Orphans and Children - Islamic Relief USA

can help provide medical support to an orphan
can support livelihood training for families with orphaned children
can open up access to healthcare, education, and more for vulnerable children
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Be There for Children in Need

There are roughly 153 million orphans worldwide. And every day, nearly 6,000 more children become orphans. To add, one in five children lives in a conflict or war zone, and studies show that these children are at high risk of experiencing violence, psychological stress, hunger, loss of education, and/or lack of access to basic resources. Over 12 million refugee boys and girls have not only lost their homes, but are no longer able to make a future for themselves.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), said: “‘I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,’ showing his middle and index fingers and separating them.” –Bukhari

Islamic Relief is working to improve the lives of orphaned children by protecting them from illness; providing them with educational opportunities; and giving them access to proper nutrition, water, and sanitation services. Donors can show these boys and girls the power of love in these ways:

ORPHAN SPONSORSHIP

ORPHAN MEDICAL OR EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

GLOBAL ORPHANS’ AND CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS

Orphan Sponsorship

Islamic Relief orphan sponsors are helping transform the lives of children by providing access to essentials like food, healthcare, education, shelter and more. Right now, IRUSA donors are sponsoring some 28,800 orphans–couple that with Islamic Relief donors all around the world, and we are helping more than 85,000 orphans look forward to a better future.

Become the newest person to join this community of compassionate sponsors today. Make your donation of $100/month ($1,200/year) to provide the care and support that can help an orphan escape extreme poverty.

Orphan Sponsorship is currently available for:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Bangladesh
  • Bosnia
  • Ethiopia
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosova
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Refugees*
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Syrian Refugees*
  • Türkiye
  • Uyghur Refugees*
  • Yemen Orphans
*Orphans originally from these countries may currently be living as refugees in neighboring countries depending on need. Palestinian refugee orphans reside in Jordan; Syrian refugee orphans reside in Jordan and Türkiye; and Uyghur refugees reside in Türkiye. Please also note: If orphans within the requested country are not available, sponsorship may be reallocated to countries with available orphans. Please call us at 1-855-447-1001 or email orphansupport@irusa.org with any questions.

Once you sign up to become a sponsor, you will receive an initial report about the orphan you’re sponsoring. After one year, you can request an updated annual progress report. For more information, connect with us at orphansupport@irusa.org.

So, will you join the thousands of Islamic Relief donors who have said YES! to orphan sponsorship?

*NEW* Orphan Higher Education/Medical Support

HIGHER EDUCATIONAL SUPPORT

Every child has the right to education. Thankfully, through Islamic Relief’s Orphan Sponsorship program, all sponsored orphans are provided access to education. However, for those select students that excel in school, they’re unable to tap into their potential due to limited higher education opportunities.

Islamic Relief is proud to announce our new orphan scholarship fund, where students are given a chance to fulfill their dreams. For as low as $50/month, you can help provide orphans with access to university scholarships so they can attend school, obtain their degree, and start a job that helps them build sustainable livelihoods for generations to come. 

Want to support but not ready to commit to a monthly donation? You can contribute by giving individual donations to this scholarship fund as well! Connect with our Orphan Care Team at orphansupport@irusa.org to learn more.

Want to support but not ready to commit to a monthly donation? You can contribute by giving an individual donation below.

MEDICAL SUPPORT

In many countries around the world, healthcare is not made accessible to everyone. For children living in poverty, this could mean the difference between life and death. For $50/month, you can help provide medical care for an orphan family, which includes their siblings or guardian. This monthly donation ensures that funds are always available when urgent and necessary medical care is required, including costs for prescriptions; travel to and from medical centers; and medical equipment such as eyewear, hearing aids, and wheelchairs. These funds also help orphans affected by chronic and long-term illnesses like asthma and diabetes. 

Last year, Islamic Relief was able to cover the costs of major surgical operations involving brain surgery, breast cancer, and spinal issues across 16 countries. Medical treatments were also provided for significant ailments like epilepsy, heart disease, kidney dialysis, and eyesight correction. With your help, we can do even more. 

Want to support but not ready to commit to a monthly donation? You can contribute by giving an individual donation below.

