As a school counselor, I had the joy of promoting/graduating my first class of 8th graders to high schoolers this week.  It was a huge celebration for family, friends, faculty, and of course the students.  It’s about that time of year when everywhere you turn, there are students graduating from kindergarten, junior high, high school, and college.  And the same is true on the other side of the globe as well.

Graduation Day

Yesterday was the graduation ceremony at S’s school. This is the photo of some of the 10th grade students in the graduating class.  These 16-17 year olds will have one more summer at the orphanage/summer camp, then on the last day of summer, they will be on their own.  (Last Day of Summer, First Day on My Own

I asked Sasha how the day was, he said it is always a good happy day for them.  But when I think about what graduation day usually is for us, a celebration with family.  Photos from their ceremony shows a room full of younger students, some volunteers from the community, and some American families who are there adopting.  No hugs, photos, flower, congratulations, or parties with parents and grandparents. They have their family of teachers, caregivers, and other orphans. And this breaks my heart…

After this summer, their futures are very grim.  Statistics tell us that 80-90% of these children will end up addicted to alcohol or drugs, homeless, involved in crime or prostitution, incarcerated, or commit suicide. Only 10-20% will go on to lead ‘successful’ lifes… with a job and stable residence. 

I’ve heard this song a lot on the radio lately & it just fits my sentiment so well.

Two of the boys in this photo are S’s best friends.  I do not want them to end up as a part of this statistic.  Their only way out is a commitment to learn a trade in a vocational school and the grace of God.  We know of a ministry that is trying to recruit the graduates to their transition home.  Please pray that their hearts are led to this opportunity of a positive future.