Title: single news message

How to Help, A tale of two Orphanages

Mar 23, 2012 at 19:28
Category: Doing the Stuff!


Friends, this is from a brother doing a study on child care world wide who was given a copy of "How to Help- a tale of two orphanages".... 

Thank you for this, which is interesting.    I’m actually part of a global study group on the issue of orphanages, so I have heard some of the background of this before.    There are now many people in Christian mission who have a strong objection to all orphanages, because of the tendency to institutionalise the children (which undoubtedly they do, to a greater or lesser extent).   The argument runs that children are ALWAYS better off with a family (from their own wider family or others) who can be supported (financially or otherwise) to look after them (and that such families are ALWAYS available (which has not been my experience).

     I can see the force of that argument and our practice around the world is always to look for a solution which puts children with real families.   However, I have seen many situations where such children become household slaves, or are abused, and where the money to support them is given wholly to the family’s own children.   I have also seen such children given over to child prostitution.   So such a system needs very careful and honest monitoring.

      For some children, no family solution is possible and we have to make orphanages good and not the dead-end last resort.  Some are superb.   Institutionalisation can also be countered by enlivening the experience of the children in an orphanage.

This is an interesting subject, and thank you for passing on this interesting article.


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