The authorities demanded in 2017 that all orphanages apply for renewed approval for operation, this time at departmental level. They fear that too many children without a real need for care outside the family grow up in institutions. Additionally, the quality of the institutions on offer must also be reviewed.
The Nyenga foundation supports the intention of the authorities. Although we admire the ambitions of the government and agree with the overall objectives of their new strategy, we do feel there should be more considerations around what is best for the affected children.
Our application for renewed approval was delivered within the deadline, but later than requested due to county-level circumstances. On February 7, the leaders of the children’s homes in our county were summoned to a meeting organized by the ministry. All were informed that they lacked approval, and everybody had a month’s time to lay down operations and send the children back to their respective parents or guardians. That this is not possible or safe for many children was rejected. The order for closure is in spite of the fact that the applications for continued operation have not been processed. The processing time is 6 months. Therefore, what should we do on March 7?
We chose what we think is best for the children while we wait for our application to be processed: stability, predictability, care and access to school they thrive in. The children stay at home. If necessary, we have the ability to move them from the home to a service residence. All parents or relatives we have managed to track were invited to an information meeting. There they signed for their approval on our approach. Now we are eagerly awaiting an update if we are approved for further operation!
Of course, we will keep you all posted on this matter!