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Should You Start an Orphanage or Not? – Part 1

There is a lot of wonderful debate going on now about the role of orphanages in orphan care. I recently wrote a post advertising a course that I am teaching at Austin Bible Institute on how to “Start an Orphanage.” The post drew mixed comments on people from people who are pro-orphanage and people who are not. I had a potential student also ask me a question which I answer in this video podcast as well. It is a two part video podcast that answers the question: “Should you start an orphanage or not?” In it I share some interesting views that will be good for anyone who is interested in orphan care to hear. Please leave comments and share with me your thoughts. For part 2 of the podcast, click here. Thanks.

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  1. Hi Dr. kenneth

    I have just heard your video. It is a pleasure to learn your experience and passion for orphans. I love them intensely also.
    I have some experience in working with children who have been mistreated during young infancy and learned that most of them become very difficult to parent for many reason. As a consequence some doptive and foster parents end up mistreating them, sometimes without having consciousness of it. It is sad to witness! Believe me.
    I wonder if you have experienced this kind of problems and how you addressed it.

    Kind regards,


  2. I feel I have been called to start and orphanage here in the United States. But circumstances with my husbands schedule disagrees with it. As God says where there are 2 or more there where I will I be… I so in my heart would like to be a part of directing children to Christ in a positive lifestyle with love and compassion for one another in serving in the world to be good servants in Christ as that is our sole purpose is to serve Christ in the word through the bible and loving one another in fulfilling the commandments as much as possible and repenting where we lack. So please pray that this goal gets fulfilled with all that is needed to fulfill this process of love and commitment. I am near retirement age in a year and few months. My husband has this land in a sub division that is 25 acres plus 5 acres where the house we live in is on. But the land is much shale. Pray that my husband and the law is open to sharing this land with orphans and that we can fulfill the love of God in raising many children to serve in the same manner with the love of God through Christ Jesus as our personal Savior. Thank You in advance for your prayers and love to help others to achieve this goal where ever it may be in the light of Jesus’s love.

    Sincerely Love in Christ to serve Him,

    Virginia. S.

    • Hello Virginia,
      I have prayed for you that God will give you the wisdom and spirit of discernment to know his will about this matter that is burdening your heart. I know your situation is not an easy one but our God is able to provide the light that will dispel any darkness and open any doors that he desires for you.
      Thank you for the heart you have to do God’s will.

  3. Dr. Acha,
    I appreciate you creating this video in order to respond to the questions and comments this course received. From everything that you stated about your background, your experience with the 53 families coming forward to care for orphans in Cameroon, etc it is clear that you believe that family/community based orphan care should be the first priority. I would agree 100%. I guess my question, then, is why is the emphasis of this course not on family based care rather than starting an orphanage? I think you are correct in saying that there is still a place for orphanages, but I would argue that they should only be used in emergency situations (like the malnourished child, Hope, you spoke about) as transitional homes and not as a permanent home for a child. I wish that your course was titled something closer to “So, you want to start an orphanage..” so that you would still draw in people who have a passion to start an orphanage, but then the emphasis of the course would focus on Alternative Care practices. I don’t thing we need any more Americans coming to Africa to build orphanages, no matter how equipped they are. What is needed are people to come and reform the hundred of institutions already operating and guide them in the direction of doing exactly what your orphanage in Cameroon did. We need more people coming and training local pastors to encourage their congregations and community members to offer to take in ovc’s. We need people to help build the capacity of pastors and church leaders so that they can support impoverished families who may be tempted to abandon their child to an orphanage.

    Again, I believe we are on the same page in believing that children deserve to grow up in a family, within a community. I wish that this course more clearly reflected that belief.


    • Hello Jessica,
      Thanks again for your continuous contribution to the discussion going on around this major topic. Your questions were too important for me to treat lightly, so I made a video to answer them. I thought that they would benefit other visitors to the Orphan Care Movement blog as well. In fact, I would probably have students in my “Starting an Orphanage” course watch them too. Please let me know after watching, what you feel about my view point.