It’s my first day as an intern at the charity Care for Children in Norwich, UK. I’m preparing for a three-week project in Chiang Mai, Thailand where I will be writing an evidenced based report for the charity examining its work in relation to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
I attended The Hague International Model United Nations conference earlier this year and it has genuinely surprised me how much Care for Children’s work reflects the UN’s objectives in this specific area.
The charity’s vision is to see 1 million orphaned children placed into foster families and out of institutions, giving them loving parents that can provide them with a unique and complete upbringing. The necessity of a family upbringing for a child’s healthy development is the charity’s core belief, and the evidence for this is convincing. Founded by a former UK social worker, Robert Glover, it has so far seen over 300,000 children placed into local families, using a very different approach to other charities.
From my experiences I would compare Care for Children more to a UN organisation than a charity. It partners with governments and encourages them to change their care system by proving to them how successful and beneficial it is to switch to a family placement based program. It works with orphanages on the ground from a grassroots standpoint, just as many charities do, but is globally unique in the way it also partners with the government of a country to reproduce the same effects at a national level.
Care for Children doesn’t run any ‘Sponsor a child’ programs. It does not think in the short term of sending money to a few orphanages and sending back pictures of happy, beaming children to its sponsors. For me their strategy looks more like a UN resolution; providing seed funding for families to support them at the start of fostering, encouraging a change in national legislation and government systems at the top, and running projects on the ground to demonstrate the success of their strategy to the county first hand. It even retrains orphanage workers, who could be left unemployed by the transition, to carry out other beneficial work in the community.
When I leave for Thailand in a few days I will be exploring the connection the remarkable charity has with the UN further as I write my report on how their work meets the SDGs. I will be studying how this transition from institution based care to foster care directly and indirectly addresses some of these goals for the orphans and thus how the charity’s methods and beliefs have the potential to bring about lasting, positive change to the lives of the 8 million orphans around the world.’
If you are able to support the amazing work Care for Children does, please follow the link below and make a donation!