Often children living in orphanages are isolated from their community. This creates negative consequences for the children and the community. When children grow up separated from their surrounding community, they have a difficult time assimilating into the community and providing for themselves, when they leave the orphanage. This is because they have been deprived of experiencing the social norms of their community, both culturally and economically. As a result, these individuals have difficulty forming relationships and operating within the boundaries of their society, creating problems for both the individual and the community. When this happens, 10% of orphaned children commit suicide, 70% of male orphaned children become criminals and 60% of female orphaned children become prostitutes in order to survive.
Encouraging community involvement in the everyday lives of children living in orphanages, creates positive results for the community, the child, and the orphanage. The child benefits by being exposed to his/her community's social, cultural, and economic norms. This makes the child feel like he/she is a part of the community, and the child will have an easier time assimilating when he/she leaves the orphanage. This also benefits the child by providing new experiences to learn, develop, and grow. The community is benefited, as individuals who are able to successfully assimilate will be less likely to resort to crime and prostitution to survive. The orphanage benefits from community involvement because it creates a support system for the needs of the orphanage.
The OCI Early Childhood Education program leverages the orphanage's existing building structure and staff to operate a full Reggio Emilia inspired Montessori preschool which can accommodate up to 210 children a day. If the orphanage has less than 210 children, the orphanage can allow families in the surrounding community to enroll their children in the preschool for a small fee. This provides an additional source of income for the orphanage and creates community involvement in the everyday lives of the children living in the orphanage. It also allows children living in the orphanage to create relationships in the community. Those existing relationships will make assimilating into the community much easier for the children when the time comes to leave the orphanage.
Orion Children International is a non-profit corporation that operates exclusively for educational and charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. EIN: 47-2026853 Orion Children International provides high-quality development, education, and nutrition programs to all orphaned children and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or disability in its programs and activities.