We really are fine with you donating to orphanages directly. The main reason people donate through us is that we are able to report back to you on how your funds were actually used. Our partner orphanages have been carefully vetted to make sure your funds will be spent wisely on the highest-priority projects. When you donate to A Child’s Hope Foundation, 100% of your donation goes to the orphanage and helps their kids.
A Child’s Hope Foundation is recognized as a tax-exempt public charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, donations given to A Child’s Hope may be tax-deductible in the U.S. Consult with a tax professional for information about your ability to deduct charitable contributions.
We have in-depth requirements for reporting at our partner orphanages, and we have in-country leaders who regularly visit the homes. They have meaningful relationships with the leaders, caregivers and kids so they see firsthand what’s happening on-site.
Orphanages may not be the ideal solution for children, but in many areas of the world they are the primary solution and it will take decades for countries to transition into other types of programs. We are grateful for the work of other organizations that are focused on helping governments implement foster care programs, reunite families, and provide community welfare support that can enable families to stay together. Our mission is focused on providing a future to children who are already in the orphanage system for a variety of reasons, especially for those children who were abused by their parents and may not be safely reunited with them.
We also acknowledge that orphanages come in all shapes and sizes. An orphanage in one country might have just as easily been called a “group home” in the U.S. The reality is that residential care is, and will continue to be, necessary throughout the world. We simply seek to make it better by shining a light on those homes that are delivering superior results and helping them receive the necessary resources.
Our certification process is set up to help us thoroughly examine each orphanage we work with and determine their eligibility, based on how they fare on our Thrive Assessment, which measures the health of the orphanage in 15 specific categories.
Before we even start working on the Thrive Assessments and Orphanage Improvement Roadmaps with homes, we do an initial evaluation called a “qualifying assessment”, during which we visit on site, meet the orphanage leadership, observe the kids, and get a good feeling about what kind of home it is. This helps us gain a solid preliminary understanding of the home before starting our major efforts to help them on the path to certification.
Our certification process is the only one of its kind, and we work with strategic partners to implement Child Advancement Programs, which consist of tutoring, therapy, caregiver support and mentorship.
If you seek to understand the challenges orphaned and vulnerable children face and the variety of ways people and organizations can help is always helpful because knowledge brings understanding, compassion and inspiration.
As you learn more, we have several ways you can be of service. We have an extended volunteer program, where individuals and more mature couples can spend 6 months to two years living at an orphanage and serving as mentors for the kids. We also have several local volunteer positions available at any given time, if you’d like to work with us without traveling to Mexico.
You can also serve as a “fiesta facilitator” and host a party for your friends and family to learn about what we do, for which we can provide all the necessary materials. We also are always looking for social media ambassadors to work with us regularly to share our mission with their online communities. You can also use social media to host a fundraiser, and/or set up your Amazon Smile account to be connected with us. If you’re interested in any of these opportunities, please reach out to learn more at email@example.com.
Orphaned children are either children who are not safe with their families, children whose parents are deceased or otherwise absent, or children whose parents are unable, or who feel like they’re unable, to take care of them due to extreme poverty.
There may, for some, be a concern that if orphanages are exemplary places for children to grow up, parents in situations of hardship will have all the more reason to abandon their children as a hope that their child can have a better life. While we acknowledge that this does happen, our first priority is always the children. We believe that every child deserves to grow up in a safe, healthy environment with loving caregivers and be appropriately prepared for adulthood, and that’s what we strive for in our work.
Also, the majority of homes we support, including all of the homes in Mexico, only accept kids who have been either orphaned due to the loss of their parents or because their living situation is very unsafe and are placed there by the governing agency over child welfare.
We are grateful for organizations that are working toward family reunification while we prioritize the needs of children who are already in orphanages.
The kids and their caregivers have told us that because they never get to go on vacations, our service trips feel like vacations for them. Breaking up their routine is good for them, and they’re able to play and go on outings with us while we’re there.
While we use local talent and resources wherever possible, we also acknowledge that our biggest supporters come from trips, as trips often create a lasting impression and relationship on both sides.
We buy supplies locally and enlist the help of local contractors wherever possible. While the service we perform at the orphanages could be performed by hired help, we also need to consider the financial constraints the orphanage directors face. They don’t always have the funds to hire local contractors, and our volunteer projects ease the financial burden on them.
Institutionalization is the state of being placed or kept in a residential institution. While it may sound (and in some cases can be) harmful, it isn’t always. Boarding schools, for example, could be considered institutions, as could group foster homes. An orphanage is an institution, and orphanages can be either helpful or harmful, depending on the type of care the children receive there.
While most developed countries use foster care as their primary form of orphan care, the reality is that developing countries don’t yet have the necessary infrastructure to build a proper foster care system. Many of these nations don’t even provide government funding for orphanages. Setting up a foster care system is costly and requires training and recruitment of foster parents, in addition to social workers to ensure that those parents are properly serving the children. These are things that many countries simply do not have. Until orphanages cease to be necessary, there will still be a need to support them.
We support and encourage efforts to provide foster care for kids, but know that right now in many countries they are not scalable to help every child in an orphanage.
We support them; we both share goals for children to thrive and have the best care possible. We look forward to a day without orphanages as well, but we also acknowledge that orphanages are preferable to the severe abuse and neglect that the majority of orphaned children come from. In fact, there are some studies that show that outcomes in children are no worse coming from orphanages than they are coming from foster care, as the developmental difficulties are the same and the caregiving goals are the same between the two.
The issue with shutting down orphanages is that it requires government or community infrastructure (i.e. a functioning foster care system) to be in place to receive the displaced and abandoned children. Where this type of solution isn’t always available, there will still be a need for orphanages until such resources are accessible.