Grapevine Stories

Why we all need to support Hope and Homes for Children

Grapevine have chosen to support Hope and Homes for Children as one of their three charities they will be donating to.No child should grow up in an orphanage - Hope and Homes is on a mission to eradicate them. Every child deserves love, laughter and protection.

Always Family. Never Orphanages

Give every child someone to love them completely

“Unnoticed” “Hopeless” “No hugs” “Fear” “Violence” “No dignity” “Neglected” “Unloved”

These are just some of the words children have used to describe to us their experience of growing up in an orphanage.  

Every child needs a family. They need protection, encouragement, play, laughter and love. They need somewhere to call home and someone who will always look out for them.

A child should never grow up in an orphanage. Orphanages don’t protect children, they harm them. And they are never necessary.

Mihai who is 9 years old and lives in Moldova.  Mihai’s family had no home and so he was separated from his mother, taken to an orphanage and left alone in an isolation unit for three weeks to make sure he wasn’t carrying germs he might pass on to the other children. In the orphanage he was known by a number, not his name. Hope and Homes for Children in Moldova were able to find a new home for Mihai, his mother and baby sister and give them the support they needed to live together again as a family.

Poverty, discrimination and a lack of support can mean desperate parents see orphanages as the only way to secure healthcare, education or a better future for their children. That’s why 80% of the 8 million children confined to orphanages are not orphans at all, they have at least one living parent or close relative. And for children who cannot be with their own families, there is always a better option than an orphanage. 

Decades of evidence prove that orphanages harm children, subjecting them to high levels of sexual and physical abuse, extreme neglect and stunting of their physical, emotional and psychological development. Some children in orphanages will never even learn to talk or walk.

Put simply: the last thing an orphanage can provide is the first thing a child needs - someone to love them. 

With your support, Hope and Homes for Children can:

Keep families together, and never let children lose the people who love them.

Reunite families, to help children come back to the people who love them

Build new families, to give children someone to love them for the first time in their lives

Our teams of skilled, local child-protection professionals are working around the world to find safe, sustainable and loving family-based solutions for each individual child. At the same time,  our international team is leading the global movement and driving reform to put an end to an antiquated system that is neither necessary nor working.

If you believe every child deserves a family, join us as we consign orphanages to history. Together, we can end this global crisis in our lifetime.

It's time to say: Always family. Never orphanages.

Uwera and her foster mum Atete, Rwanda – Uwera’s foster mother, Atete saved Uwera’s life, not once but twice. Atete found Uwera when she was abandoned as a baby, took her home and cared for her. After three weeks the authorities told Atete she must take Uwera to the local orphanage.  Atete was heartbroken. At three-and-a-half years of age, Uwera was no bigger than a two-year-old and she could neither walk nor talk. When Hope and Homes for Children began work to close the orphanage, our social workers assessed Atete and her family and agreed that Uwera should go to live with them. Today Uwera is the centre of attention in her new home. Her bond with Atete is clear.

The facts:

This is a global crisis. There are an estimated 8 million children confined to orphanages around the world. Many millions more are at risk of being separated from their families and sent to an orphanage.

8 out of every 10 children living in orphanages are not orphans. They have living family members who could care for them with the right support.

100 years of scientific research proves that orphanages don’t protect children they harm them. Orphanages subject children to neglect and abuse, including systematic rape and other forms of sexual abuse; exploitation, including trafficking; physical harm such as beatings and torture; and psychological harm including isolation, the denial of affection and humiliating discipline.

Children who experience the extreme neglect of orphanages show dramatically decreased brain activity compared to those who were never institutionalised.

Orphanages not only destroy childhoods, they can rob children of a future too. As adults, children who survive orphanages are 10 times more likely to enter prostitution than children raised in families, 40 times more likely to get a criminal record, and 500 times more likely to take their own lives.

A loving family is a fundamental for children. Evidence from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project shows that only 3.2% of children in orphanages had a clear attachment with a caregiver, compared to 100% of children living with their parents.

Family is crucial for a child’s development. Evidence from our work shows that 18 months after being removed from an orphanage and placed in a family environment, the development of children under the age of six quickly recovered from 61% of typical levels to 99%.

There is a growing global movement to eliminate orphanages. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) clearly recognises that the ideal setting for a child to grow up is within a family environment that provides an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. The family “should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance.”

Today, a steadily growing number of governments are making legal and policy commitments to ensure children can grow up in families, never orphanages. 

Jacinta, India - When poverty meant Jancinta’s family could no longer care for her, she was at risk of being sent to grow-up alone in an orphanage. Now she has the support she needs to stay with her family, in  her community, and look to the future.

Hope and Homes for Children is a registered charity. No 1089490.

Grapevine is a trusted network of private members, linking kindred spirits from town or country. Members promote, sell or buy goods and services within the network.

Grapevine also believes in supporting young people to get a strong start through internships and work placements. We also help a number of charities including Heads Together and The Injured Jockeys Fund.