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Do I Need Training to Start an Orphanage?

This post is written by Dr. Ken Acha, provost of Austin Bible Institute, and founder of Shaping Destiny, a nonprofit orphan care and poverty alleviation organization. He shares his insight and heart about orphan care, formed by 10 years of personal experience.

Orphan Care TrainingWho needs training to start an orphanage? That’s a common feeling that people have. We felt like that when we started our orphanage in Africa. A good heart doesn’t equal to help for orphans. Believe us, we are speaking from experience. We have seen people hurt poor people (especially orphans) and themselves when they are working hard and doing what they think is best to help the poor.

“There is a way that appears to be right, but, in the end, it leads to death.” Prov. 14:12

In other words, what you think is the right road may lead to death.  So let us not be too confident that we don’t stop to learn. On the contrary, we should not allow this to cause us to be too afraid to serve the poor. God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of love, power, and of a sound mind. When we labor and pursue the right things in the right way, even if we sometimes fall, the Holy Spirit will lead us to success. Note that doing things right is righteousness.

There is a proverb that says “It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.” (Prov. 19:2)

The NLT renders this verse as: “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.” That proverb is so true. It is very easy to have a vision for serving orphans. Then we become very passionate and jump into it without proper training. Before we know it that passion burns out and then we give up. Often we are very frustrated. Even when we succeed after making too many mistakes early, the orphans miss out on the great potential that we have that is lost and settle for the little success that we have attained simply because we made the mistake of not getting proper training. But this can be avoided.

If you are starting an orphanage because you feel God is calling you to serve, you are doing a great thing. But starting an orphanage to serve orphans in God’s name (because God sent you) makes you a man or woman of God even if you wouldn’t call yourself that. Working for God is not only about good work, it is spiritual warfare and Satan will do everything in his power to frustrate the work. Satan doesn’t want orphans to be served. He wants them to remain in bondage. So going out to serve orphans is going to battle with Satan. You need to be trained and ready to spend time interceding and praying for the orphans that you serve. You also need to intercede for the work to really have a meaningful effect on the children. You want it to glorify God.Going out to serve orphans is going to battle with Satan. Click To Tweet

We will be sharing examples of cases where some of our well-meaning and smart staff have unintentionally caused irreparable harm to orphans because of their lack of training. We will use them to encourage you to get some training.

Austin Bible Institute is the first institution in the world to offer training in orphan care. As of right now, they are the only ones that we know that offer full training programs in that area.   If you find any training resources that could help someone to start an orphanage or run an existing one better, please contact us and share so that we can add it to this site to help others. We need to share information to help others serve orphans better!

Austin Bible Institute offers several certificate and degree programs designed to train people on how to serve orphans and poor people. Their programs can teach a person everything they will need to start and run an orphan care organization. Click here for more on ABI’s Orphan Care Training Programs.

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  2. Thank you for your advise. I would like to set up an orphanage in Ghana, West Africa. Can you help me get access to the training you recommend? Would greatly appreciate your help. God bless you.

  3. good advise,i work with orphans and i feel i want to start my orphanage.please help

  4. I hope you will really help me to open orphanage in Zimbabwe

  5. This is good. Please help.I really need to open an orphanage.

    • Hello Emilia,

      Thanks for commenting! Have you already checked out the programs that Austin Bible Institute offers? We have a lot of orphan care training programs, including a course specifically about how to start an orphanage…it’s a beginner course and it not all-inclusive by any means. But it’s a good place to start…check it out!

  6. I need to open a orphans house in my country to help orphans. In Burkina Faso west Africa. A lot of orphans suffering in my country.

  7. am really happy for you guys it have been my desire to get a training to gain knowledge to run an orphaneg,iwas once an orphan so i really now how much they feel thank you good job dickson ole nabiki from kenya

  8. Hello, I am a lady aged 55 years. My heart bleeds when I see less privileged people, that is children and old ones, I would want to help in any way I could . And I know I could be of help and make a difference in their lives.

    I already have put in my house three girls aged 16 years now. I have taken them to school at a community school and I am paying a minimal fee for each of them for their education.

