WHY SHOULD WE ADVOCATE FOR FAMILY BASED CARE RATHER THAN INSTITUTIONALISED CARE?
Buds of Christ was one among the organisations in the region to recognise that the emotional, social and cultural needs of children are as important as their material needs. As a result, since the inception of Buds of Christ we have advocated care of orphaned children in their families rather than institutionalized care arrangements. Over time we began to realise that, although this policy was being advocated and promoted in principle, the main focus and concern for community members, volunteers and many programme staff has been material needs. This is only natural and has become more pressing as the economic and material situation of communities has deteriorated. We have also noted that these communities are feeling totally overwhelmed with their situation and feeling powerless to support the many children affected by HIV and AIDS in their villages. Many field workers and volunteers report feeling embarrassed to turn up at the households of vulnerable children “empty-handed”