Blog posts

  • Towards systemic change: our work to reform child care in South Africa
    In this blog, Hope and Homes for Children’s CEO Mark Waddington talks about his recent visit to South Africa where our team, thanks to the contribution of the partnership with A&O, is doing a tremendous work in shifting the needle dramatically towards a reform of child care.
  • What is institutional care? 15 characteristics of orphanage-based systems
    Institutional care is a type of residential care for large groups of children characterised by a one-size-fits-all approach. Children living in institutions, also known as orphanages, are provided with the same services, irrespective of their age, gender, abilities, needs and reasons for separation from parents.
  • Institutional care for children: the vicious circle of a global crisis
    A phenomenon increasingly recognised by professionals in the sector is that institutional care creates a vicious circle, whereby the very existence of institutions is a pull factor instigating family separation.
  • “Who could think orphanages can ever be closed?” 25 years on, how our work became a social justice movement for children
    Ștefan Dărăbuș, Hope and Homes for Children's Regional Operations Director for Central and Southern Europe and one of the architects of our work from the  beginning, reflects on the impact that we have made together as we continue to strive for a world without orphanages.
  • A guide for volunteers and travelers: 4 principles to promote dignity and break stereotypes on social media
    We are sharing this social media guide for volunteers and travelers to make sure that language and images are used to make a positive impact and break stereotypes, rather than reinforce them.
  • Dismantling Ukraine’s orphanage-based care system: a challenging national reform
    Ukraine has one of the largest system of institutional care in Europe, with more than 100,000 children living in 663 orphanages. In this Q&A blog, Halyna Postoliuk, Hope and Homes for Children Ukraine's Regional Operations Director, talks about the progress and the challenges of the national reform.
  • The harm of orphanages (part 3): the lack of stable and consistent love
    In a series of 3 blog posts, Stephen Ucembe, Regional Advocacy Manager for Hope and Homes for Children in East and Southern Africa, explore the damage of orphanages: without a parent figure, stability or a sense of certainty is often a mirage to children who are confined to loveless institutions.
  • The harm of orphanages (part 2): weakening family and community structures in Africa
    In a series of 3 blog posts we explore the damage of orphanages in the African context where often orphanages remain a legacy of colonial rule that continue to undermine family and community responses to caring for children.
  • The harm of orphanages (part 1): the illusion of protection
    Stephen Ucembe is Regional Advocacy Manager for Hope and Homes for Children in East and Southern Africa. In a series of 3 blog posts he explores the damage of orphanages in the African context.
  • There is an alternative to orphanages: that alternative is family
    In Jharkand, in the east of India, where Hope and Homes for Children is working to lay the foundation for child care system reform, many parents still see orphanages as the only way to keep their children safe in the face of extreme poverty and the threat of trafficking.
  • Piloting child care system reform in India
    India has the largest child population in the world at 400 million. Poverty, illness, disability, displacement and trafficking are among the factors that lead to high numbers of children being separated from their families.
  • What is wrong with Orphanage VolunTourism?
    Voluntourists are well-intentioned people who are looking for an opportunity to travel and contribute something to the countries they visit. But when it comes to volunteering in orphanages, these volunteers risk unwittingly harming rather than helping children.   
  • Reuniting families: Tom’s story
    Read Tom's story from Uganda. When we begin work to close an orphanage, our priority is to reunite as many children as possible with their birth families and to ensure that those families have the resources they need to stay together and to thrive.
  • Building new families: Anna’s story
    Read Anna's story from Rwanda. Providing safe and loving family-based alternatives for children is a fundamental part of the change needed to create a world where no child grows up in institutional care.
  • Keeping families together: Elena’s story
    Read Elena's story from Moldova. It’s not the lack of a family but the lack of support for families who are struggling with poverty, disability, discrimination and other pressures that drives children into orphanages.
  • Everyday heroes: the power of mothers for global change
    Kate Adams, Senior Policy and Strategic Relations Adviser, reflects on how we champion, celebrate and support mothers 365 days of the year. Yet, around the world, millions of children are being actively denied the right to a loving family through the continued shaming, shunning and sidelining of women – their mothers.
  • Why do children end up in orphanages?
    80% of children in orphanages have a living parent, but are abandoned because of poverty, disabilities or discrimination. There are four sets of reasons why children end up in orphanages.
  • Finding loving families for all children, whatever their needs: Tatiana’s story
    The UN General Assembly declared 21 March as World Down Syndrome Day. Today, we share Tatiana's story of hope: confined to an orphanage since she was born, Hope and Homes for Children's team in Moldova found her a loving foster family.
  • Supporting families to eliminate orphanages: how to transform child protection systems
    Deinstitutionalisation entails the comprehensive transformation of child protection systems to support families to care for their children. In 2018, with your support, we trained 9,353 social workers, child protection and other childcare professionals and volunteers.
  • Sudan’s first official Mother and Baby Unit: EU funding prevents baby abandonment
    A EU funded project in Sudan is training and empowering child protection professionals to help vulnerable women, set up new prevention services and reduce the stigma and discrimination towards single mothers.
  • 5 ideas for fundraising activities with children
    As a charity that puts family and children at its forefront, we know it’s important not to leave out our youngest fundraisers. Here are some of our favourite fundraising ideas for children.
  • International day of education: breaking the cycle of poverty
    The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education. Today, Hope and Homes for Children wants to highlight the impact that institutions (orphanages) have on educational outcomes.
  • We need a revolution for the way we care
    Kate Adams, Senior Policy and Strategic Relations Adviser, follows up on the BBC File on 4 doc "The Orphanage Business" and explains how everything we think we know about orphanages is a myth, and why there is never such thing as a good orphanage.
