Dutch young people must stop volunteering in orphanages abroad: Children’s rights orgs
The Dutch youth must stop volunteer work in orphanages abroad, child’s rights organizations said in an open letter to the Nederderlandse Dagblad. The organizations issued an urgent plea for volunteers not to receive children in orphanages, but instead in their own homes.
The volunteers from Dutch churches, dioceses, and internships go to the orphanages with the best intentions but, according to the organizations, they are thereby only emphasizing that “growing up in an orphanage, how good the care may be, is per definition harmful to the development of these children”.
Children in orphanages fall behind in terms of physical and cognitive development and suffer from separation anxiety and developmental problems. Yet, the incoming flow of volunteers keeps these orphanages above water.
In many cases, the orphans can be cared for at home, according to the organizations. “Unfortunately, roughly six million children globally grew up in an orphanage, while around 80 to 90 percent of these children still have one or both parents. For most of them, it is possible to grow up in a safe environment at home, along with the right parental support.”
The letter was signed by 53 organizations, including UNICEF Netherlands and political youth organizations from the CDA, ChristenUnie and SGP.
Reporting by ANP