Many believe that children are safe and cared for in an orphanage. True, but they won’t be in an orphanage forever. Most orphanages have a limit of age for children under their care of around 16 to 18 years old. After the limit is reached, the orphanage will release the child to live independently.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that orphanages are failing. They provide the primary needs for these children to live properly; safety, food, shelter. The carers might also provide affection. But in terms of educating or shaping their personality, resilience, passion and such, orphanages are not exactly required to do so. Their primary job is to give shelter for the children to survive, but not parenting. Whilst, as we all realise, we may have ambitions derived from our fathers, caring personality from our mothers and golden life principles from our parents. Unfortunately, not all orphans receive such luxury.
Orphaned young adults desperately need guidance for academic and professional development. We see many of our fellow young adults struggling to find their life purpose or to excel professionally. Imagine the extra burden these orphans have to face as they lack of parental guidance.
Foster families can be a solution to this problem, but adoption requires a series of complicated paperwork and not all families are willing to also financially support another child. However, there are more sustainable and do-able programs that will benefit both the orphan and the “foster” parent. Programs that provide adult mentors or big brother/sister for the orphans could be solutible. The orphanage are still responsible to provide physical needs for the orphans, while the mentors can contribute in guiding the children like parents. But, programs like this can only be effective if the adult mentors are committed for a decent period of time.
Positive and personal attention are very important at this stage for they are preparing to live in the society. These young adult orphans have the right to blossom and grow. We may not be able to support them financially, but we can always give them what we splendor at: affection, parental guidance and inspiration.