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At the Forefront of Foster Care in India

In many countries around the world, the standard practice for children who are abandoned or relinquished is to place them into institutional care. Long-term stays in orphanages, however, can lead to both physical and emotional harm to a child. There is plenty of research on the topic of course, but all of us at LWB have seen firsthand the difference it makes in a child’s life when they are instead given the opportunity to be raised in family-based care.

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Emergency Food Relief in India

We recently discussed the situation of orphanages in western Odisha, India with YCDA, our partner for foster care there. They informed us that there are 16 orphanages which are registered by the government but receive no government support. Normally, these orphanages rely on local donations for the children, but with the rapid spread of COVID in the region, most local donations have come to a halt. This region is already severely impoverished, so the 533 children living in these orphanages are in great need of emergency food relief.

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Emergency Food Relief

This week, LWB launched an Emergency Food Relief drive in response to the COVID-19 crisis around the world, as so many children in the locations where we work are going hungry. The situation has become critical for many severely impoverished families, who even before the pandemic were only just surviving as day laborers. Now under lock-down orders, these vulnerable families have no ability to purchase food for their children.

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Journey to Odisha, India: Part II

As I mentioned in my blog yesterday, I recently had the opportunity to visit several locations in the impoverished western region of Odisha, India, meeting with a wonderful local charity called YCDA. With limited resources, they provide essential support to orphaned and vulnerable children. During my trip, we were given permission to visit several local orphanages.

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Journey to Odisha, India

LWB’s work in India to date has been primarily in the medical field, helping with rural medical care and partnering with Mission Smile for cleft surgeries. Our hope for many years has been to expand LWB’s foster care model from China, Cambodia, and Uganda to help orphaned children in India as well. While it’s difficult to get an exact count on the number of orphaned children in India, a number frequently cited is between 20 and 25 million. Less than 1% of those children will ever find a permanent home, leaving countless numbers to spend their entire childhoods in crowded institutions. We would love to do our small part to help change that, as we believe every child born deserves to be raised in a caring family.

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Working to Change Lives in India With Mission Smile: A Weekend of Surgeries

This weekend was a whirlwind! On Saturday, the Mission Smile team completed 27 surgeries, and on Sunday they did an additional 28. Twenty doctors, including eight surgeons, eight anesthesiologists, and four pediatricians, are part of the Mission Smile team healing cleft-affected people this week. Each person volunteered to travel to Kolkata, and except for being housed and fed, are working from sunup to sundown for free.

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Working to Change Lives in India with Mission Smile: Intake Day

When the Mission Smile team arrived at the South Eastern Railway Central Hospital in Kolkata, the gathering of children and families was amazing. Throughout Intake Day, the staff screened 179 patients and ultimately selected 100 for surgery. Virtually all of the 79 patients not selected had medical challenges that made surgery impossible at this time; however, Mission Smile is committed to helping them soon.

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Working to Change Lives In India With Mission Smile

We are so honored and proud to be partnering with Mission Smile for their 100th medical mission in India. To celebrate, Mission Smile is performing 100 cleft repair surgeries in Kolkata this week, from March 15-20.

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Selena: Our First Medical Case In India

As part of our expansion to help children around the globe, LWB is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the international NGO Khusi Hona. We would like to introduce the first child we are helping medically in India:  Selena. Selena’s parents both work as manual laborers. When she was two years old, Selena had a boil on her foot. The boil became severely infected and damaged the tendons in her foot, causing it to contract.

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