Thursday, June 25, 2009

some good news in Tanzania

I loved this article in the New York Times today about small orphanages in Tanzania (and elsewhere too) that buck the trend of orphans who have bleak prognoses in life because they get institutional care in the orphanage and later their village or their extended family doesn't take them in very well because the kids aren't attached to them and vice versa.

Instead, teenage girls (a cousin, a sister, an aunt) from the village and/or the extended family live in the orphanage with the babies and small children, taking care of them in a loving and personal way, learning caretaking skills themselves and often learning other things, like literacy skills, they might not have gotten otherwise, and then when the babies are old enough (3 or 5 or something) they go back to the village, along with their very connected teenage girl, and the outcome for everybody is so much better.

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