Why are you talking to us and not the UK Government?
Hope and Homes for Children and our partners have been working with the UK Government for the last four years, with the result that in February 2019, the UK Governments largest funding mechanism for developing countries, UK Aid Direct, clearly stated in its latest funding guidance, “UK Aid Direct will not fund Orphanages and children’s institutions”.
However, public support from individuals is critical to achieving our long-term objectives as this can help us to keep these important issues on the agenda. Without the support of taxpayers and political constituencies, governments are restrained from making the political commitment we need and allocating resources to support that.
Furthermore, as long as these issues are not widely understood by the public, large donors, UN agencies and NGOs will continue to prioritise other issues that they feel can be more easily monitored and communicated to their supporters.
Perhaps most importantly, it is vital that we change attitudes towards institutional care if we are going to achieve our goal. In spite of the overwhelming evidence that institutional care is damaging to children, orphanages continue to draw support from well-intentioned individuals in the UK and other developed countries who genuinely believe they are helping these children. There are new orphanages opening every day in some parts of the world. It is therefore critical that we not only build support in the corridors of power for our work to close institutions, but ensure that private individuals are aware so that they can make informed decisions about where to give their support.