UK groups fund illegal orphanages in Africa

At least 60 illegal orphanages and children's homes in Uganda are being funded by UK charities, church groups and volunteers, according to this article from BBC News. The Ugandan government has announced a plan to shut down over 500 unregistered orphanages in the country and many of these illegal homes on the closure list are funded by UK charities, some also had volunteers from the UK. "The Ugandan government urged UK donors to check who they are giving money to," says the article. Many of these orphanages were found to provide "squalid conditions" for the children living there, with some children experiencing abuse and neglect in the institutions. Children had been left untreated for infections at one of the orphanages investigated by BBC Radio 4, while one young boy had contracted typhoid from dirty drinking water at another.

The permanent secretary of the Ugandan ministry responsible for children Pius Bigirimana has asked of UK donors, "If you are interested in supporting these children, don't just go put money into a home which is unlisted. Why don't you assist the family to look after the children instead of looking at an institution?" Mark Waddington of Hope and Homes for Children added "We are seeing children being conned out of households, with their parents being persuaded under the offer of a Western style education. They are used literally as commodities to raise funding."