Any child who is without one or both parents including but not limited to single parent households, foster or removed children, children who have one or both parents deceased, children who are abandoned or are wards of the state/government. In the broader scope of the Christian worldview, an orphan would be anyone who does not recognize God as their Heavenly Father.
According to UNICEF there are an estimated 153 million children who have lost one or both parents worldwide.
153 million children who are in need of care. Many end up on the street or in other dangerous situations. Most do not get proper nutrition or receive medical attention. An education is only a dream for many. These children need to know that they are special, that they are loved, and that God created them as His masterpiece. They need to know that God has a plan for them; that they have hope and a future. Without this hope, many orphan children will live lives of desperation. Orphan children coming of age face trends that are heart breaking: homelessness; substance abuse; trafficking; crime and incarceration.
Most Americans have no idea of the plight of the orphan. They have not been made aware of the 153 million orphans worldwide or the over 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system. There are over 100,000 children in the U.S. foster care system awaiting adoption. There are families throughout the world who have to choose which of their children get fed or which of their children they have to put out on the street because they cannot afford to feed them. These are facts that the people of the most privileged and wealthiest country in history need to know.