When “Helping” Hurts Children
David’s 5th and Final Blog from Myanmar
It is a basic principle of economics that supply always increases to meet demand. If there is a demand for widgets, more widgets will be manufactured, all due to the hope of profits. And that is generally a good thing. When there is demand for heroin, however, heroin supply will increase to meet the demand. The same is true for porn. And the same is true for pseudo-orphanages and pseudo-orphans.
Myanmar’s orphanage industry is an example of this. As long as there is a demand for “orphans” to “help,” pseudo-orphanages filled with pseudo-orphans will continue to proliferate. Tragically, well-meaning donors create a demand for more children to be torn from their families and villages to fill pseudo-orphanages directed by profit-seeking pseudo-orphanage directors.
The only way to ultimately stop what amounts to a form of child-trafficking is to stop the demand for children to be trafficked. If donors stop demanding pseudo-orphanages to support, all pseudo-orphanages would close down and no new ones would start. All the children in the pseudo-orphanages would immediately return to their families and relatives, and parents would stop sending their children to orphanages, because there would be no orphanages to which they could send their children.
When we stopped supporting Myanmar’s pseudo-orphanages, that is what happened. The “orphanage” directors who could not find some other ministry to support their “orphanage” sent all their children back to families or relatives. Those who could find another ministry to support them continued to operate. Most did.
So it all comes down to donors. Thus, we consider donor education to be part of our God-given task. And I hope that explains the photo graphic at the top of this blog.
However, we don’t need donors to just stop supporting pseudo-orphanages. We also need them to support child-reintegration efforts. To do it properly requires a lot of effort and money. But in the end, it is actually more cost effective, not to mention the fact that children are much better off in families than they are in orphanages. And so below is another photo graphic that we’ll be using to spread the word.
If you can help us in our efforts to educate donors, that would be great.
Thanks for joining me on my journey to Myanmar!