The Orphanage in Iringa

6-26-10 / John: Yesterday we left Ruaha for Iringa, where we toured an orphanage sponsored by Bega Kwa Bega. All of the children there attend school in the community and return to the orphanage for an evening meal and a place to stay. Mama Chileo, the manager of the orphanage, says there are 18 kids in all, plus several staff who specialize in social work and counseling. They take children form 5-15 years of age. The government limits the age to 15 due to riots that have occurred in some orphanages involving older children. So, because of the new laws, they have some older children here, but cannot officially document them.

AIDS is the biggest problem, leaving many kids orphaned, though it may also be due to troubles at home, or having too many children in the first place. Girls suffer more than the boys, as they are often take into homes as baby sitters, then beaten, abused or sold into the sex industry. It is very hard to document due to the secrecy surrounding such children. The social workers have to get to know the people in their community and be ready to provide counseling once the kids are enrolled in the orphanage. Adoption is seldom chosen as an option for local families who already take care of their own children. Some Americans have sought to adopt, but find it very difficult and a long process.

The children sang for us in the main hall and we danced with them and played ball. Good things are happing here. With the right funding and buildings they could house up to three times as many children (60) and provide a place of hope for future generations. We prayed God’s blessing on them and thanked them for their hospitality.

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2 Comments on “The Orphanage in Iringa”

  1. Julie Johnson Says:

    I can’t believe you’ll be home soon. It’s gone so fast!

    Like


  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do
    with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that,
    this is magnificent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

    Like


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