06 August 2018

Our Ambassador shares her orphanage experience with 7.4 million listeners


Rukhiya Budden revisiting the Kenyan orphanage where she grew up.

Our Ambassador, Rukhiya Budden, has been sharing her harrowing personal story of growing up in an orphanage in Kenya with listeners to BBC radio’s most popular current affairs show.

Speaking to Vanessa Feltz (standing in for Jeremy Vine) on BBC Radio 2, Rukhiya described the abuse and neglect she suffered as a young girl, trying to survive without the love and protection of a family in an orphanage in Nairobi.

Rukhiya’s full interview is available to listen on BBC Radio 2 (fast forward to 1 hour, 7 minutes and 58 seconds)

She went on to explain why she is so delighted about the UK Government’s recent commitment to the process of ending orphanage care worldwide.

In July, the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, formally acknowledged for the first time that growing up in institutions “harms children’s physical, emotional and psychological development” and announced that the Government would continue “to work towards the long-term process of de-institutionalisation” by supporting family and community-based care for all children.

Rukhiya told Vanessa of her gratitude to the UK Government, on behalf of eight million children confined to orphanages around the world, for their acknowledgement of the harm of orphanages—and for taking steps to bring about change.

Remembering her own childhood in an orphanage, Rukhiya told Vanessa, and the programme’s 7.4 million listeners, that no one ever checked her school report, came to her sports days, or read her bedtime stories—all the things she does for her own children today. Every child needs a family in which to belong.