World Day of War Orphans (January 6th)

Poverty, famine, war, or whatnot. Everything comes with its own consequences but the people who are majorly affected by these calamities are those innocent children who lose their parents at a very early age. To honor those children and to stand by them, we celebrate the world day of war orphans on January 6 every year. This day emphasizes the need to care for the children who have grown up in war-torn areas.

The main objective of this day is to raise awareness regarding the challenges that war orphans might have faced in their lives. What emotional barriers they went through, what physical change molded them into what they are today, the world day of war orphans highlights all of this.

History & significance of the World Day of War orphans

This great initiative that we now term as the World Day of War orphans was initiated by OS Enfants en Detresse which is a French organization.

A UNICEF estimate tells us that there is a relatively less number of orphans in developed countries. But if we look at the war-stricken places or areas, this number seems to be increasing.

According to another estimate, millions of children lost their parents as a result of World War II. About 20,000 children in Yugoslavia and over 300,000 children in Poland became orphans because of the indiscriminate killings in World War II.

UNICEF provided another set of data, according to which half of the victims of the wars of the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries were civilians. The number didn’t just stop there, it continued to increase till 2001. However, since 2001, the number started to decline at a 0.7% rate per annum.

Year  Victims (in millions)
1990 146
1995 151
2000 155
2005 153
2010  146
2015 140

The aforementioned data tells us that a large number of civilians have been the victims of the wars in the past centuries. As a result, the children of those civilians suffered a major loss.

Many children grew up in war-stricken areas with nobody by their side. These children had to get up every day, look after themselves and their loved ones.

Therefore, the World Day of War Orphans reminds us of the tragedies that these war orphans went through and highlights that all children are worth loving. They should be treated with the same care and respect as any other child.

Key Facts about world day of war orphans by UNICEF

Now, let’s look at some of the key facts regarding world day of war orphans. These key facts are by UNICEF itself.

  1. World day of war orphans was primarily created to raise and spread awareness regarding all those children who lost their parents due to war.
  2. In 2015, there were about 140 million orphans in the entire world. Asia had the highest figure of 61 million orphans, South Africa coming close to second with 52 million, followed by 10 million in Latin America and the Caribbean, and 7.3 million in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
  3. In recent conflicts, child victims constituted a higher proportion of civilian deaths.
  4. These deaths were about two-thirds in World War II. However, at the end of the 1980s, these deaths reached 90%.
  5. A humongous increase in unselective killings can be seen in World War II.

Quotes for World Day of War Orphans

1. “My passion is kids, more than just kids are underprivileged kids and orphans.”

2. “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

3. “God is pleased with no music below so much as with the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons.”

4. “I love the holiday season, almost as much as I love touching myself in front of orphans.”

5. “Where can we hide in fair weather, we orphan of the storm?”

6. “What sad faces one always sees in the asylums for orphans! It is more fatal to neglect the heart than the head.”

7. “Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms, but once you do, everything changes.” -David Platt

8. “Orphans, are the one who has no parents, but have many parents. But having ones parents is more valuable than the other having many parents (it doesn’t depend on numbers, but the feelings matters).” -Siddwin S. Shetty

9. “God is pleased with no music below so much as with the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows and supported orphans; of rejoicing, comforted, and thankful persons.” -Jeremy Taylor

10. “There are many in the world dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.” -Mother Teresa

11. “Families don’t have to match. You don’t have to look like someone else to love them.” -Leigh Anne Tuohy


How often are children orphaned in the world?

Every 19 seconds, there is a child out there who’s becoming an orphan. Unfortunately, 99% of those children don’t get adopted, ever.

How many orphans are there in the world?

According to the UNICEF survey 2020, there are about 153 million orphan children in the entire world.

Where does money donated for World Orphan Day go?

Money is raised in several regions or communities and all the money collected stays in those regions and communities until it can be used for the programs that support war orphans or youth at risk.

How to celebrate World Orphan Day?

The main aim of the world day of war orphans is to remember all those children who lost their parents during the war. This day reminds us of our duty that we should be taking care of all those children who were hit by a deadly crisis.

There are a number of ways through which you can celebrate the world day of war orphans. These ways include:

Organizing a charity drive

There’s no obligation on you to set up a charity drive on a large scale. You can also arrange one in your school, college, university, or neighborhood. You can collect all sorts of things for the war orphans such as money, books, clothes, toys, etc. If you want to give it to the orphans, make sure you clean them up first.

Prepare a meal

Everyone loves a good homemade meal, especially when it’s made with so much love and care. So, if you want to celebrate the world day of war orphans, prepare a healthy yet flavorsome meal and take it to a nearby local group home for orphans. We’re sure they’ll love it.

Sponsor an orphaned child if you can

You don’t have to adopt an orphan child to help him or her in times of need. You can also sponsor these war orphans by paying for their education and other expenses. If you can’t help an orphan on such a large scale, you can even ask your nearby knitting group to knit some blankets for these children.

Spread awareness on social media

Social media can prove to be a great platform to raise and spread awareness regarding world day of war orphans. You can post or share information with your family and friends and ask them to share it further. Share your views regarding the importance of world day of war orphans and encourage others to take part in it as well.


Millions of children have to bear the loss of saying goodbye to their parents forever. It can be due to some disease, conflict, poverty, or war. Whatever the reason may be, it is heartbreaking. The world day of war orphans throws light on the hardships that these orphans face in their lives. This day is celebrated to ensure that our orphans are not alone and they won’t be neglected. All of us should be a part of this day and all of us should raise as much awareness as we can because these children are our children.

Want to read about other important days in the month of January? Then click here.
Or if you want to read about important days of other months of the year, then check out “Important Days of the Year” category.

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