Institutions that are dedicated to caring for orphans are known as orphanages. The aim of an orphanage is to provide shelter, care, love, and protection to orphans and vulnerable children.
An orphan is any individual who has lost either one or both parents by death. Orphans can be cared for at home by close relatives or in institutions by other people.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development estimates that there are 17.5 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) nationwide.
An orphanage is a non-profit organization. Thus, it should not be set up with the intention of making money but with the sole aim of catering to these vulnerable children.
The increasing number of orphans will adversely affect the existing facilities and best practices in orphanages if there are no plans to accommodate the anticipated increase in demands. Therefore, there is a need for one or an organizational body to start a good and well-facilitated orphanage home.
The concept of orphanage best practices deals with the provision of basic rights of the children in orphanages, such as the right to birth registration, education, health services, adequate nutrition, safe and potable water, good housing, adequate toilet facilities, presence of playground, and playing materials such as toys; the provision of adequate security for the children; and the adequate number of caregivers in the institution.
Do I need the training to start an orphanage?
The answer is simply yes; one needs training before starting up an orphanage. Even the Bible says in Proverbs 19:2: It isn’t good to have zeal without knowledge, nor is it good to be hasty with one’s feet and miss the way.
Therefore, before one starts an orphanage home, he or she should acquire and do the following:
- Volunteer in an orphanage
- Acquire professional training
- Conduct adequate research
Requirements for an Orphanage Startup
Before starting up an orphanage, your plans should be derived from the National Plan of Action for orphans and vulnerable children, as well as current best practices and programs that are globally acceptable.
The following constitute the minimum package of services and rights that must be provided to each child by anybody or party to care for, support, and protect orphans and vulnerable children:
- Psychosocial support
- Child protection (protection from exploitation, abuse, and neglect)
- Household economic strengthening
To achieve or meet the above minimum packages and/or to start up an orphanage home, the following requirements are needed:
- Raising of funds
- Good location
- Get registered: The government strictly regulates the establishment and operation of orphanages. It is illegal, even criminal, to start an orphanage in Nigeria without first going through the necessary registration process. The registration process and the penalty for defaulters are captured in the Child Rights Act. It is absolutely important that you register first with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a non-profit organization under Section C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
- Have a Non-Profit business plan drafted
- Publicize your Orphanage
- Create an online presence
- Build trust
Objectives of Starting up a Nigerian Orphanage
- To set a high standard for child welfare in Nigeria by building and managing model middle-class residences that are well-equipped to satisfy the needs of the kids to a financial, psychological, and emotional degree.
- To be truthful, honest, sincere, open, and transparent in all our dealings.
- To make sure that the interests of the child are prioritized when making important decisions or implementing policies.
- To do more on destigmatizing the fears associated with adoption and fostering by spreading awareness on beneﬁt of both and collaborating with all key stakeholders to make sure it is less challenging for sincere and responsible families to adopt children.
- Starting up an orphanage to serve orphans in God’s name makes you a man or woman of God, even if you wouldn’t call yourself that. In essence, working for God is not only about good work; it is spiritual warfare, and the devil will do everything in his power to frustrate the work.
- One needs to be trained and ready to spend time interceding and praying for the orphans that he/she serves.