We admit children who have lost one or both biological parents, disabled children, a variety of children at risk and children in need of special protection. Many have experienced powerlessness in the ultimate form. Their lives have been governed by fear. Fear of violence, fear of not having enough food, fear of having no opportunity to improve their lives. They are former homeless street children who were vulnerable to exploitation from others. ACODO has saved them from becoming beggars, prostitutes or criminals. They no longer have to scavenge in the local garbage bin for their next meal.
As the orphanage is the temporary shelter and last resort, they can stay here until we can find family, or take them into foster care. Prior to placement in orphanage our staff visit their home or community, wherever possible, to access their individual needs and situation. Children are listened to, informed about the placement (rights and responsibilities of the orphanage as well as of the child). Our staff also raise awareness on the rights of children in orphanage.
At ACODO our children often want to participate in all aspects of the orphanage. Many like to cook, sew their own clothes and try to fix our equipment when it breaks. They learn as a group, share their knowledge and help each other. They have progressed from street kids with no long term goals to children with challenging career desires. Their ambitions vary from being a tour guide to becoming a teacher, engineer or doctor.
Implementation of minimum standards of alternative care for children
ACODO has paid attention to providing support to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable children through the provision of appropriate services and protection from harm. ACODO implemented, monitored and evaluated the minimum standards and guidelines for the children in the orphanage in accordance with the four overriding principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
The principle of the best interests of the child
The principle of non-discrimination
The principles of the right to survival, development and protection
The principle of participation by the child in her/his own development
After admitting children in orphanage, we also consider aspects of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
The continuity of a child’s upbringing and her ethnic, cultural, and linguistic background was ensured
Contact between children and their families are encouraged
The child has a right to review his/her treatment and other circumstances
The child enjoy her/his complete liberty
Alternative care providers’ staff were carefully selected, trained and appropriately remunerated
Each child is unique and his/her uniqueness was taken into consideration in decisions taken which affect the child’s life
Siblings will not live separately or be separated by placement except under unavoidable circumstances