What’s more, these children aren’t even considered part of a community in many cases. The global trend in urbanization has brought millions of people into the cities from rural areas. The "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality in Africa, and other parts of the developing world, is being shattered.
Cities are now mass agglomerations of different tribal groups and village backgrounds. When the parents die, the children often don’t know where they originally came from and there’s often no extended family around to take them in.
The presenter was right about one thing, though. Institutionalization is not the answer. We abhor it at World Orphans and I abhor it personally. I told this presenter as much afterwards.
World Orphans is involved in the full spectrum of orphan rescue and care, from prevention to integration into families to transition programs for formally institutionalized children. This is all done through local indigenous churches.
So, maybe we need to clarify and equate terms. I will argue that a church-based solution is the community-based solution.
If needed, putting children into church families is synonymous with putting them into community families. It’s the same thing. The church is either the center of the village or the new "village" that can help to raise a child.
The difference is that the Church has the infrastructure, staff and compassion, to make community-based solutions a successful reality. The church is the screening and monitoring mechanism. The church is the rescue and care mechanism. The church is part of the community, fully integrated into the community. They know the families. They know the kids.
...And the church has the moral fiber and accountability structures to ensure children aren’t being taken in to be used, abused, or exploited.
To be continued...