25 July 2018

Now is the time for others to follow UK’s lead and champion families not orphanages

Gatesi was abandoned at birth and could have spent her childhood in a Rwandan orphanage. Instead she is growing up with the love and protection of her foster mother, Mutesi

Hope and Homes for Children is joining forces with other leading charities, politicians and big businesses to help the UK Government fulfil its groundbreaking commitment to the long term process of closing overseas orphanages and promoting family and community-based care for all children.

Yesterday, for the first time, the UK formally recognised that orphanages harm children and promised to back family and community-based care for children around the world.

Now Hope and Homes for Children and Lumos have led an alliance of other NGOs, including Save the Children, Plan and World Vision, in launching a new Civil Society Compact that echoes the UK Government’s commitment and supports global change for children trapped in overseas orphanages.

The CSO Compact sets out a pathway to help end the institutionalisation of children worldwide and commits its signatories to work together to achieve this end.

At the same time, Hope and Homes for Children has been working with some of the UK’s leading businesses, private sector organisations and politicians to establish a taskforce that will help drive words into action following the Global Disability Summit. The taskforce, which includes founding members Lord Paddy Ashdown, UBS Optimus Foundation and major law firms Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, will work to redirect the overseas resources and philanthropy – including of big UK-based businesses – to causes that support families instead of orphanages.

With the Government’s acknowledgement that orphanages harm children, we believe that now is the time for other governments, funders, companies and individuals to follow the UK’s lead and invest in alternatives to orphanages so all children can thrive in families.