Orphanages can end positively

Written by on August 21, 2015 in The Blog with 0 Comments

1514UG-F2-020_web-690x460Here’s an encouraging story out of Uganda. It has many elements of a typical orphanage story but a different ending.

Grace and Rachael, a Ugandan couple, opened up their home for vulnerable children with the best intentions. Rachael had grown up in an orphanage, and she wanted to help other vulnerable children like herself. But, as the article states, 96 percent of the children in Uganda are considered vulnerable. Soon their two-room home was bursting with 68 children, and more were coming.

Fortunately, rather than seeking foreign funding and starting another string of orphanages, the couple reached out to Sameritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse helped Grace and Rachael reintegrate the children back into their own families rather than keeping them in residential care.

Reintegration may have a challenging ring to many people, but it’s well within the realm of feasibility. So why not make it the norm?

In order for reintegration to take place, our staff must go to parents and help them understand the importance of being parents to their children. Their thinking has to be transformed. Samaritan’s Purse helps prepare families to take on the responsibility of caring for their children again by empowering them with income-generating projects. The children are also taught practical and technical skills so they can be a blessing to their families.

Read the story here.

I’d like to collect more stories like this: of reintegration, local adoption, and foster care working. Some orphanages are closing voluntarily for the right reasons and with positive results. Perhaps by sharing such stories again and again we can add to that momentum and shift the conversation away from doom-and-gloom (with foreigners as the saviours) toward hope and local people helping their own.

Andy Gray

About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray hosts and writes for Uniting for Children. He lives in Cambodia with his family where he works with Alongsiders International. He wrote Home, a Cambodian story and created the video “Why Not a Family?.