Orphan Care

Looking after children affected by HIV in Ecuador

Supporting the children most in need of care – in particular those who have been orphaned through the AIDS virus – has always been at the heart of what Orphaids seeks to achieve.

When Orphaids Ecuador first started, it was common for the extended families of these newly orphaned children to reject them simply because they had been in contact with HIV parents. This meant many would be abandoned – left to fend for themselves on the streets of Ecuador or to be taken in by random adults with wrong motives.

Orphaids was created out of this concern to provide personal, emotional, spiritual, educational and medical care for orphans, at a purpose-built facility, and this continues to be the main activity for the Ecuador project today.

Thankfully the stigma around HIV and AIDS has reduced dramatically in recent years and the antiretroviral drug treatments have been highly effective in reducing mortality. However, there is still a very real need for our services, particularly in the local Santo Domingo de los Tscahillas area.

Miguel - aged 2

Providing a home for children in crisis

Working with local government, Orphaids Ecuador receives children in crisis who have been deemed at high risk due to either HIV/AIDS, abuse or neglect.

Due to changes in the law in Ecuador we are no longer able to officially classify the site as an ‘Orphanage’. However, the Ecuador team still operates a purpose-built complex which provides a caring home for vulnerable children who cannot be placed with family or elsewhere. In fact, Social Services rely on Orphaids Ecuador for the provision of temporary care for children in immediate crisis – until an alternative placement can be found.

So, although we can no longer the use the definition legally, we actually do continue to provide a home for children – with the government’s blessing. And all the children who were already living in Orphaids Ecuador when this change occurred were able to stay.

Orphaids has not had to alter the way it provides support for the children living under its care. 

A further change in the law made it mandatory for all children living in care to be reviewed and placed with extended family if possible. As you can imagine, due to the uncertainties this brings, the children have found this very traumatic and, of course, the Orphaids team is similarly affected. Help us to provide the psychological support the children need to overcome past hurts, traumas and anxiety.

Saving street children from gang life in Colombia

In Colombia, Orphaids has joined forces with FUNHO – an existing Christian charity that has been working with at-risk children for some years.

Orphaids Colombia supports vulnerable children in conjunction with FUNHO and the vision is to source funding for a drop-in centre to provide a place for street children to attend daily – reducing the likelihood of them being recruited to join dangerous gangs.

Lead Psychologist, Rosa, manages the team consisting of two other pychologists and heads up the work of Orphaids Colombia, which is overseen by our South America director, Dr Luz Celly Piambo.

Child living on the streets in Colombia, South America

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