top banner

Unleashing Endeavors of Hope

Best Approaches to Orphan Care Worldwide

Back to Home

Best Approaches to Orphan Care

We’ve all seen video footage of orphans in faraway lands, struggling to survive under the worst of conditions. Their stories tug at our hearts, and demand that we take some action to ease their suffering. Some of us are moved to travel to provide hands-on help, while others contribute money. Yet reputable organizations have begun telling us to investigate carefully before volunteering overseas. And we’ve also heard stories about charities that use a large percentage of donation money to pay for administrative costs.
If you want to give compassionate help to orphans or other children in need, be sure to consider the best approaches to orphan care and contribute your time, funds, and energy in ways that will do the most good.


UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) recently spearheaded a media campaign discouraging people from volunteering in orphanages. There are many reasons why orphanages do not provide the best type of care for vulnerable children, including:
  • Tourist Attractions. There is growing evidence that, in many countries, orphanages are set up in order to make money from volunteers from abroad; they may even contain children who have been trafficked into them. The demand for "voluntourism” from well-intentioned North Americans and Europeans has created a financial incentive for unscrupulous people. This has led to the establishment of phony orphanages -- which has actually added to the problem.
  • Residential Care Disadvantages. No matter the quality of care, children who are housed in residential institutions such as orphanages do not develop at the same rate as children who are cared for in foster family or community-based settings. A number of studies contend that children placed in orphanages display low self-esteem, poor mental development and performance, and a lack of emotional attachment. One study contends that orphanages are particularly harmful for children under the age of five, and that the infant death rate is much higher for babies in institutions as opposed to those in foster care or other community-based care.

Community-Based Initiatives

If you’re hoping to contribute to the world’s neediest children, look for an organization that has developed strong local networks and that provides family-based or community care. Long-term families can be found to look after those children whose parents have died, and can be supported through programs designed to provide necessities and education. Although there are millions of children in orphanages, it’s estimated that 80% of these children are not actually orphaned but have been given over to others because their families lack the necessary resources to care for them. In these cases, a community organization can reunite the child with his/her parents and provide help for the whole family.
A good organization will work with children who are in foster care as well as with disadvantaged and displaced families to provide basics like medical care, food, and school fees. In some cases providing job training, micro-finance loans, or other community services can also be of great help.
Your help can mean the difference between life and death for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Make sure you choose the best approach to orphan care.

Featured Projects

Popular Posts