Early on I made an assessment that in situations where there is no chance for children to find permanent homes, that you had to be engaged with, involved with and committed to the local community to gain support. That’s why WWO doesn’t just work with orphans in a community, but also help other children and entire families, people of all ages.I couldn't agree more with what Dr. Aronson says here. I'm on record as also saying that adoption can't solve the orphan crisis, no matter how many Orphan Sundays we have; the only way to solve the orphan crisis is to work to eliminate the reasons children become orphans in the first place.
Every orphan is in someway connected to a community. If we can help support that community, we help the kids. We focus on the community. What’s going wrong there to create orphans? Battered families? Illness? Extreme poverty? We try to focus on alleviate the causes. For instance, we set up the Family Resource Center in Vietnam, which supports parents who are HIV positive. If we can help them stay well, we help their children stay within a family and prevent them from becoming orphans.
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Adoption is obviously the gold standard. Every kid deserves a permanent family in a safe and loving home. The trouble is the orphan problem is too great to be resolved through adoption alone. There just are too many children. There has to be another solution to support these kids. To me, orphans symbolize the lack of justice in the world. These children are the victims of poor adult decisions and the big picture is that it’s incredibly sad that human beings allow this to happen. But the fact is they do, these kids exist and we have a moral obligation to do something about it.
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Every community that has high number so orphans should be given a family resource center, where all families can tap into help with everything from mental health to vaccines to job training to parenting classes. We should be putting a major emphasis on strengthening families.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Interview with Dr. Jane Aronson
Interesting interview with Dr. Jane Aronson, well-known as the "adoption doctor;" she talks about what orphans need beyond adoption and what her non-profit organization is doing in communities: