- “I was one of the lucky ones.”
Olga KurylenkoToday, Olga Kurylenko is a successful Hollywood actress, but having been brought up in a single parent family in Ukraine, she knows only too well how children growing up in poverty are at risk of being locked up in the country’s vast network of orphanages. Now, Olga is calling on Ukraine to not back-track on its commitment to close all state orphanages by 2026.
- My journey from orphanage survivor to new dadOggi Tomic spent much of his own childhood in the largest institution in Sarajevo. Early last year, he became a dad for the first time. Here he describes how growing up without a family has overshadowed that experience.
- This person changed my Life
Natalie PinkhamNatalie Pinkham is a Patron for Hope and Homes for Children, mum to a young boy and girl, and Sky Sports F1 presenter. While at university, she volunteered in a Romanian orphanage. Here, Natalie reflects on a young girl she met who would change her life forever.
- A day in my life:
Elizabeth Niyongana, Family TracerElizabeth works for Hope and Homes for Children, tracking down the families of children in orphanages. One of the proudest moments of her career was when she reunited a little boy named Dadu with his family.
- Memories of dad and animals by Rose Bretécher:
A dead magpie peeked around the bedroom door and said ‘Hello’If you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? In this exclusive extract from Ted Kessler’s book, My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers, author and writer Rose Bretécher shares memories of her dad and animals.
- A lone battle for a lone father:
How a single parent of 14 children inspired Father’s DayAfter 62 years of perseverance, Sonora Smart Dodd finally got her wish. In 1972, the third Sunday in June officially became a national Father’s Day. Behind it is the story of two selfless lives, and one devoted family.
- Barry Wood by Anna Wood:
It is good to dance, in very short shorts, in the summertimeIf you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? In this exclusive extract from Ted Kessler’s book, My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers, short story writer Anna Wood remembers her dad, Barry Wood.
- Investing in each other: Julian Richer on family and philanthropyAs intergenerational wealth grows in popularity, Richer Sounds’ Julian Richer describes how his own philanthropy can be traced back to the social bonds of family.
- John Weller by Paul Weller:
There was nothing I could do that would shock himIf you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? In this exclusive extract from Ted Kessler’s book, My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers, Paul Weller, singer and songwriter, remembers his dad John Weller.
- A day in my life:
Adnan Vrbanjac, Social Worker“I often tell families that they need to register for health care… but I forgot to do this for my own daughter!” Adnan is a father and social worker in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Here’s a day in his life.
- Orphanages have no place in an Africa fit for childrenTo mark International Day of the African Child, we reshare an extract of a blog series by Stephen Ucembe exploring the harm of orphanages, and the role of family, across the continent.
- Tim Healy by Matthew Healy:
My dad has been famous longer than I’ve been aliveIf you were asked to write about your father, what would you say? In this exclusive extract from Ted Kessler’s book, My Old Man: Tales of Our Fathers, Tim Healy, singer and guitarist with the 1975, reflects on his dad, the actor Matthew Healy.
- More than food and shelter:
The importance of children’s social needsIn this exclusive blog, Mark Leary, PhD (Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University) explains why orphanages damage children by starving them of something just as vital as air and water.
- Continuing an incredible journey: How we’re reaching children with disabilities using SMS technologyInnocent Habimfura, Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, explains how an SMS technology pilot project has revolutionised the way we find and support children with disabilities.
- “Here help is not just words, it’s real.”Galina was desperate to escape her abusive marriage but she knew that if she left with nowhere to go, her son Ivan would be at risk of being sent to an orphanage. Thanks to the pioneering family support services that Hope and Homes for Children has developed in Ukraine, Ivan is growing up with his mum to love and protect him.
- How many children are there in orphanages around the world?We know that orphanages are harmful to children. But it is difficult to determine the scale of the problem. Exactly how many children are there in orphanages around the world? As Victoria Olarte, Senior Strategic Research Partner explains, statistics and evidence in the world of child rights is an ever-evolving picture. Since 2005, I’ve […]
- An incredible journey: Lighting the way to family care for every childInnocent Habimfura, Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, looks back on an extraordinary journey to lay the foundations for inclusive childcare reform in Rwanda and beyond.
- Meet the Romanian orphan who wants to shut every orphanage on Earth—31 years after CeausescuRomanian orphanage survivor and Hope and Homes for Children Global Ambassador Alexandra Smart spoke to BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion programme this week, for an episode which marked 31 years since news reports about Romania’s inhumane orphanages first shook the world. During her interview with presenter Kirsty Wark, Alexandra reflected on the first three years […]
- I know what happens when a government takes a child from her mother‘The Secret Life of Dorothy Soames’ recounts Justine Cowan’s mother’s upbringing as a foundling in London. Justine recounts her experience of the consequences of denying women the chance to raise their children, and denying children their mother’s love.
- Sudan’s first official Mother and Baby Unit: EU funding prevents baby abandonmentA 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.
- Why I am calling for childcare reform in AsiaOur Regional Director of Asia, Tessa Boudrie highlights the link between gender discrimination and orphanages—and why she’s standing with women on the frontlines, fighting for change.
- The woman who closes orphanages“When I see a child return to his family or find a new family, I am so happy to see their smile. That’s what keeps me moving and motivated and I know that I’m doing the right thing.”
- Only a mother’s love could overcome the heavy drinking that put Maxym and Anya at riskHope and Homes for Children’s support to help her overcome her addiction means these children are safe at home where they belong, with the people who love them.
- The six novels about orphans, institutions and adoption you really need to readToday, on World Book Day, best-selling author Catherine Isaac recommends six novels about orphans, institutions and adoption that have captured the imagination of readers worldwide.
- Why are there so many stories about orphans?On World Book Day, our Writer and Story Gatherer Isobel Eaton wonders why storytellers are so keen to cast children separated from their parents as central characters.
- Rukhiya’s story, part III: I’m not interested in making orphanages nicer places for childrenIn this final part of her story, Rukhiya explains why she is now so determined to help end the use of orphanages worldwide.
- Rukhiya’s story, part II: Finding family transformed my futureIn this second part of her story, Rhukiya describes how finding a new family freed her from the orphanage and transformed her life.
- Rukhiya’s story, part I: Growing up in an orphanage shaped my lifeTo celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re sharing the stories of remarkable women helping to strengthen and support families. Today, Rukhiya Budden describes how her harrowing childhood in Kenya drives her determination to help end orphanages.
- In support of distance learningChildren staying away from school to stay safe from Coronavirus instead risk illiteracy and social exclusion. Tsvetan Dimitrov explains how Hope and Homes for Children in Bulgaria are helping students to access education despite the pandemic.
- A Balkan journey: The catalyst for Hope and Homes for ChildrenOn the 25th anniversary of the Dayton Accord, which formally ended the Bosnian war in 1995, our founder Mark Cook reflects on how that conflict became the catalyst for Hope and Homes for Children.
- My life in ten objects:
Catherine Isaac, authorAs she prepares for the launch of her new novel, Sunday Times bestselling author Catherine Isaac has been talking to us about the objects that tell the story of her life.
- Life after the orphanage: Listening to care-leavers in Latin AmericaA recent research project encouraged care leavers across Latin America to share their own experiences—in their own words—and to help shine a light on the path to change. Victoria Olarte, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, reflects on its impact.
- The Lockdown Diaries, July 2020. “It’s like fleas in a dog…”From WhatsApp calls in Sudan to painting competitions in Romania, poetry writing in Bulgaria to games in Moldova, our teams used great ingenuity to find out about the lockdown experience of 168 children and young people. Joe Glackin considers what these young voices ask us, in return.
- How DFID funding helps keep thousands of children safe and free from orphanagesAs DFID prepares to merge with the Foreign Office, we look back at the life-changing impact UK Aid has made to our work.
