As the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development rolls out its plan to move from institutional care to family and community based care for children it is imperative that all stakeholders including other government ministries, the corporate sector and civil society be focused on the common objective and work together to lay a strong foundation.
It is a big task. We need to to collaborate to end the practice of children being raised in institutions; to transition to a family and community based care system that will end the disturbing trend in babies being abandoned.
Focuses on three areas:
Our goal is to:
OrphanCare is working with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and select registered private child care institutions on reintegrating children back into families.
Findings from OrphanCare’s pilot reintegration project presented at our national conference in November 2016 highlighted several areas that need immediate attention. Inadequate housing, insufficient financial aid for single mothers, lack of facilities and services such as free day care and medical support especially for children with disabilities are challenging issues.
Reintegration is a drawn out process that takes 6 months to 2 years and sometimes even longer. Reuniting an orphan from an institution with his or her family is fraught with problems. Poverty is a significant factor; families struggle with basic needs as they live hand to mouth.
During the transition period children and their families need to quickly establish some level of socio-economic independence for the emotional security that makes re-bonding work. We recognise this. Our reintegration programmes target economics and psychology. If poverty caused the separation that situation must be remedied.
We invite interested, willing and able parties to work with us to facilitate this crucial transition period. Building capacity in family and community based services and developing programmes requires a multifaceted approach. Building the infrastructure and network to sustain these children and their families requires input from a variety of sources.
Use your ingenuity to help us address:
Ensure each family unit has enough resources and the means to meet basic needs such as shelter, health, nutrition and schooling costs
For example, help a family:
Arrange for families to have at least three balanced meals a day
Give children and family members access to formal and/or alternative education programmes, tuition or vocational training
The health care children receive during critical early stages influences physical growth and mental and social development. Clinics and retired health care professionals for example can chip in with valuable assistance.
Provide professional counselling support for institutionalised children and family members
Help communities understand the rights of children, protect children from abuse, neglect and exploitation and give vulnerable children access to legal assistance with regards property and guardianship