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Should I stop supporting an orphanage or children’s home?

Should I stop supporting an orphanage or children’s home?

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The answer to this question might be yes or no. Don’t divest immediately. Use it as an opportunity to ask questions and learn more. Your decision whether or not to stop supporting the children’s home will largely depend on your own discernment and the response of the organization as you dialogue with them about your learning in family care.

Questions to ask

  • Where do the kids in the children’s home come from?
  • Do the children have family outside the orphanage?
  • What does the organization do to help the children enter family, either biological family or adoptive and foster families?
  • How has the work of the orphanage evolved over time?
  • What have been things that they’ve learned and then applied?
  • What is the overall budget of the organization?
  • Are there any funds that are invested in families and communities?
  • What is the government policy in the orphanage’s context concerning child care best practice?

Statements to communicate

  • Share with the orphanage what you’ve learned about the state of orphans and vulnerable children around the world.
  • Tell them that you have a commitment to supporting vulnerable families and seeing kids grow up with parents.
  • Point them towards the CARE Transition Framework or other family focused resources where they could also learn.
  • Share with them your motivation, hope and intent as a donor.

Making a decision

  • If the orphanage is open to change and joining you on the journey towards family care, then you should maintain your funding of the children’s home and help them along the journey of care transition
  • If the orphanage has listened and honestly discussed family care with you, but remains committed to running a purely orphanage operation, you’ll have to discern how you want to proceed. As a donor, you are not required to support any particular charity and if you decide to reallocate your funds to an organization that better aligns with your values, it’s considerate to give the orphanage a timeline where they can expect your donations to cease.
  • Be wary of orphanages that tell you that you are putting the children at risk by canceling your donations. This type of manipulation in fundraising is symptomatic of a corrupt and unhealthy organization. It is also the case that as a care provider who has brought children into the facility, they are ultimately responsible for the care and protection of those children. Regardless of the type of care model, they must ensure that their operation is safe and financially sustainable.