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Introduction

Traditional institutionalized orphan care has long been identified as lacking in essential attributes for normal emotional, intellectual and social development. For healthy normal development children require a family unit of siblings and caregivers. They bond within a "family" and require the interactions of a community to fully develop their social interaction skills. Global Family Village creates family-centered homes in supportive communities. Disenfranchised children are brought together as siblings in a nurturing family environment with trained caregiver "mothers" and surrogate community based "grandparents".

Global Family Village homes emphasize family and community to provide a stable and lasting sense of inclusion. Long-term support of family homes is critical for the development of the children. Equally important is the full integration of the homes within the communities in which they are located. GFV provides early childhood education, mother training and dental and medical care within the community. In addition, houses are chosen so that they can accommodate community activities.

Instead of being housed in an institutional environment along with a large number of children and a few overworked, untrained village women, children from GFV-assisted orphanages will experience reliable and loving family relationships. The GFV concept will give orphaned children a happy, healthy childhood, with a family and within a supportive community.

Lasting social change will emerge from GFV's work in two ways. First, the GFV approach is to create and/or transform several demonstration projects and to use those to spread the family village model broadly throughout the network of orphanages in Nepal. This means the majority of Nepal's orphans will grow up with a family, a dramatic change from the current situation. Second, unlike orphans who age out in institutional orphanages, who are mistrustful and feel they have no family or community, GFV children grow up well-adjusted, with a sense of love and belonging, and become educated and productive members of society. GFV aims to shift the societal norm in Nepal, where orphans have low education, no inheritance, and very low social status.

Introduction

Although it is not possible for all children to grow up in the loving care of their own parents and family, it is possible to create alternative family-like environments...

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