Orphanages are popular in international development, as they appear to be an easy and concrete way to make a difference. It is also easy to fundraise for orphanages, as they appeal to our instincts to protect vulnerable children.

Unfortunately, this is often a waste of aid money, and can even do harm.

Is an orphanage needed?[edit | edit source]

Immediately after a disaster, thousands of children may be separated from their parents. Given time, however, parents may be located or other relatives may take the children into their care.

After the boxing day tsunami, 6000-10,000 children were estimated to be without parents. In the following two months, that dropped to 60 who had not been taken into the care of adults they knew before the disaster.

Potential harm[edit | edit source]

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, missionaries were stopped in their attempt to take "orphans" out of the country without following due process. Many of the orphans were found to have living parents.

Diversion of funds from more appropriate projects is a major problem with this kind of program.

Parents sometimes place their children in orphanages as the orphanages are well funded, and they cannot receive similar support to care for and educate their children themselves.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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Authors Chris Watkins
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Created June 24, 2011 by Chris Watkins
Modified August 23, 2023 by StandardWikitext bot
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