Articles

Orphanages for Money

During my trip to Myanmar and my visits to various children’s homes there, I was given a closer look at a different kind of ‘orphanage’. Seeing the children’s homes, hearing their stories and about their backgrounds it already became apparent to me that the children in these homes are not orphans, nor were they abandoned without any hope of tracing their families again. The vast majority of children in these children’s homes have living relatives, with whom they lived before coming to Yangon. And a portion of these children even still has one or two living parents. With this I
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Hypothermia

It is easy to underestimate how dangerous low body temperature can be in infants. Thankfully if action is taken in time, it is also amazing how effectively and simply it can be reversed, and all completely low-tech. Hypothermia will cause all body systems to slow down dramatically. Heartrate and breathing will become very slow, which may cause oxygen saturation of the blood to drop. The baby will become drowsy and may be too weak to be able to drink. This leads to a vicious circle. Without the heat of warm milk and the calories gained from it, the baby’s body
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To-Do List

A look at my To-Do list on starting up an orphanage project, and some explanations about the hows and whys. This is what usually keeps me busy for the first week or two after arrival. How long it takes exactly to have all these things done thoroughly and in which order they happen depend on the circumstances. Mostly on the number of children I am dealing with and the number of crises I encounter in the meantime. Tour of the facilities To become acquainted with the set up of the children’s home(s), offices and possibly other buildings. The next step
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Millenium Goal Nr 4

Part of a letter I have sent to UNICEF, the contents of which are relevant to all of us: I am happy to see what has been achieved to date on Millenium Goal nr. 4, the reduction of child mortality. This is the area in which I work as well. Progress is definitely being made. What continues to surprise and sadden me, however, is the fact that like in all UN/UNICEF undertakings to improve children’s lives and chances of survival, children in institutional care are being studiously ignored. I am aware of the UN’s aim to make childcare institutions redundant,
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Requirements For A Project

When I started out with Orphanage Projects I thought that if I was invited to come and help out in an institution, this was all that was required to ensure a fruitful cooperation. That the road towards improvement of care was then evened out. This is a naivety which I have lost along the way. I am still willing to travel to any location in the world where people want my help to improve their care for infants, toddlers and multiply handicapped children. This offer is not restricted by the means available to the institution, the kind of accommodation they
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The Importance of Love and Attention

It is clear to most people that growing up with your family is different from growing up in a children’s home. However do you really know what the impact of that difference can be? Many people will react with the remark: ‘It is of course unfortunate, but really, none of us have it all in this life, how much worse can this be than the disappointments we all have to face in life?’ <pstyle=”text-align: justify;”>The answer to that question is that it can be much, much worse. That it can, in fact, in extreme cases be fatal. So let us
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