An Orphanage That Doesn't Seem Like An Orphanage

If you were to build a franchise-type structure for raising orphans, what would it look like?
The Children's Village has several grassy areas where kids can play soccer and other sports. Source: Adriana Zehbrauskas for NPR

Orphanages are falling out of favor.

Ever since the horrific conditions in Romanian orphanages were widely publicized in the 1990s – naked children tied to cribs in overcrowded wards — there's been a movement in the international aid world to shut down orphanages completely.

But according to UNICEF, there are still 2.7 million children living in orphanages worldwide.

So what if someone tried to set up a good orphanage — a place where parentless kids could thrive? What would it look like? And what could it tell us about the basics of child rearing?

It might look like this: A dozen kids piled on a couch watching a soccer match on TV while kids from neighboring houses drop by to chat. Other kids are preparing dinner in the kitchen. The kids call the employees of the institution "mom" and "auntie" while the staff call them "mi amor" — my love.

The kids and the adults at the SOS Children's Village, an orphanage in Tela, Honduras, interact like a big extended family. It's a place where dozens of kids who've been separated from their biological parents for a variety of reasons now live. Some

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