Feb 3, 2020

Lu Quan Village, Yunnan Province

Community Resource Centre, Lu Quan
Community Resource Centre, Lu Quan

Many of you will have seen our short film, ‘The Village’, telling the incredible story of Lu Quan in China; a village which has come together to transform the lives of hundreds of orphaned and abandoned children, many of whom are severely disabled.

In 2019 the incredible work of these villagers was given a boost by the completion of a Care for Children-funded building project aimed at enhancing local service provision. Nestled amongst the breathtaking green mountains of Yunnan Province sits the tiny village of Lu Quan, where something truly remarkable has happened.

In 2000, 700 children were living in the nearby Kunming Child Welfare Institution, with little hope of ever having a family of their own. Shockingly, 93% of these children had some form of disability. When Care for Children introduced our family placement model to the Kunming orphanage, Lu Quan’s remarkable Village Elder was inspired to get involved.

Under his leadership, by 2015, 53 families in the village were fostering over 160 children, many of whom suffer from severe disabilities and need constant care and attention. The total population of the village was just 370. The incredible sacrifice and love displayed by these people is the perfect example of why children need to grow up in families, not institutions. The children in these families receive the unique care, attention and consistency that loving parents can provide.

 The completion of the community resource centre in 2019 marks the final part of the transition from institutional care to family-based care in the community for vulnerable children.

You can read more about the return to Luquan in our 2020 Annual Report, available on our website.

Opening Ceremony Celebration
Opening Ceremony Celebration
A Foster Family in Lu Quan
A Foster Family in Lu Quan
Nov 25, 2019

Widening our reach across Thailand

In many countries, children growing up in orphanages is still the norm. We're committed to training orphanage staff to become family placement workers, whereby they are able to move children out of the orphanage and into local foster families. 

In Thailand, government facilities called Child and Family Shelters play an important role in the care of vulnerable children. The Shelters act as ‘gatekeepers’ – the screening process which decides whether a child needs to be taken into care and which care option is most suitable for them. As the first point of contact between government care professionals and the children, the Shelters offer a vital service to children in their most vulnerable moment. 

There are 76 Child and Family Shelters located across Thailand. Staff at the Shelters play an important role in deciding the best method of care for a child moving forwards, liaising with all the key stakeholders to give the children the best care moving forwards. 

Unfortunately, the options that Shelters offer for children are limited. Currently, there are few alternative care options for children so staff often refer children to the nearest orphanage as a default. This puts a major strain on orphanages, as well as not always being in the best interest of the child. 

Last year, we identified these Shelters as a key opportunity to further influence child welfare in Thailand, and play an important role in transitioning the system to place foster care at its heart. While continuing to train orphanages, we began exploring how best to work alongside the Shelters to enable fewer children to enter into orphanages in the first place. 

If foster care is seen as a positive and viable alternative to institutions, then fewer children would have to experience the dangers and challenges of entering an orphanage. So in the last few months we've begun training staff at the Shelters in how to conduct foster care assessments.

"Sometimes we get cases of children to our shelter, and we will be able to screen the case and see if they have someone who is able to take care of them. Perhaps the parents are in prison, or they might have passed away. If our social worker comes across a case like this, they will be able to place these children in foster care. If we can care for these children in foster families, then the children will be able to develop and be a valued part of society."

Mrs Rachaya Hantrakul, Head of the Child and Family Shelter in Chiang Mai.

Shelters provide a vital service for families and children in moments when they're desperate for support, so we're proud to work alongside them. Thanks to your incredible support, we are able to provide ongoing training and support to these Shelters to ensure more children than ever are placed into loving families, where they can be loved and nurtured. 

Nov 5, 2019

The value of a foster family's love

Nana’s biological parents weren’t capable of caring for a baby with a cleft palate, so they abandoned Nana as a new-born. Even though she was placed in foster care as a toddler, Nana grew up carrying the weight of her biological parents’ rejection. She felt her parents didn’t want her and had placed her into an orphanage because she was not good enough. 

Nana thought it was all her fault. She believed she was unlovable. 

But Nana’s foster mother laboured to change Nana’s negative view of herself for years. She worked hard to make Nana feel that she was loved, wanted, and valued in spite of her gender and disability. Nana’s foster mother wanted to help Nana understand that she was not to blame.

Nana couldn’t bring herself to believe her foster mother at first but the foster mother was persistent. 

The love and belief of her foster mother slowly changed Nana. Today, Nana knows that she is loved. She believes that she is important and worthy, and this has changed everything about the way she interacts with the world. Nana doesn’t hide anymore. She is a much more confident child than she was before, taking part in classroom activities and making friends. Nana recently performed the leading role in a school play.

Now that Nana knows she is loved she believes that she matters, and she is happier and healthier because of it. That is the value of a family. 

Your support helps train and equip staff in orphanages to move children such as Nana out of orphanages and into local foster families. Thank you for your support and for staying connected with our work.

 
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