Lessons from Haiti: On working with orphaned and vulnerable children

Kundai, Vanessa, Rudo, Jessie, Tinashe, and Shawn receive assistance through Tariro's work with families caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe

Today, the New York Times published a letter written by Tariro’s Executive Director Jennifer Kyker, calling attention to a lack of assistance for families caring for orphaned and vulnerable children in Haiti, where destitute families may be forced to relinquish their children to orphanages for lack of assistance to help them meet their children’s basic needs.   This broken system separates children from their parents, tearing apart the very fabric of Haitian society.

Tariro’s work in Zimbabwe establishes an important alternative model of working with orphaned and vulnerable children.  Through direct financial assistance in the form of school fees, uniforms, and supplies, Tariro supports families caring for orphaned and vulnerable children, enabling families to stay together.   The six children shown in the photograph accompanying this post, for example, have all lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS.  The assistance they receive through Tariro has been critical to enabling their surviving relatives to continue caring for them, keeping them within their community, neighborhood, and family.

Tariro is currently researching organizations based in Haiti to see how best we can offer our support to work toward the expansion of our model of family-based care for orphaned and vulnerable children.  In the months and years following the immediate impact of the earthquake, grassroots organizations such as Tariro have an important role to play in ensuring that effective and sustainable assistance continues to be directed toward vulnerable and orphaned children.

Please sign our mailing list to stay informed of Tariro’s work in Zimbabwe, as well as our future plans in Haiti.   You can also donate now to support our critical work with orphaned and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe.

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2 responses to “Lessons from Haiti: On working with orphaned and vulnerable children

  1. Jennifer, I couldn’t agree more. I will support this cause in whatever way I can.
    xox

  2. I was so glad to see your letter in the New York Times. I was really appalled by that story. Over the years I’ve read other similar stories of adoptive parents expressing joy at their good fortune, so driven by their own needs that they are somehow able to shutter out the truth that the adoptee actually has a parent or relatives who are only allowing this out of desperation. It is a dreadful, sad scenario that I can’t even grasp–if adoptive parents adore the child so much, as these in the article expressed, then shouldn’t they help the child be with her mother, rather than to take advantage of the mother’s dire situation?
    I’m glad to find out about your organization. All the best to you.

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