol rehabilitation program is changing lives! Many of the brewers of alcohol are women who do not know any other way to earn income to provide for their children. They are desperate. They are looking for a way out of brewing alcohol but don’t know what to do. That is where ELI comes in and gives them the tools to generate income in a way that provides dignity and empowerment.

Training women with skills like farming as a way to generate income not only benefits them, but, changes the lives of their children and their children’s children. Rehabilitating men who have depended on alcohol abuse to escape the hardships of life means bringing families together again as they partner with their wives to care for their children. It means less deaths to alcohol abuse and less unstable home environments where children’s lives are in danger. It means changed homes where fathers are present and engaged.

It means that we are slowly decreasing the number of orphans, one precious life at a time.

Sponsor one of the new children! sponsorships@empoweringlives.org

Bookmark and Share

Categories: Community Investment Featured Kenya Vulnerable Children