Orphanage owners have requested the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga to push for a review of the policy on accommodating orphans to allow them stay in orphanage homes while above 18 years.
The appeal was made by the representatives of New Hope Uganda, the Kasana community children center and Hands for An African Child as they paid a courtesy call to the office of the Speaker at Parliament.
According to the current policy which is implemented by the Ministry of Gender, orphanage homes are supposed to forfeit guardianship and as such lay off orphans under their custody once they make eighteen years.
While speaking on behalf of the team, Jonnes Twebaze Bakimi said that most of the children who find their way to orphanages and children homes are always in need and in most cases can’t start up a new life at 18 years without an organized home where they can be received.
Twebaze further argued that at this age, majority of the teenagers are still vulnerable and cannot live on their own.
“If in Uganda you say that you are laying off children at 18 years then you are rendering them destitute; no-wonder crime is increasing among the youth especially those who have been attached to these homes because if they are sent out of the homes, they are left with nothing to do,” Tumwebaze said.
“I think this is because of an imported policy yet our Ugandan approach is different, in Uganda a child can never be set away from home simply because they have made 18 years,” he added.
He as well advised foster homes to adopt to a family policy rather than running their organizations as simply orphanages which is seen as a children’s warehouse.
“Children must be brought up in a family setting were they are fully embraced, educated and taught to live in a community be allowed to stay as long as they are of ability to launch out properly,” Twebaze said.