Orphanages versus homes and families

Written by on December 22, 2009 in Notes By The Way, Vulnerable Children and Families with 0 Comments

I’m spending Christmas this year with my family at an orphanage in Cambodia. It’s a decent place run with genuine love on a very low budget (much lower than the linked article). They care for kids living with HIV, who are rejected by most orphanages. And they could use some money, if you’re looking to give, because they run on a shoestring.

That being said; I hope for a future without orphanages. I’d like to see orphaned kids being raised by their extended families, because the majority of “orphans” in the world have relatives who could take them in. Heck, a lot of them have at least one parent alive (the definition of “orphan” in Cambodia is that at least one parent has died). Often the relatives are very poor, so they think an orphanage would be better for the child, but a small subsidy would help them accept the responsibility.

Here’s an excellent article from the New York Times┬áthat┬ámakes a case for supporting families rather than starting more and more orphanages.

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About the Author

About the Author: Andy Gray is a writer and photographer living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and working with Alongsiders International. You can find him puttering around the streets of Phnom Penh on his Suzuki Viva 125, running stoplights and driving on the wrong side of the road or on the sidewalks like a local. If you see him in a coffee shop, he'll be the one typing and deleting the same line over and over again. .


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