“Love. One-on-one care and attention. A sense of belonging and identity. Safe spaces to play and learn. Trusting relationships. Being part of a community. These are things that all children need to grow up happy, healthy and strong – and that only a family can provide,” is the opening statement of the publication titled “Ending Institutional Care in Africa: Question and Answers”, recently released by Transform Alliance Africa.
The publication provides substantively researched answers to a range of frequently asked questions about children living in institutions popularly known as orphanages and children’s homes in many parts of Africa. Some of the featured questions include; why is it necessary to move children out of orphanages? Aren’t orphanages still needed to care for orphans? Can African governments successfully implement family and community care? What about children with disabilities and very complex special needs?
In addition, the document is interlaced with Individual observations and experiences from young people from an institution, parent of a reintegrated child, and a mother living in poverty. For example, a parent to a reintegrated child shared, “When my child first left the institution he suffered from fear, lack of confidence and had speech problems”. This and other quotes shared in the document demonstrate the impact of institutional care and the need to support and raise children in families and communities.
Finally, beyond the problems and challenges the document highlights what African Governments, Institutions, civil society organizations and donors can do to address the issue.
To Download the publication, click here Ending Institutional Care in Africa Questions & Answers