Is your school currently planning a student trip abroad that might involve visiting or volunteering in a residential institution for children (‘orphanage’)? Or do you just want to learn more about the harms of institutional care and orphanage volunteering?
If so, please join us online for a short Info Session about the ‘Put Children First: End Orphanage Care’ Campaign, as recently featured on RTE News.
Did you know? Roughly 80% of the 5.4 million children living in orphanages globally have a living parent, and even more have extended family that could care for them, given the right supports. By contrast, school visits to orphanages abroad give their support – through volunteering and fundraising – to an institutional care system that puts children at risk and harms their long-term development.
International research shows that children who grow up in orphanages typically leave with lower levels of educational attainment than their peers, experience stigma and discrimination and struggle to transition back into community life or form healthy relationships. Young adults raised in institutions frequently experience significant delays in brain growth, physical and cognitive development, and suffer severe attachment and other emotional disorders, neglect, exploitation and abuse.
The financial and other supports provided by school visits and volunteering, rather than helping children exit or avoid institutional care, actually strengthen the demand for ‘orphans’ that results in increased family separations and even human trafficking. For these reasons, Schools and Universities around the world are starting to actively discourage their students from participating, as they have come to realise that these trips are harmful to both their students and to the children involved.
In Ireland, we have moved from large scale residential institutions to working to prevent family separation and providing foster and kinship care when in the best interests of the child. If you would like to learn more about these issues and to join the global care reform movement that seeks to support family and community-based care, so that every child can grow up in a safe and nurturing environment that enables their development, please join us for a short online info session as follows:
Date: Wednesday, April 26th
Time: 16:00 – 16:30
Venue: Online via Zoom
To register for this event, please go to this Eventbrite by clicking the below button.
If you have any questions about the event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.