Children in South Africa are often placed under incredible pressure to make it through their early years. Poverty, abuse, drug abuse, and neglect are some of the challenges faced on a daily basis by children all over the world.
Many of these children are not adoptable and end up in the foster care system, never experiencing the gift of living with and being loved by a family or a place they can call home.
World Foster Day is a global movement aiming to create awareness of the need for foster care through storytelling, education, and the activation of communities. On this day, we take time celebrating families with children in foster care for the work they do for children around the world.
A Foster Mom’s Journey
I am a foster parent to an 11-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister. They have been living with me for the past four years.
When I started my journey of researching, I was completely convinced that foster care is not the way I will go. How will I be able to say goodbye when a child is reunified with his or her biological parents? How will I cope with a child’s behavioral problems after being stuck in the system for a while.… My thinking was that I would rather follow the route of adoption. In this way, I have control over the child and his or her future and how long they will stay.
As I continued reading and started finding out more about foster care and the stats of how many children never get to live with a family, I was so moved. I was convinced this is the direction God wanted me to go in. I knew, if He brings this across my path, He will also be there to pick up the pieces of my heart once I have to say goodbye.
It is a Privilege
I was so encouraged to start this journey, make a difference in a child’s life, see their lives take a turn for the better and hopefully impact the generations that come after them. The thought that I can impact one child by offering them a family where they feel loved and secure even though, on paper, they are caught between the reality of their biological family and their foster family is what drives me to cultivate change.
It is a privilege to see my community rally around us, investing in these children’s lives, mentoring them, and loving them like family. After a church outing one day, my boy prayed: “Father, thank you that we have such a big family of people to love.”
It has been four years now and to see a child starting to respond to situations in a positive way and see how they pursue their relationship with Jesus independently from me is the greatest gift.
Personally, it has been such a privilege for me to be able to work in the foster care sector and become part of a movement like World Foster Day. If our story can only encourage one other family or single parent to take a child into care, it will make it worth it.
About World Foster Day
As it is written in Deuteronomy 10:18 (ERV) – “He defends widows and orphans. He loves even the strangers living among us. He gives them food and clothes.”
In 2018, two organizations in Cape Town, South Africa, collaborated to organize a Foster Conference in order to inform and encourage potential and existing foster parents. During our planning sessions, we realized that there is no specific day to create awareness about the need there is for families to take children into foster care. That is how World Foster Day came about.
In the years to follow, millions of individuals, organizations, and churches all over the world started getting involved in raising awareness. In 2020 during the worldwide lockdown, we saw a 70% increase in growth of creating awareness using World Foster Day as a tool.
Get Involved with World Foster Day on 31 May
World Foster Day is a completely independent movement, and we encourage all individuals, churches, organizations, and communities to get involved in their own way.
We believe that family is central to the body of Christ, and for this purpose, we would like to ask every believer to support World Foster Day on 31 May. You can show your support by doing the following:
- If you are a foster family, share your story on social media with your friends, your church, and your community on 31 May.
- If you know a foster family, find some ways to bless them on WFD, e.g., Send some flowers or a meal, offer to babysit, or take over some household chores in order to give them some extra time on their hands to focus on their child, or even on their own self-care.
- On 31 May:
- Draw a smiley face on three fingers
- Snap a pic of your smiley face moment
- Share it on social media using #worldfosterday
To find out more, contact us at [email protected] for any other information. Also, find our media kit with a press release, style guide & images here. Our World Foster Day video is also available here.
Join us on 31 May as we celebrate foster families in our communities and create awareness for this global cause.