Somaliland's Forgotten Children

SOMALILAND, Africa -- In a remote orphanage in the heart of Somaliland, hundreds of children cram into small spaces to try and sleep through the night. With no running water and no way to keep the children clean, disease and infections were rampant among the orphans. War and poverty have spiked the number of children without parents or caregivers and orphanages are bursting at the seams. This orphanage in Hargeisa is no exception. In May 2007, Operation Blessing (OBI) staff visited the orphanage and found 327 children living there with only one toilet and no running water.Through the Orphan's Promise program, OBI provided support to renovate the facility. Six months later, the orphanage has showers, sinks, spigots and toilets as well as other water access points in and outside the building.

"For the 13 years I have been here, there has never been a shower," said Bashir, an older orphan. Bashir's parents were killed when a grenade hit his home. Now that the orphanage has clean drinking water, it has made a radical difference in the lives of these orphans and reduced the number of illnesses.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: Operation Blessing's Orphan's Promise is helping to transform the futures of children like these by providing clean water, education assistance, nutritional feeding programs, medical care and more.

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