about

Worldwide Orphans (WWO) was established in 1997 by Dr. Jane Aronson, a global pediatric specialist. WWO is a New York/New Jersey based 501(c)(3) international nongovernmental organization (INGO) headquartered in Maplewood, New Jersey.

 
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Worldwide Orphans is transforming the lives of children and communities in need. We provide education, medical care, and psycho-social support in their local communities so that they can become confident, competent, thriving adults who will change the world around them.

 
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decades in the making

Element of Play® (EOP) is a program developed to bring about psychosocial change and rehabilitate communities in areas of extreme poverty and disaster. We know that adverse childhood experiences cause trauma in children. This trauma causes them to miss critical developmental milestones and creates lasting negative consequences in their lives, which has a cumulative effect on their communities.

Through Element of Play®, WWO provides children and adults with access to play-based experiences and learning to support child development and school readiness, heal trauma and create healthy, connected and vibrant communities. The program includes the comprehensive EOP Curriculum and Training Program; the EOP Toy Library; storytelling; music-in-motion; dance; academic support; imagination and arts programming.

 
 
 
 

where we work

 
 

Bulgaria

10,000 children and adults served since 2009

Established presence in the country since 2009, with more than 20 Element of Play® programs in communities throughout the country.

Currently caring for:
More than 2,500 children
Over 350 adults

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Ethiopia

80,000 CHILDREN AND ADULTS SERVED SINCE 2005

Established presence in the country since 2005, having partnerships with Ministries, local governments and community-based organizations.

Currently caring for:
More than 1,500 children
Over 1000 adults 

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Haiti

3,000 CHILDREN AND ADULTS SERVED SINCE 2010

Established presence in the country since 2010, having a committed team of local staff and volunteers, deeply rooted in the community.

Currently caring for:
More than 650 children
Over 500 adults 

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Serbia

36 CHILDREN SERVED SINCE 2004

WWO’s program in Serbia officially began in 2003. It was started to serve children displaced or orphaned by the Serbian-Bosnian war of the 1990s.

 
 
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United States

500 CHILDREN AND ADULTS SERVED SINCE 2015

Working in both Orange, NJ and Brooklyn, NY (in PS307), leveraging key learnings from all of our years of experience overseas. 

Currently caring for:
400 children
100 adults 

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Vietnam

15,000 CHILDREN AND ADULTS SERVED SINCE 2004

Established presence in the country since 2004 and is now in the top 3% of government ranking of NGOs

Currently caring for:
1,341 children
Over 1000 adults 

 
 
 

“If only they could see what I see.” 

the blue glasses

In the summer of 2010, Dr. Jane Aronson visited Des’s Village in Ethiopia, where orphaned children were making art with pipe cleaners. A three-year-old girl named Mahlet studied Dr. Aronson’s blue glasses carefully and crafted her very own pair of blue glasses. She tugged on Dr. Aronson’s sleeve and pointed to herself saying, “Me! – Dr. Jane! – Me! – Dr. Jane!” Eventually, the rest of the children made their own blue glasses. Today, WWO supporters all over the world volunteer their time to make blue glasses out of pipe cleaners to raise awareness for children’s development and see what Dr. Aronson sees.

 
 
 

“If only everyone could see these children as the fabulous, bright, and special individuals they are.”

Dr. Jane Aronson

 
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