Over 4.6 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) have been provided with community based child welfare nationwide.
The effort is part and parcel of the job aimed at safeguarding and protecting the rights and privileges of OVC, Women and Children Affairs Ministry Communication Affairs Directorate Director Alemayehu Mamo told The Ethiopian Herald.
The Ministry has been prioritizing childcare and protection in its policies and strategies, and the scheme has brought encouraging results, he said. “Providing care and treatment to orphans and vulnerable children is one of the most acclaimed values of our community which also accounted for the effectiveness of the scheme.”
Alemayehu further insisted that the country has enforced standardized service delivery guidelines to promote and support community-based childcare approach. “The guideline states compulsory care and support programs in all parts of the nation.”
“If a child gets the opportunity to be adopted within the community where he /she hails from, he /she may enjoy countless of advantages in terms of physical and emotional development,’’ Alemayehu underlined.
One important step to success the program is identifying and documenting OVC in various states of the country.
In a related development, Ministry’s report states that close to 12, 201 OVC were made to reunify with their families or guardians after receiving skill and psychological trainings.
According to May 2017 report, 2,546 OVC from Tigray, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State were reunited with their families or guardians.
Besides, religious and public institutions across the nation have discussed the issue and suggested possible mechanisms of supporting orphans and vulnerable children.
Having understood the magnitude of the problem, the Ministry has urged local community and stakeholders to exert their consorted efforts in safeguarding and protecting the rights of OVC.
In this regard awareness creation has been intensified across the nation that could encourage domestic adoption and child care activities. As a result, communities in various states have understood and are practicing domestic adoption.
Inter-country adoption is discouraged in Ethiopia for screening processes are ending up with fraud identity of birth and in most cases exposing children to various problems not to mention that placement reports are not well organized. “We do have a value that could lessen the impact keeping the identity of the child-i.e. domestic adoption.”
Alemayehu also said that 30,000,000 Birr budget is need to promote this scheme.
According to the document issued by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs 15 percent of the population or 14 million of them are estimated to be OVC.
BY MENGISTEAB TSHOME