It is estimated that at least 5.4 million children live in institutions worldwide. Yet over 80% of these have at least one living parent. Research has shown the harm of orphanage care on children’s health, development and wellbeing and how orphanage volunteering is working to perpetuate institutional systems which separate children from their families and communities. There is now a global movement to end both practices.
To support care reform, Comhlámh and the End Orphanage Volunteering Working Group are proposing 4 key recommendations for policy change so that more children can grow up with their families, where their needs and rights are best met and where they can thrive. These recommendations include calls for the introduction of travel advice on orphanage volunteering and the resourcing of organisations that are working to support the move away from orphanages towards family and community-based care in collaboration with their partners.
Stephen Ucembe, Regional Advocacy Manager with Hope and Homes and founder of the Kenya Society of Careleavers, will officially launch our endorsement campaign and speak of his work and the global movement to eliminate the institutional care of children
Members of the End Orphanage Volunteering Working Group include: Comhlámh, Maintain Hope, Misean Cara, Nurture Africa, Tearfund Ireland and The Hope Foundation Ireland.