In most third world cultures marriages are still arranged and structured for economic or political benefit of the two families. You’ve seen this scenario played out in movies and described in books, but never knew just how often this occurs. In some cases the brides are just little girls. Little girls that have been thrown into a situation way beyond their ability to cope or even comprehend.
Let it be said that not all third world marriages are arranged, but enough are, which is why it is mentioned in the article, even in small numbers, they have an influence on the subject of this article. Charities for widows.
In many third world cultures widows are considered outcasts and are often defenseless against physical, sexual, and mental abuse. They are viewed as being responsible for their husband’s death and because of that perception widows are made to suffer for this tragedy for the remainder of their lives.
Why isn’t more being done?
In the charity world it’s easy to place pictures of babies and disabled children into publications in order to tug on our heart strings, but how many charities use pictures of widows to get us stirred up and move us to make a donation? Not many; in fact, I can’t think of a time when any charity organization fronted pictures of widows before our eyes.
Widows just don’t have enough emotional punch and so widows exist on the fringes of charities as a supplemental recipient of a few crumbs from the table. Charities for widows carry no glamour, just cold hard facts.
So where do widows go?
This is a great question. When a woman in a third world country marries a man and the man dies, where does do the widows go? What does the widow do? The label and stigma of “widow” is a heavy one and for most widows is a death sentence or at the least a societal stain.
Some widows return home, if they have no children. Some widows try to remarry, but discover that if they have any children, they will have to discard the children before a man would even consider marriage. The discarding of children is a very common occurrence and is played out on almost every street in impoverished cities around the world.
Now, imagine you were in an arranged marriage and your husband dies, you have no skills or education; your only job was to make babies and keep your home clean. Your family won’t take you in because you have children, no man will have you, because you have children and you have no way to earn any money to feed yourself or your children. What do you do?
Now, imagine all of that, as a new widow, and then civil war breaks out and you are now a refugee widow. You are on the move to any place that will let you stay for a while. You have no place to stay, no food, no way to care for your kids and you realize no one cares what happens to you or your family.
Do these things happen often?
Places like South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Burma Myanmar, Nepal, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and many other countries, widows are made faster than you could imagine. The fact that the amount of refugee widows in the world is growing at an alarming rate hasn’t yet reached the understanding of most people. People don’t realize the weight the refugee widows carry in third world countries, especially if the widows have children.
There is a bible verse that holds true for each and every one of us. From James 1:27 we read,
“Pure and undefiled religion is this, that we care for orphans and widows and that we remain unstained by the world.”
Can we say that to be true in our lives? If not, don’t lose heart, we can still do something to help that bible verse come to life.
- Find a charity organization that has refugee widows as part of their mission or vision statement.
- Find out how they help and then become part of the refugee widows support.
When you find a great charity for widows, let your friends and family know.
These three things will not only help widows, but the children they care for as well.
At Ambassador Ministries, we work with several organizations that care for and employ widows to help them have purpose in their lives. We have discovered that women who have raised children and have taken care of their homes are the best mentors for young girls that need role models. We make sure that happens as often as possible.
We want to encourage everyone reading this article to consider what they can do, even if it is only a little bit, even if it seems insignificant. Believe us when we tell you, you will never be the same or have more joy in your life than when you care for one of these precious widows.
Never forget, we’re in this together.
Supporting Crucial Causes Worldwide.
God Bless You,