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Baan Gerda; Orphanage or Village?

Posted by Karl Morsbach on 24th October 2012

A typical Baan Gerda family

It is common for people to refer to Baan Gerda as an orphanage and sometimes, even our closest supporters use this term. However, we have always felt strongly that the children should be cared for in a normal family environment. This was an important consideration when we started 12 years ago, even though we were not expecting the kids to survive. Today, we know this has been a defining point for our foundation, and something that has impacted the kids in a positive way.

The comfort and security of a family home cannot be underestimated; the children develop strong bonds with their ‘brothers and sisters’ and their foster parents obviously have a key role in their upbringing.

Many visitors are surprised by the upbeat atmosphere in Baan Gerda. The children feel safe and relaxed in their families allowing them to have a normal childhood – which also includes being mischievous and cheeky!

We have learnt many lessons over the last 12 years and have come to realise just how important our family-style village is to the children’s well-being.

To be loved and accepted is a basic need that we all strive for and our families have been pivotal in helping to achieve this.

There are many connotations associated with the word ‘orphanage’ which is why we prefer to avoid it.

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