To set up an orphanage, you need to first understand what an Orphanage is. An Orphanage is a home to children with no (responsible) parents, guardians, or care-takers. It is a non-profit organization. Most of the time children who are kept or raised in an Orphanage may or may not have relatives and/or family members who volunteer to take care of them.
An Orphanage, therefore, provides these children with a comfortable environment for them to thrive, grown and mature into responsible men and women. The comfortable environment which an Orphanage provides plays a major role in the development of the children and their ability to blend in the society.
With the increase in wars and disputes all over the world, more children have been displaced. This has constantly brought about the need for the establishment of more orphanages across the world.
The turbulent economic, sociopolitical, religious and ethno-cultural climate in Nigeria has led to the death of or the inability of many parents to take care of their children. Establishing an Orphanage would go a long way in rescuing the stranded children, giving them a home-away-from-home and re-integrating them into the society.
Children kept in an Orphanage are taken care of until someone comes to adopt them. Those who are not adopted would be nurtured till maturity and then released into the society to fend for themselves.
The goal behind setting up an orphanage is to take proper care of the displaced and abandoned children in the society, providing them with all the love and care that they need. With this in mind, you can see that the aim of setting up an orphanage is not to make money but rather to give hope and succor to the downtrodden, the helpless and destitute children in the society.
The following steps will prepare you for this journey:
- Work as a Volunteer at An Orphanage
There is no better way to understand how to run an orphanage than to get involved in one. You can simply serve as a volunteer worker and monitor how things are done there. The experience that you gain during your stay there will help to equip your mind with the relevant information on the needs of the children and how to attend to such needs.
- Get Professional Training
There are professional certifications and trainings on the child care and support. You should get these, and they will help to increase your success rate in running your Orphanage. There are a lot of administrative and emotional duties and roles that you will need for the smooth running of this business. Professional trainings can help you with that.
- Carry Out Adequate Research
Many people do not know this but you need to arm yourself with a lot of information and research thoroughly on the modalities in running an Orphanage. From your research you would get to know more about things like child psychology and infant care.
Your research should arm you with useful information on how to raise funds to take care of the day-to-day running of your Orphanage and many other things. With these in place, you should be ready to get your orphanage up and running. Let us now look at 7 steps that you need to follow to set up an orphanage here in Nigeria.
Get the Required Capital
You cannot run an Orphanage without a detailed plan on how funds will be raised to finance its startup and sustenance. The effective operation of the business will depend on your ability to draft out your sources of startup and running capital. If you don’t have enough savings, you could reach out to financial institutions for a loan to finance this idea.
Don’t expect to see people flocking in tot support you when you are just kicking off the business. No, that hardly happens here in Nigeria. So, you must have your funds in place before you start.
An Orphanage takes time and a lot of efforts to build. As people get to know about your Orphanage, especially through publicity whether online or offline, you will begin to see support in cash and kind flowing in.
Choose A Suitable Location
When choosing a location to set up the business, choose an area that is serene, neat and conducive for proper child upbringing. Children need an environment that can provide the best and most comfortable memories. Also, your Orphanage should be easy to access by donors and people bringing kids would not have a hard time trying to locate you. Accessibility will help visitors locate you without much stress. They may not return if the stress is much.
As time progresses, you may need to extend or expand the Orphanage building to accommodate more kids. Basically, your orphanage should have a play area, sleeping area, eating area, and study area. You need to incorporate these various building sections into your land choice.
Having these building/structures in place will help you to gain easy accreditation from the various bodies in charge of this. You may read more about the choice of location for a business here.
Register the Orphanage as an Organization
Without government approval, no Orphanage can be set up successfully. The registration processes must be followed accordingly to avoid penalties as stated clearly in the Child Rights Act. Registration is done under the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a non-profit organization under Section C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.
Rent or Build the Orphanage House
Whether the building which you intend to use for your Orphanage is rented or built by you, you should ensure that it doesn’t jeopardize the safety of the children. The environment must be safe for the occupants’ physical, emotional, academic and psychological growth and development. Avoid areas that are prone to flooding or any other form of natural or human disaster.
Draft a Non-Profit Business Plan
No organization can run effectively without a business plan. Your business plan should incorporate the number of staff that you need, your fundraising strategy, standards for accepting children, sustainability as well as profitability strategies.
Publicize and Promote Your Orphanage
As much as you can, make sure you make people aware of your organization and request for patronage and donations. This you can do through fliers, posters, adverts and social media posts.
Get A Website.
You can take it further by opening a website for your Orphanage. It gives you international recognition and strengthens your credibility for financial support. Through your website, you would be able to accept donations and other forms of support locally and internationally.
You can also include budgets and reports on your website so that people can see what their money is being spent on. When you do these, people will come to trust you and support your organization the more.
Source for Investors
Apart from the individual contributions from persons, there are many other organizations that would love to partner with your Orphanage. You need to reach out to them and establish partnerships with them. Don’t stay excluded, tell people of your organization. You will never get the necessary support you need if you choose to stay quiet.
Make sure that you have prepared a concise and appropriate documentation process for children who are up for adoption. Some investors would love to see how credible your documentation process is.
If you follow this route to the latter, you would be able to start and run an Orphanage successfully in Nigeria.