Orphanages, foster homes, and foster care systems around the globe serve one purpose: to care for the unfortunate while providing them with a better future. However, it’s undeniable that not all of these systems are accomplishing what they set out to do. Many of these systems have flaws, and some of those flaws can end up damaging the lives of the children they host instead of bettering them. These problems are being acknowledged and addressed every day, and many figures and organizations are working hard to reverse or correct them in order to bring a better, more fulfilling life to the children housed there.
The situation of housing for many foster or orphaned children around the world is not great. Orphanages especially tend to run off of charitable donations, or don’t have very large budgets compared to the cost of raising just one child. Because of this, things that aren’t considered absolutely necessary often take a back seat. This can include bedding, the technology present within a building, electrical or kitchen appliances, and more. Poor housing conditions can negatively impact the residents within the building, making it difficult for these children to find happiness. Housing improvements are one way to help better the lives of these children. Whether it’s updating architecture so that it’s safer or warmer, or adding in new appliances that guarantee hot, clean water, positive changes to a home will almost always result in positive changes in its occupants.
As mentioned, a lot of orphanages tend to rely on charity in order to function. This is why orphanage volunteer work is so important. In orphanages around the world, the ratio of children to staff is skewed hugely in favor of the children. Because of this, there’s simply not enough manpower to give every kid the time, attention, and love that they deserve. The more people there are volunteering at these shelters, the more beneficial it is to the children who call those places home. Being able to socialize with plenty of other people and receive the care they need is crucial to their development, and this couldn’t be done without the aid of volunteers. These days, there are many volunteer programs in place that allow people like you to find places in your area that require the extra help. You, too, can make a difference with just one Google search to see where you’re needed most.
A big problem with many fostercare or orphanage systems is the fact that once a child hits the age of a legal adult, they are no longer allowed to stay within their home. In many cases, these people don’t have the skills necessary to become an employed, self-sustaining individual. They may lack education or job experience. They may have never even left their home before, and are now being forced to leave and expected to survive on their own. Bulgaria has an orphan transition program in place to combat this tragic phenomenon. It’s designed to help children in these systems gain the skills necessary to open up more job opportunities to them, allowing them to gain the chances they need to become self-sufficient.
Total System Overhauls
Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, founder of You are Not Alone, has worked tirelessly to make changes to the orphanage system in Uzbekistan. The conditions before were not conducive to education, creative endeavors, or even basic rights in some cases. Karimova-Tillyaeva’s charity is designed to help take care of those problems, creating an environment in the mercy homes across the country that emulates an actual “home” feeling. The emphasis goes toward the care and consideration of how children are raised and the opportunities that they’re given in the future. This is a complete program design overhaul compared to the way the mercy homes worked before, aiming at everything from where the money goes to which fields are the main focal points. Sometimes, starting from the ground up is necessary to fix a broken system.
Donations and Charities
Many charities also exist that people can donate to if they’re unable to volunteer in person. These donations can be used for anything from necessities like food and clothing, to additional fun activities or expenses like holiday meals or field trips. The money given through charity and by individual donations is used to enrich the lives of these children and to better their life experiences. Just be sure that you know and trust the organizations that you’re sending your money to. Make sure that all of the money is going to help the children who need it most, and that the charity is trustworthy and transparent in all that they do.
The situation of these orphaned or fostered children around the world still needs improvement. However, people across the globe are working together to ensure that goal is met. You can also join in and help address and fix these problems, one at a time.