We avoid the term “orphanage”, but the projects we support include two centres which provide a safe home to children in danger. We strongly believe the best place for children to grow up is in a safe family home that supports their wellbeing and development, whenever this is possible. Most of our work directly with children and families is focused on resettlement (e.g. getting children off the streets and back home) and helping families grow their capacity to care for their children at home (e.g. our microfinance loans which support mothers to develop small businesses). For those children in particularly difficult circumstances without this option, we work with Ghana’s Department for Social Welfare to find solutions. These include the following projects, run by local partners, with our support:
This is a rehabilitation facility which provides temporary residence and care to vulnerable babies and carers while working to resettle them. This home does not permanently “institutionalise” children but removes them from danger and actively works to resettle them in their community while working to address issues (in the community) that are putting children at risk. The centre receives many referrals from local health facilities and the Department for Social Welfare, in the absence of state-supported solutions.
Operation Mango Tree (OMT)
Operation Mango Tree exists to provide a safety net to children without a safe family home, who are at risk (often facing abuse, neglect or exploitation). OMT is an official referral facility for Ghana’s Department of Social Welfare, so many of the children it supports have been identified by this authority as requiring care. OMT works to resettle children with family/community where possible, but there are a number of children who we have not been able to find such solutions for, for whom the centre provides a long-term residence. The home supports around 30 children at a time and provides a family-like environment conducive to residents’ wellbeing and development, with a 7:1 child to carer ratio. It is a licenced children’s home, compliant with Ghana’s Care Reform Initiative and works in partnership with the Department for Social Welfare to deliver its service. AfriKids and OMT work together for continuous improvements to safeguarding and resettlement solutions and always put the interests of the children we support first.