- “What can we do now from the kitchen table for our children, families and young people?”Radu Tohatan, our team manager in Romania, was on the ground when the Coronavirus crisis hit. He describes how lockdown has changed his working life and its impact on the families he is striving to protect.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: NepalIn Nepal, Hope and Homes for Children is working with local partners to stop even more children being trafficked into orphanages and exploited for profit because of Coronavirus.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: IndiaSubhadeep Adhikari, project leader in eastern India, describes the impact of Coronavirus on his team and the children they are working to keep safe from trafficking and orphanages.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: South AfricaLourenza Steytler-Foghill, who leads our ‘One Child One Family’ strategic project in South Africa, explains how her dedicated team is helping vulnerable children and families survive one of the toughest lockdowns on earth.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: RomaniaCamelia Arba is a social worker with our team in Romania. Here she describes how the pandemic has affected their work and the families they continue to support.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: BulgariaValeria Draganova co-ordinates support for vulnerable children as part of Hope and Homes for Children’s expert local team in Bulgaria. This is how she describes their priorities in the face of Coronavirus.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: UkraineInformation officer, Olesia Doluda, explains how our team in Ukraine is overcoming new challenges to keep children safe and families together in the face of Coronavirus.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: RwandaRichard Munyaneza is a psychologist with our team in Rwanda. He explains how he and his colleagues are managing to overcome the new obstacles presented by Coronavirus.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for children and families: MoldovaLiliana Rotaru leads our partner organisation, CCF Moldova, working to protect children and keep families together. Here she describes her teams' new ways of working during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- On the frontline of Coronavirus for families and children: Bosnia & HerzegovinaJasmina Zulfikarpašić leads our team of social workers and psychologists in Bosnia & Herzegovina who are working harder than ever now to keep all children safe where they belong: in families.
- Why the commitment of the Commonwealth is vital to the end of orphanagesIn June this year, Rwanda will take over as chair of the Commonwealth. So what makes this a critical moment in the growing movement to eliminate orphanages?
- Orphanages threaten children’s mental health—for life. Here’s whyDecades of sound research shows that orphanages damage children’s physical, social and brain development in ways that can last a lifetime. But denying children the love and protection of a family also puts their mental health at serious risk.
- No Child Left Behind: Groundbreaking project in Rwanda and Uganda gathers momentumAnna Makanjuola, Senior Grants Partnerships Manager, describes the impact our latest UK Aid Match-funded project is having: changes they witnessed, the families they visited, and the striking progress being made.
- The challenges of our work during the Sudan crisis: Protecting mothers and babies in KhartoumFarid Idris, our Country Director in Sudan, explains how our team, together with our local partner Shamaa and a network of community and religious leaders, are successfully working to provide services to single mothers and other vulnerable women in Khartoum.
- “The question is not whether all institutions can be closed in Bulgaria, but how soon”The fragility of families continues to require our expert intervention. In this blog, Rebecca Allenby, Hope and Homes for Children’s Head of Grants Fundraising, captures her impressions of her recent trip to our work in Bulgaria.
- A world without orphanages is possible: The UN Resolution on the Rights of the Child 2019This week, history was made as the 193 member states of the United Nations recognised the harm that institutions cause children and called for institutions to be progressively eliminated, writes Nolan Quigley.
- Christmas in an orphanageStephen Ucembe grew up in an orphanage in Kenya. Here he remembers how it feels for a child to spend Christmas in an institution without a family.
- It’s high time we secured the rights of children—by making orphanages unacceptableMichela Costa, Head of Global Advocacy, reflects on the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
- Leaving the gift of love for childrenLeaving a gift to Hope and Homes for Children in your Will has a lasting impact
- Towards systemic change: our work to reform child care in South AfricaIn 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 systemsInstitutional 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 crisisA 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 childrenȘtefan 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 mediaWe 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 reformUkraine 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 loveIn 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 AfricaIn 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 protectionStephen 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 familyIn 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 IndiaIndia 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 storyRead 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 storyRead 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 storyRead 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 changeKate 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 storyThe 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 systemsDeinstitutionalisation 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.
- International day of education: breaking the cycle of povertyThe 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 careKate 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.
- “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 checklistIf 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 1Last 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 2This 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 EffectI 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 3Lesya - 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 2Lesya - 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 changerCEO 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 GuatemalaIn 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 1Lesya - 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 SuperheroesWelcoming 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 ProtectionOur 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 StoryIn 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 DayWhy 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 storiesI’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 mattersActor & 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 breakMalcolm 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 itHope and Homes for Children CEO Mark Waddington discusses progress towards pan-African reform of child protection.
- Building momentum in Latin AmericaVictoria 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 familyStephen 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 familyStephen 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 orphanagesDr Delia Pop, Director of Programmes and Global Advocacy, discusses the problems with voluntourism