  9. This site is so useful to providing information on start orphanage homes.

  10. I am a hindu by religion and I don’t want to change that.Can I start the course of your then?

  11. I really hope you could help me on how to start an orphanage.

    • Cecilia,
      Thank you for reaching out! We do have an 8 week course titled “How to Start an Orphanage/Orphan Care Ministry” that covers the basics of starting such a nonprofit. It actually just ended, but may be offered again in the Spring of 2018. Here is the link for more information: http://www.austinbiblecollege.com/startanorphanage/

      • Hi I’m so thankful the Lord led me to this course. I live in Rhode Island and we desperately need to start an orphanage here. How do I sign up for the course?

        • Sheri, here is the link to the course information: https://www.austinbiblecollege.com/startanorphanage/
          It is a beginner course and will give you the first steps to start you off in the right direction. I will say, it’s geared more toward starting an orphanage in another country but many of the concepts are transferrable. Of course, different places/states/countries have their own requirements and regulations but I encourage you to check out the information page and contact Austin Bible Institute for any further questions. Email: admissions@austinbibleinstitute.com

  12. Hi thank you guys for sharing this it has been so heavy in my heart on how to start an orphanage i am an orphan growing up without parents I felt so all alone and how my life was suffering sometimes lacking so much to take care of myself all this wanna make me do these because I can relate to it putting myself again in that position seeing how others feel I don’t want kids to weakness what I did am I need help on how to start things I need to know and also support financially thank you guys so much praying for Gods direction

  13. I am about to set up an orphanage in Nigeria, I have no experience but I have passion and commitment. It is a legacy I want to leave and believe I have been called to.
    I have a registered NGO already. I would need help. But how to go about it is what I did not know now. I would like to take a quick course as I go along so that I will be properly guided. Thank you.

    • Hello Debby,
      Thanks for your comment. Austin Bible Institute has a number of programs that teach students about effective ministry to OVC and I think many of them would be helpful to you! We do have an 8 week course titled “How to Start an Orphanage/Orphan Care Ministry” that covers the basics of starting such a nonprofit. It actually just ended, but may be offered again in the Springtime. Here is the link for more information: http://www.austinbiblecollege.com/startanorphanage/

  14. I am a father of three from Zimbabwe in the midlands province, i have noticed that we do have a large number of children who do not have parents in my area. so i would love to build them a shelter, feed, clothe and also educate them. currently i am providing them with clothing.

    i would like to know the proper channels of doing this,

  15. Ever Since i was young i have had this great passion of helping the needy and the orphans. i feel this is my purpose that i was created and its more of a calling than a preference. Giving back to the society i intend to start up an orphanage and am in need of information before i start of being finding this website to be very useful thanks and assist me where possible.

    Mombasa Kenya

  16. I want to start my project at orphanage of children’s homes in our area still when I get a sponsor in my orphanage I help life’s of some orphans are Changed but the main is I want a sponor

  17. I’m a teacher by profession. I’m devoted on helping orphans and poor people. I need to start an orphanage but I don’t know where to start. If you may please help me

  18. I ,IInna Titus i m realy have a passion to car for orphan in my comunity..i like this site ,i would love to owning an orphnage house and fullfill the calling of God in loving the children ..help me to start ..i am in Africa , Namibia in the town of Rundu. thank you

  19. Hi, I currently live in Houston, Tx I am a sophomore student at University of Houston-Downtown Accounting major. I am really interested in owning an orphanage and making it my ultimate goal in life. I would like to began building my experience and background. Are there any local programs that I can sign up for during the summer?

    • Ariel, thanks for your comment. Are you looking at building experience in local volunteering?

      • Yes I am, some local orphanages in my area. I wouldn’t mind traveling later, but I’d have to make plans months ahead so that maybe I could find work in that area.

        • Ariel, sorry we’re not very familiar with the Houston area. When it comes to volunteering with “orphanages” in the U.S., they typically go by other names such as children’s centers or children’s homes. I would suggest you research using that terminology and see if anything pops up in the Houston area.

