Globally, more than 8 million children live in children’s homes, of which almost 1 million live in the GUS alone.
In Kyrgyzstan, one of the poorest countries in GUS, a disproportionate amount of children grows up without families; over 11.000 at population of only 6 million.
Very few are aware that around 80 % of children living in orphanages across the world are not actually orphans without any parents. They are social orphans, meaning they still have at least one parent.
In Kyrgyzstan around 94% of children in homes are so-called social orphans. The parents are not able to raise their children themselves for various reasons. They may be living in poverty (32% of children in Kyrgyzstan live in poverty), the child may be born with disability for which care appears to be impossible, or the mother is on her own or still a teenager.
The most common solution at hand is to put the child in institutional care.
However, the decision to have the child grow up in institutional care has heavy consequences; not only for the affected child but also for the family and for the whole community.
The children abandoned by their families receive too little of everything; too little attention, support and education. Something they especially lack are physical and emotional contact. Love and care are especially vital throughout the first couple of years of the child’s development.
The lack of loving care has a negative, potentially irreversible physical and mental effect on younger children. Studies show that these children may face restrictions for the rest of their lives and have significant problems as adults to integrate into society. Many do not manage to work and to be self-sufficient. Statistics of suicides and criminal offences are showing that a disproportional high percentage of victims and offenders grew up in orphanages.
Uplift’s goal is to positively influence the seemingly helpless situation of the children and their families.
We are working in corporation with the people affected on sustainably and need-oriented solutions which improve the situation of children in homes, and enable them to be adopted.
In particular we are active in prevention and ensure that most kids stay with their families.
Our Uplift solutions show that many of the orphanage scenarios are not only avoidable but also reversible.