Scaling Whole Child International
Whole Child is an international charity run by Countess Karen Spencer. Through an comprehensive training programme, spanning higher levels of government through to individual caregivers in orphanages, Whole Child is changing ingrained perceptions of what can and can't be done in an orphanage setting. Whereas most people would rather pretend orphanages don't exist, or focus on rehoming children, Whole Child are the only entity actually improving the reality for children in orphanages right now.
Their research, and solution, is simple - children thrive when they have long term, meaningful relationships with one caregiver, and the children around them. Whole Child's training consists of giving caregivers the tools they need to understand how to meet the emotional needs of children even in the most resource-impoverished regions of the world. Simple, best practice guidance like not separating siblings, keeping the same caregiver with the same child, keeping a clean and safe environment, and giving each child the means to assert their identity (individual lockers, for instance), create a world of difference for those who have no voice, and no means to change their own situation.
In their own words: "Whole Child International is devoted to improving the lives of orphaned, abandoned, abused, and neglected children worldwide. We work to restructure existing children’s institutions to focus on children’s emotional needs, ultimately creating the possibility for healthy integration into society. Through partnerships with leading academics, technical innovators, and local service providers, Whole Child International brings the latest research and innovative training to care providers in the most resource-challenged regions in the world."
Whole Child is active in Latin America, and soon Africa and Asia. They recently received the support of the Dalai Lama.