  • Ten great ideas to try out in 2019: Get involved and make a difference
    Eliminating orphanages needs courage, commitment, and you. We want you to feel equipped with all the information you need to support us in whatever way you choose, so we hope this blog will give you lots of ideas of how you can get involved.
  • Are There Still Children in Orphanages in Europe?
    There are well over a million children in institutional care in Central and Eastern Europe and it wasn’t until recently that some governments have begun to realise that, however well resourced, orphanages are harmful to children.
  • “We can’t leave the most vulnerable children behind”
    Mark Waddington and Dr Lisa Cameron MP discuss why orphanages pose a particular threat to children with disabilities and what needs to be done to ensure that all children grow up in families, never orphanages.
  • “When people visit orphanages, they don’t realise that they are supporting a system that harms children”
    Stephen Ucembe is Regional Advocacy Manager for Hope and Homes for Children in East and Southern Africa. He knows first-hand the negative impact that volunteers and other visitors have on children living in orphanages.
  • Want to volunteer abroad? Here’s your Volunteering 10-point checklist
    If you’re thinking about volunteering abroad, here’s what to look for to make sure your time overseas is genuinely spent making a difference: read the volunteering 10-point checklist.
  • Love Is Everything – Freddie Fox in Uganda – Part 1
    Last year, actor Freddie Fox travelled to Uganda with his friend Wallis Day. They wanted to see the grim reality of how orphanages operate and how Hope and Homes for Children aims to tackle this hidden global crisis.
  • Love Is Everything – Freddie Fox in Uganda – Part 2
    This is Part 2 of actor Freddie Fox's blog. Today he visits several orphanages in Uganda and explains how many are run for business purposes, targeting volunteers to boost their profits.
  • The Butterfly Effect
    I like to think about orphanage closures in terms of the butterfly effect; the idea that small changes can lead to much larger ones, that a butterfly fluttering its wings on one continent might eventually result in a hurricane on another.
  • A social worker’s story, Ukraine, Part 3
    Lesya - a social worker in Ukraine - always keeps her promises. Over the past five years, no child from her village has been placed in an institution. Here she tells the third in a series of stories about how she has managed to achieve this.
  • A social worker’s story, Ukraine, Part 2
    Lesya - a social worker in Ukraine - always keeps her promises. Over the past five years, no child from her village has been placed in an institution. Here she tells the second in a series of stories about how she has managed to achieve this.
  • Hope and Homes for Children helps deliver a global game changer
    CEO Mark Waddington explains the 'game changing' impact today's announcement by the UK Government will have on children with disabilities locked away in orphanages across the world.
  • “Can my children be beautiful?”
    No one makes the case against orphanages more powerfully than those who have spent their childhoods in these institutions. Read the words of Alia, a lady who grew up in an orphanage in one of the poorest areas of Nairobi, who I met when I visited there last week.
  • Reflections on Guatemala
    In 2017, more than forty children died in a fire at an overcrowded children’s home in Guatemala. A year on, Victoria Martin, Regional Director of Hope and Homes for Children in Latin America and the Caribbean reflects on the impact of this tragedy:
  • A social worker’s story, Ukraine, Part 1
    Lesya - a social worker in Ukraine - always keeps her promises. Over the past five years, no child from her village has been placed in an institution. Here she tells the first of a series of stories about how she has managed to achieve this.
  • Modern Day Superheroes
    Welcoming a new child into your life is always a challenge, whether you are a biological parent or a foster carer, because all children are beautiful human beings with unique personalities from the day that they are born.
  • The Illusion of Protection
    Our recent audit's findings are stark. Orphans make up only 9% of all the children confined to orphanages and other facilities in Ukraine.
  • Atete and Uwera’s Story
    In January, Sarah Whiting, Director of Fundraising for Hope and Homes for Children, visited our work in Rwanda. This is her personal account of meeting one of the many families that we help to support there.
  • Tell a Story Day
    Why are there so many famous stories about orphans? On “Tell A Story Day”, we asked our Writer and Story Gatherer, Isobel Eaton, to explain:
  • Rediscovering the power of stories
    I’ve always loved stories. I remember lying in bed spellbound as my parents read The Adventures of the Wishing Chair and The Wind in the Willows.
  • Where have the children gone?
    Lourenza Foghill updates on Hope and Homes for Children's work in South Africa and our unique pilot project to close three orphanages in Gauteng Province.
  • Family matters
    Actor & writer Ruth Jones, one of the celebrities taking part in our annual Carol Concert in Kensington, London, talks about why family matters to her.
  • Take a break
    Malcolm and Jo Rolfe have been loyal friends of Hope and Homes for Children since our earliest days. Earlier this year, they discovered a less conventional way to increase their support for Hope and Homes for Children – by going on holiday.
  • People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it
    Hope and Homes for Children CEO Mark Waddington discusses progress towards pan-African reform of child protection.
  • Building momentum in Latin America
    Victoria Martin, our Regional Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean, describes the challenge we face in ending the institutionalisation of children in Latin America and the exciting developments.
  • Part 2: A place to call home, people to call family
    Stephen Ucembe explains how he beat extraordinary odds to train as a social worker and dedicate his professional life to defending children's rights
  • Part 1: A place to call home, people to call family
    Stephen Ucembe is our Regional Advocacy Manager in East and Southern Africa. Here, he gives a personal account of his childhood growing up in institutional care.
  • It’s good to volunteer – but not in orphanages
    Dr Delia Pop, Director of Programmes and Global Advocacy, discusses the problems with voluntourism

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