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Orphan’s Tear Ministry

Parentless and Vulnerable

One of the greatest contributors to the vulnerability of children around the world is separation from the love, care, and protection of a family. Poverty, disease, disability, abuse, conflicts and disasters are but a few reasons why children find themselves out of parental care. 

This ministry exists to care for vulnerable children by preventing their unnecessary separation from family, strengthening family care and reducing the numbers of children being placed in orphanages and institutions.

We believe that God designed and ordained families to care for children. Psalm 68:6 states that “God sets the lonely in families”.

Although an orphanage may meet a child’s physical needs, the research of child development specialists has concluded that their social and emotional needs are unmet or under-developed when living in long-term residential care. Despite this, residential care remains the first, or often only option available to vulnerable children in many developing countries.

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Working Towards Family Care

In one such country, Myanmar, where there are many needy children living in orphanages, the ministry of Orphan’s Tear has begun to challenge the mindset that promotes the continued use of this model, at the same time introducing processes to reform institutional childcare, moving towards family and community based care services.

This is called Deinstitutionalisation. The aims of which are:

  • Reunification—the process of reuniting children with their own families, as up to 80% of children have parents or other family members that could care for them. It’s not simply the act of returning a child home; it’s a broader process involving consultations and assessments culminating in the development of care plans by trained social workers. The timeframe for reintegration is dependent on the individual situation of each child and family. 
  • Reintegration—the process of preparing a child to return to life in a community or family, not necessarily their family of origin. Like the reunification process, identifying and overcoming obstacles before the child leaves residential care, to ensure that the child is able to function in a family and the wider community, are outworked by trained social workers.
  • High quality short-term and temporary care for children which, depending on their unique circumstances, may be the best available option, can be provided by former orphanage facilities once reunification and reintegration has been achieved and necessary adaptions and training has been implemented. Places of safety for emergency care and transit centers in emergency situations will always be needed, but the emphasis will be on short-term, temporary and small groups. For some older children, where family-based care is inappropriate, semi-independent living, vocational training and further education can also be supported.

Top left photo: child at an orphanage in India, bottom left photo: child and his mother after being reunited in Myanmar

Each Child is Worth the Effort

Through the use of micro-finance, our ministry already supports many individual families which has prevented a large number of children being sent to orphanages. Community development for agricultural collectives, food banks and other sustainable business opportunities also constitutes a large part of our commitment to strengthening families and communities, providing one of the key components for successful reunification, reintegration and prevention of separation. 

The process of increasing family care options, decreasing reliance on orphanages, and ensuring quality of care requires significant investment of human and financial resources. We all have a role in supporting the needs of the vulnerable. While orphanages have been a primary focus of support for many decades, there is a vital and growing need for greater understanding and support of family-based approaches.

As well as Myanmar, the ministry of Orphan’s Tear operates in Kenya, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Moldova, Nepal, Tanzania, Malawi and India.

How You Can Help

Your gift will help orphaned and abandoned children discover their identities of sons and daughters in Christ as they are cared for in family-style environments.

A gift of $50 can provide a small pig to help an impoverished family earn enough income to send one of their children to school

A gift of $300 can help poor parents plant a cash crop so they can afford to bring their child home from an orphanage

A gift of $2,500 can provide micro-loans to an entire village so families can afford to send their children to school rather than an orphanage

Or invest any amount to help provide Christian nurture to vulnerable orphans around the world

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