Orphans in Nicaragua

The classic understanding of the term ‘orphan’ defines children whose parents have died and have no extended family to adopt them. The circumstances behind Nicaragua’s orphans are two-fold: Either (1) their parents have abandoned them without explanation or intention of returning, or (2) they are social orphans–children whose parents are unable or unfit to raise them, due to financial, physical or emotional inability. Often times, these parents place their children at the orphanages, desiring a better life for them than they are able to provide. Other times, the Nicaraguan social welfare organization removes the child from an unhealthy home situation.

Whatever the circumstances of each orphan’s history, ORPHANetwork & Verbo’s orphanages are helping create a safer, healthier future for these children, guiding them away from the dangers of street life and into a healthy, uplifting setting of good nutrition, love and Christian education. Our vision is help break the cycle of poverty in these kids’ lives, giving them, and the generations after them, better tomorrows.

The Numbers in Nicaragua

  • Nicaragua is the poorest Spanish-speaking country in the world. It is the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The country’s poverty most severely affects women and children.
  • Nearly 50% of all Nicaraguans are either unemployed or underemployed.
  • Distribution of income in Nicaragua is one of the most unequal on the globe. Over 2 million Nicaraguans live in poverty. The majority of Nicaraguans live on less than $2/day and more than 800,000 live in extreme poverty, less than $1/day.
  • 1 of every 3 Nicaraguan children has some degree of malnutrition.
  • 1 of every 4 Nicaraguan children is born to a teenage mother.
  • Less than 30% of all Nicaraguan children complete an elementary education. On average, Nicaraguans complete fewer than 5 years of schooling.
  • 95% of all disabled children in the country receive no appropriate support.



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