Reintegration of the orphans as a top priority

In coordination with the Department of Social Welfare in Accra and with UNICEF the top priority of BRAVEAURORA is to reintegrate the orphans into their extended families. The best interests of each child is of paramount importance. As stated in the documents of the Social Care Reform (based on templates UNICEF) in Ghana, it is always preferable that a child grows up in a family structure. No incentive should be created to deport a child into an institution. On the contrary, reintegration is expected to help every single child to grow up safely in a family and to strengthen the family and to make them independent through support and know-how transfer at the same time. (article).



All of this is based on the careful evaluation of every single extended family of the respective orphan under the supervision and guidance of experienced social workers. It is vital that the orphans have a say and give feedback in the run-up to the reintegration process. At the moment, 1/3 of 33 children at the orphanage at Guabuliga are fully orphaned. The rest of the children do either have father or mother or extendet familie, however most of these families can’t afford to have childen. This was the situation like when BRAVEAURORA first came to Guabuliga.



Most of the children at the orphanage have (half-) siblings. In other cases there are unbearable conditions in the family background (such as violation or drinking…) In such cases reintegration into the own family is not possible and therefore alternative options like the placement in a foster family have to be considered.



The age structure of the children (between 3 and 16 years) poses a challenge in the reintegration process: We can expect that the oldest children cannot be reintegrated. However, problem families (alcohol, money problems, neglect of responsibility, etc. ) pose the biggest challenge. BRAVEAURORA is aware of the big responsibility of the evaluation of the families. To start with, BRAVEAURORA defined an extensive orphan booklet (information about the children and the extended families, feedback of the children etc.) as basic principles for the reintegration process. During this planning phase it is of course necessary to have an experienced social worker, who can provide specific knowledge for the reintegration process in Guabuliga. That’s why BRAVEAURORA hired a social worker for the first half of 2011 and a second social worker in November 2011 (an extension to several social workers is planned).