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World Orphan Week

Dates and events to inspire pupils

What's it all about?

World Orphan Week - or WOW - is an annual event organised by the charity SOS Children's Villages, which raises funds and awareness about Aids orphans, street children and child soldiers, as well as youngsters who have lost families because of famine, war or natural disasters. The fundraising aspect involves a non-uniform day in return for a Pounds 1 donation. It takes place from February 9-15.

Assembly ideas

Pick a day during which to celebrate WOW, starting with an assembly.

Talk to primary children about why life is so difficult for these children, and what they think can be done to help them. Examine the importance of family and friends to make them feel safe, secure and happy. To lighten the mood you can explore the different types of music of countries where children are affected by disease, famine or conflict.

With older or secondary pupils you could discuss the difficulties of living in the countries where orphaned children come from; what compels children go to war and how natural disasters can devastate families. You could also examine the rights of the child by drawing on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and how many around the world are denied these because of circumstances that cannot easily be controlled.

Help, I've no time to prepare

SOS Children's Villages has a wealth of ideas for assemblies and lessons on its website, which has a link to World Orphan Week.

Where do I go for more information?

Dorothy Lepkowska.

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