  20. Dear Friends,
    I am pastor Mafabi Chris Omir director New Hope For All Ministries and a leader pastor New Hope Baptist
    I started up helping Orphans and Needy children in 2006 in our community while I was in Bible School, I started help two children with the help of my dear mommy Alice and now we Support 39 Children. what we need most is to have a helping heart and hand.
    we can change our communities by reaching one at a time and making a difference by the help of God. please keep praying for the Orphaned, Needy and Street Children in Africa, Uganda.am happy for this website. Learning helps us meet new ideas . please share with me , I would like to join and also come visit us here .

    • Hello, it seems we come from the same area, is yo ministry in mbale?

  21. Am Risen Philly Mugweri from Uganda. Thanks for all the information about how to start an Orpanage, and to start an Orphanage is acalling from the almighty God. We have a Project in Uganda based in Kamuli District and it was set up in 2015 with registered 72 Orphan Children but it is unfortunate that we can only meet needs for only 23 Children. It was set up with an aim of providing help to Orphaned Children due to HIV/AIDS and wars. HIV has made very many children Orphans since it has no cure. Abuse of Children’s right has also led to increased number of street kids who have turned into thieves so we formed our project in order to make the above categories of People happy, through placing Orphans and other Children into an Orphanage Home. We also give windows skills at different field like Art and Craft in order to support them to set up small business which can help them to get basic needs. I just call upon You to join me and we serve the God’s Ministry. Email: risenphilly@gmail.com Thanks!!!

  22. I have a passion of starting an orphanage, this came after we were attacked by terrorists while in the church,being the pastor in that church God spared my life. Some church members died living children as orphans. I believe that God spared my life to take care of those orphans. Pray for me to get the required resources because the burden is so heavy in my heart.

    • Anna,
      May God be with you as you follow what He’s putting on your heart! We have awesome orphan care training programs for online students at Austin Bible Institute. Here is a link to find out more: http://www.austinbiblecollege.com/

  23. Am so grateful for your information,i feel encouraged to continue. Am about to start one, it’s a call of God to open my home to the destitutes.

    • Suzanne,
      May God be with you in this pursuit! We are honored to give you encouragement and inspiration. We have awesome orphan care training programs for online students at Austin Bible Institute. Here is a link to find out more: http://www.austinbiblecollege.com/

  24. Do you have any idea about starting up an Orphanage in Cameroon . Also in regards to your training, how does it works

    • We have a lot of ideas about Cameroon orphanages! We have great relations with an organization that currently does orphan care work in Cameroon including family based care and orphan prevention. I would highly suggest you start with one of our basic introduction classes Starting an Orphanage. Here is a link with more information: http://www.austinbiblecollege.com/startanorphanage/

  25. I am about to set up an orphanage in Nigeria, I have no experience but the passion and commitment. It is a legacy I want to leave and believe I have been called to.
    I am presently reading all the literature available to equip myself. I believe that is not enough. I would need help.
    I would like to take a quick course as I go along so that I will be properly guided. Thank you.

    • Wenebi, have you already applied to any of our programs? We have a basic 8 week course that will teach you what is needed to start a nonprofit, such as an orphanage. There is A LOT of education needed to properly care for orphans and 1 course could not possibly do this. However, it is a good place to start…

  26. I would like to start in orphanage in U.S.A and I need some guidance. What process and documents are necessary to open a successful orphanage.

  27. I would like to start my own orphanage I’ve got a piece of land so I don’t know where to start. I need help to start building. so I need your advise and I already register for the 8weeks course. I am in South Africa.

    • I am interested in opening an orphanage in the United States. Our present system is overloaded, and we want to reach these mothers that are with child. Our theme is no questions asked. What are your suggestions?

    • Hi Nombeko. My name is Nandi I am also in South Africa, Mpumalanga. Where did you do your 8week course? Is it compulsory before you open an orphanage?

    • Nontembeko I am from SA in Cape Town can you assist us with the information plz dear


      • me and my friends are planning to open an orphanage in our city. i hope you will help us.