Support The Granny ProgramThere are many ways you can help children living in orphanages abroad. email@example.com
There are 234 children in four countries that currently realize the emotional and developmental benefits of a Spence-Chapin granny's personalized attention. But we need to do more.
Millions of children wake up every day without a family to call their own.
Children growing up in institutions are often deprived of basic human interactions: warm hugs and kisses, games, storytelling and laughter. Overburdened staff cannot possibly provide them with the individual attention and nurturing they need and deserve each day.
Understanding the critical impact that physical and emotional contact has during a child's early stages of development, Spence-Chapin established its first Granny Program in 1998. Through this program, children in orphanages are paired with experienced women in these communities, who spend special, one-on-one time with each of them.
Hundreds of children have benefited, and all of them now have a chance at a brighter future, thanks to the positive effects of — and loving attention given by — their Spence-Chapin grannies.
What do the Grannies do?
Grannies are women living near an orphanage who come in to spend personal time with the same children each day. The granny forms a trusting, emotional bond with her children in an effort to make up for the essential bond missing between mother and child during this crucial time in these children's young lives. When a child learns that he or she can rely on a trusted adult and that somebody will be there for them each day, their view of the world, as well as their own self-worth, is made brighter.
Why get involved?
The introduction of a granny to a young child is literally life-changing; it gives that child the opportunity to live a healthy, confident and well-adjusted life. Orphanages are struggling to provide for the most basic needs of the children in their care and are asking for programs like this one to help them improve the lives of these little ones. The generous support of the Spence-Chapin community will allow us to expand the reach of our current program, and will enable us to provide more and more children with grannies of their own.
How does the Granny Program help children?
Children with grannies show significant progress in
just one year: their motor skills, attachment and emotional
development reveal the most dramatic improvement, and their speaking
skills and self-confidence improve as well. Children who previously
were unable to sit on their own are soon rolling over and crawling
after being assigned a granny. Some who were emotionally withdrawn now
raise their arms to be picked up after spotting their grannies.
Where does the Granny Program exist?
Spence-Chapin operates six Granny Programs in four
countries on four continents: China, Moldova, Colombia and South
Africa. With additional support, we hope to launch at least one new
Granny Program each year, helping even more children in need. Please click here to
join in Spence-Chapin's efforts, which are changing the lives of
hundreds of children across the globe.
In 2000, Spence-Chapin opened a Granny Program in the Child Welfare Institute of Xi'an, in Shaanxi Province. Rita Taddonio, Director of Spence-Chapin's Adoption Resource Center, has made repeat visits to Xi'an over the years to provide training to the grannies on attachment theory and child development, which are the theoretical underpinnings of the program. This is a wonderful example of how Spence-Chapin can offer both support and professional expertise to our partners around the world. Due to shifting needs at Xi'an, we recently re-designated our support to a "Newcomers Program," which provides much needed care and attention to children who have just arrived at the orphanage as well as children who are hospitalized. We were pleased to open our second Chinese Granny Program in 2007 in the orphanage in Ankang, a rural village in Shaanxi. Twenty children in Ankang, many of whom have significant medical issues like cerebral palsy, now know the love and devotion of a granny.
In 2005, Spence-Chapin launched a Granny Program at the Chisinau Municipal Special Children's Orphanage in Moldova. Thanks to the attention of their grannies, 40 young children have shown consistent improvement in behavior, speaking ability, and motor skills. Due to the incredible success of that program, Spence-Chapin made the decision to begin a second one in 2010 at the Republican Children's Home. There are now a total of 80 children with grannies in Moldova. Spence-Chapin staff visited Moldova in the fall of 2010, providing training to the grannies and staff from both programs, and receiving first-hand confirmation that every child who has a granny is provided with a solid foundation and a great deal of love that will serve them well, whether they grow up in institutional care or ultimately join a family.
The agency began a Granny Program in 2009 at the Fundacion Niña María's Santa Ana home in the town of Chía, approximately 40 minutes outside of Bogotà. Twenty-five children immediately began to reap the benefits of having a devoted granny visiting them each day. This program was welcomed with open arms by the professional staff of Niña María, who work closely with the grannies to ensure they achieve the best possible results for each participating child. The director of Spence-Chapin's Adoption Resource Center visited Colombia after the program began to offer a comprehensive training for the grannies and orphanage staff. This training offers insight into attachment and child development, the theoretical underpinnings of the Granny Program.
We are pleased to announce that along with our partners in South Africa - Jo'burg Child Welfare - we have officially launched our Granny Program with their local community of Soweto.