Is it helping or being against Orphans?

By Vadim Dovganyuk

The campaigns by charities and foundations about orphans annoy me, almost every single time.
While these campaign say to be about wanting families for orphans, they are often very specific, they are about sending Orphans who have living families back to their families…
Those campaigns make me frustrated, as while there are most certainly families that could take care of their child and they should never have to be an orphan, there are exceptions.
I am one of those exceptions, as while I grew up in an orphanage while still having living family, I have been better off not being at my family, and instead growing up at orphanages.

My mom and dad abandoned me when I was just a baby, the only things I knew before recently, were the things told to me by the orphanages…
At the moment I write this, I am visiting “Bytom” at Poland, this visit is because of my biological mom, she lives here, and during this week I am staying here, I learned some things.
The things I am learning are most not related to my own youth, however some things are, like why my mom made the choice of abandoning me.
The answer is that my mom wanted a better future for me, as if I would have stayed with her, I might have never have gotten that chance, and would have been probably worse off than at the orphanages.
There is no way to pretty this up, my biological dad was a rapist, it ain’t for no reason that the people who know my other family members know of all the abuse that happened…
Apart of that, he also hold on to physical abuse to gets his ways, my biological mom still has scars because of it.
When I would have been forced to live with my biological family, like many charities and foundations seem to want, I would not know what would have happened with me…

Yet, I still do support some “Families, not orphanages” campaigns, and that is not without a reason.
Things aren’t happy at Orphanages, and what you see, is not what you get.
While orphanages get potential families, they only show the good parts, while almost always keeping the bad out of sight.
There is just no denying, Orphanages should not be the way they are.
Still, without any orphanages existing at all, I would always have been at the streets without support and without a true chance of any future…
This is why “Forced-Institutionalisation” should end, and for those who ask if there is a difference, that is a yes.
The difference between the 2 is that regular institutionalisation could be for reason that are unable to be resolved, while forced-Institutionalisation tends to be for unjust reason, which could be lessened in effect, or even prevented or resolved, if people, and money, would be there to support.
At the orphanages I lived at, many children were send there because they had a psychological difference, including many with “Autism” like I have.
The parents of these children (and adults) were unable to pay for medication, psychological help and a lot of other reasons that all were about money.
The parents did love these children (and adults), just were unable to take care of them by the need of money, so they were separated because society are unable to understand… the basic standards of humanity…
It are these cases that need the campaigns regarding “Families, not orphanages”, the others don’t, they much rather need campaigns to increase the funding of orphanages, and to stop the abuse that happens.

The sad part of these campaigns however is that they almost always don’t understand this, they say to people to not support orphanages, and by this all Orphans are hurt, because of the mistakes of society itself.
Many of the campaigns have sayings like “Support families, not orphanages”, “Don’t Create More Orphans”, “Don’t support orphanages”, and those phrases are already problematic, but it gets worse.
Most campaigns focus on saying how bad it is for a child to be at an orphanage, and more specifically, telling all possible issues a child COULD have happened by living at an orphanage, and not a family…
I say “could” in capitals, as most campaigns don’t focus on making it very clear that it is “could” and that it is just a chance, and not a given.

To take myself as an example, I have lived from very close after my birth until 2015, when I was 14 years old, only in institutions, with adoptions in between, that all were “cancelled”.
When I look at the example of the most well known campaign, that is of Lumos, the charity with writer J.K. Rowling as founder, I would have by now…
A broken personality, psychological problems, a high chance of being involved in prostitution, being cut-off of the world and having poor life chances and much more chance of being abused, going into crime and commiting suicide…
That is just of 1 of their videos (See:, yet, how true is it?
In my example, it is easy.
I don’t have a broken personality, or at least, no one agrees with that statement that I have asked.
Psychological problems, no, or you would have to make a weird link between Autism and living at an orphanage, which would be very offensive to me.
The prostitution I would probably choose to link with the abuse to be honest, I see prostitution as a way of abuse, even when it is by choice, and those who know me, know I stand against both.
I’m all but cut-off of the world, I am actually more social than most with Autism, if you could actually link that to the orphanage experience I wouldn’t know, but it actually might, which would state the opposite…
Poor life chances is to me not related to the actual living at an orphanage, it is much rather about never getting adopted and missing education because of it, that to me is not the same as living at an orphanage at itself.
Crime… I wouldn’t even dare to take a piece of candy of a ripped-open package when I see them at a store here, and that actually happens quite often, let alone thinking of real crime, I think you should link this to personality, and with a huge amount of children being send to orphanages because of problems for parents, this is not related to orphanages…
Suicide, the only thing I would say of all of them is correct. I don’t have these feelings by my own experience, however, that is the only part I have friends who live and lived at orphanages who do have the feelings by living at an orphanage.

So… all by all that would mean that of 7~8 statements, 1 is valid.
Yet, the effects these campaigns have effect themselves that shouldn’t be forgotten, as they are forgotten by those who start and spread them.

  • Stigma – Talking about orphans and the situations, that is a bad thing to do according to society.
  • Judgement – We are seen as sad and bad people, just look at those statements made by that single campaign, it would look like I am some sort of criminal…
  • Misunderstanding – People no longer know what is right and not about orphans.
  • Hate – After judgement comes hate, and these campaigns feed those who would like to hate, whether it are haters or just trolls.
  • Psychological problems – While they say to be against them, these campaigns could cause them it by themselves, as were made to look bad.

That are already 5, and then we could counter some like crime by saying it could cause crime, as we are made to look like criminals either way.
These campaigns are not helpful, they are hurtful, as they target very specific part of the orphans, yet forget most orphans.
Not to mention, some who have families living, like myself, are NOT better off returning to their families, even with support, and that is most of all forgotten in my opinion.
To me the circumstances at Orphanages are awful, but now I returned to society, I am feeling better off at the orphanages, as at least there we would not get to hear the judgement that is spread.
The judgement that makes people think we are some sad, bad and awful piece of society, which we are not.

I miss the compassionate, understanding, and human part of these campaigns, as those are almost always missing, while many of these people call themselves “Human rights activists”.
It could be me, but these people should check the first of all human rights already, as we are not treated the same way, and are most of all, not seen as equal.
And then, I didn’t even state the other human rights they basically show to be against by these sort of campaigns, that I see as Orphan hate…

End note: There are some good campaigns, like the public service announcement of “Disability Rights International”(See:, they do indeed stand for “Families, not orphanages” and do have a lot of the same statements, however, they are less specific about certain things, which make me as previous Orphan a lot less hurt.