Global Orphan and Children Fund

At Islamic Relief, we fully invest in children’s futures, supporting their families, careers, and local communities to provide safe, sustainable solutions to poverty and inequality. Thanks to donations to our Global Orphan and Vulnerable Children Support fund – our most flexible children’s fund – our teams around the world are able to help save and transform the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in effective ways. Your donations can help provide child-friendly safe spaces, empower communities, and develop long-term solutions to critical issues such as child marriage and human trafficking for child labor. 

Questions? Connect with our Orphan Care Team at orphansupport@irusa.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is an orphan selected for sponsorship?

Orphans are selected based on five main criteria: vulnerability, financial need, family size, housing conditions, and health. The families with the greatest need—such as larger families with dire financial situations—receive priority for sponsorship. Official documentation is required to confirm an orphan’s sponsorship, and the selection of children must not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, age, gender, or disability.

2. How does Islamic Relief define an orphan?

Islamic Relief defines an orphan as a child younger than 18 who is living without a father or both parents, or a child whose father’s whereabouts have been unknown for two years or more (one year or more for refugees and internally displaced people). The orphan may be of any gender, religion, or race.

3. Does sponsoring an orphan count towards zakat?

A donor can make the intention to donate for orphans with their Zakat as orphans are among the groups of vulnerable people who are eligible to receive Zakat funds. At IRUSA, Zakat-specific funds are often used to support efforts for orphans and their communities. Please note, however, that donations made specifically to our OrphanCare programs and funds incur a different admin fee than the admin fee applied to our Zakat-specific funds. For more information, please connect with us at 1-855-447-1001 or donorcare@irusa.org.

4. Can I write a letter to the orphan I am sponsoring?

Yes. The sponsor and orphan are free to exchange correspondence via Islamic Relief USA. Sponsors may email the correspondence to the orphansupport@irusa.org.

5. Does IRUSA’s orphan sponsorship include refugees?

Yes! Currently, IRUSA donors are helping sponsor Somali orphan refugees in Kenya; Palestinian orphan refugees in Jordan and Lebanon; and Syrian orphan refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey.

6. How long will the sponsorship continue?

You can sponsor a child as long as you wish, up  to the age of 18. In special medical or continuing education circumstances, IRUSA facilitates extended  sponsorships through the age of 24. We require a minimum sponsorship time of one year because this allows us to plan ahead and maintain a consistent  level of service to the orphan. However, in case of any  difficulty, the sponsor may cancel at any time with advanced notice.

7. I have not heard about the orphan I am sponsoring. When will I be updated?

All sponsors receive a first (biodata) report on the child upon confirmation of the first donation payment. The first (biodata) report is emailed to sponsors typically six to eight weeks after initiating sponsorship. Annual progress reports will be sent based on availability from the respective field office. Donors may request an updated annual progress report via

orphansupport@irusa.org if it has been past 12 months of the start of the sponsorship. 

8. How is the sponsorship donation spent?

In many cases, sponsorship money is paid to the orphan’s guardian in several increments throughout the year. Of course, every country is different and there are unique circumstances that sometimes affect the frequency of payment or how the aid is delivered. You can learn the specific details of a particular country by connecting with us at 1-855-447-1001 or orphansupport@irusa.org. Orphans are monitored to ensure that they are receiving the full benefits of sponsorship. This may include health checks and/or education for school-aged children.

9. What happens to an orphan in the Orphan Sponsorship Program after they turn 18 years old?

When an orphan in the program turns 18, they are not automatically dropped from the Orphan Sponsorship Program. If the orphan is either 1. Studying and needs funds for education, or 2. Has a medical condition that needs attention, they remain in the Orphan Sponsorship Program either by support from the donor (for as long as the donor is willing to support them), or by expenses covered through IRUSA’s Global Orphan & Children Programs fund. There have been instances where donors have supported families with an orphan child(ren) until the orphan has reached the age of 24.

10. What countries is the Global Orphan & Children Programs fund active in?

Countries where the Global Orphan & Children Programs fund are active currently include Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Chechnya, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan (including Palestinian and Syrian refugees), Kenya, Kosovo, Lebanon, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Pakistan, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yemen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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