If we heal and strengthen families we can reduce the orphaning of children by 80%.
4 out of 5 “orphans” are not orphans.
They are separated from their families into institutional care facilities.
If we heal and strengthen families we can reduce child trafficking by at least 41%.
41% of trafficked children are launched by their family.
The rest are at increased risk due to family breakdown.
They are leaving a country where the conditions include:
Mae Sot District, where we work, is the main center in the border region for economic migration from all over Myanmar.
But, Myanmar migrant families in the border region are subject to a host of extreme risk factors that contribute to the destruction of families and exploitation of the children.
Structural Risk Factors: Precarious Legal Status, Lack of Documentation, Extortion, Labor/Work Imbalance, Unethical Employment Practices
Social Risk Factors: Crushed Dreams, Loss of Traditional Social Structures, Poverty, Chaotic environment, Insecurity
For children these risk factors result in:
Some consider orphanages and children’s homes the answer to the problem of family breakdown and child abandonment. What most people don’t know is that an institutional setting is not good for a child’s mental and emotional development.
All the research, and there is a lot of research, indicates that for a child to thrive they need a family, and if their family is in trouble the best solution is to support the whole family.
B14. Removal of a child from the care of the family should be seen as a measure of last resort and should, whenever possible, be temporary and for the shortest possible duration. Removal decisions should be regularly reviewed and the child’s return to parental care, once the original causes of removal have been resolved or have disappeared, should be in the best interests of the child, in keeping with the assessment foreseen in paragraph 49 below.
15. Financial and material poverty, or conditions directly and uniquely imputable to such poverty, should never be the only justification for the removal of a child from parental care, for receiving a child into alternative care, or for preventing his/her reintegration, but should be seen as a signal for the need to provide appropriate support to the family.
We not only work to provide for a family’s physical needs, but their mental, emotional, and spiritual needs as well. For families to be fully restored, healing and strengthening must take place in hearts and minds, as well as bodies. We work for total restoration of each person in the family unit and the larger community as well.