From Volunteering in Orphanages to Community Based Child Care
For many years Volunteer Society Nepal has worked closely with orphanages to help provide better care and support to vulnerable children. Our volunteers have made a significant impact. For example by improving living conditions at these orphanages and creating opportunities for children through supporting their education and care.
However, placing children in orphanages and residential homes should be the last resort for any child. If possible, children should be raised by their parents, close family, or a foster family from the extended community. This community-based approach to care is a more sustainable and long-term solution to caring for vulnerable children than orphanages.
That is why Volunteer Society Nepal has decided to shift its focus to community based child care. Our goal is provide more support to local organizations and community-and family-based care. In this way, children are raised in stable environments where they can thrive. Instead of working at orphanages, we will offer volunteers other projects. They can work at day care centers, after school care centers, kindergartens and schools, and support groups for the elderly and women.
Other types of support
Volunteer Society Nepal will still support orphanages in other ways than sending volunteers. One example is to help the older children that cannot be re-integrated. We will support them in their studies or give them coaching in getting a job. We also offer internships or jobs at our different projects: at our schools, in our women center or in the center for children with intellectual disabilities.
Volunteer Society Nepal Child Care Center
With the help of our volunteers and donors, we are starting an After School Child Care Program. This program offers children from poor backgrounds the opportunity to get guidance. They will be guided with their homework and can explore their own ideas, create art, connect through music, dance, and play games. Volunteers can help these children by providing them with these after school activities and guiding them with their homework.
The benefits of community-based care
Community – and family based – child care is a system of care that benefits a child much more in the long-term. Here are the benefits that we see from community-based care programs:
- We now have the opportunity to foster healthier future generations by keeping families together and working with parents to ensure their children flourish.
- Compared to orphanages, child care projects in communities tend to have better organization and focus for the volunteers’ work. This leads to greater impact, and a more gratifying volunteer experience.
- The reach of our programs is greater, which means development is longer-term and sustainable. With our child care projects we now reach out to all children who need support and care.
Our policy towards working with children
Volunteer Society Nepal take the safety of our volunteers and the children we work with very seriously. We have a Child Protection Policy in place that is strictly followed by all volunteers and staff.