Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update on Happenings in Southern Ethiopia

Many of you have been asking about the recent orphanage closures in the Southern region of Ethiopia.  While none of the orphanages IAN works with have been directly impacted, we certainly understand the worry these things cause in adoptive parents.  We want to clarify and answer some of your concerns. 
·         The Southern Region (or SNNPR) regional government has closed 18-20 orphanages at this time.  It is possible more will be closed in the future.  These investigations began more than six months ago. 

·         The Ethiopian government is continuing to take steps to improve adoptions.  One way of doing this is to empower the regional governments and encourage them to take a greater role in overseeing orphanages in their region. 

·         The regional MoWA, court and police investigated all the orphanages in the southern region.  They reviewed budgets, childcare, facilities, paperwork procedure and humanitarian aid provided. 

·         Regional MoWA made the decision to shut down several orphanages who were not meeting the standard in one or more of these areas.  Most often the orphanages were not providing adequate humanitarian outreach to children in their area not being placed for international adoption.

·         IAN works with Ajuuja orphanage in the Southern region.  IAN followed the procedure we always use when working with orphanages.  We meet with official representatives of the regional and federal MoWA, along with local police and courts to ensure the orphanage is in good standing.  This was done last March with Ajuuja. 

·         Ajuuja has completed their investigation successfully, and remains in good standing and recommended by MoWA. 

·         IAN provides humanitarian aid through EVERY orphanage we work with.  We provide medical supplies, school programs, library programs, older child support, or whatever need is expressed by the orphanage. 

·         While we are saddened by the orphanage closures, we are supportive of the Ethiopian government’s efforts to continue to improve adoptions and provide the best care for orphans and vulnerable children.

·         We have been assured that all children who are currently in process with any orphanage will be moved to an approved facility and the adoptive parents will be permitted to complete their adoption. 

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