“Here we have a good time, it is a good place… I like it here, but I’d like to go to my mother. My mommy will take me soon.” (Armenian girl living in a residential institution)
I spent part of the summer in 2013 in Yerevan, where I have met to meet with members of the Armenian Network of Child Protection and World Vision Armenia staffers to discuss the problem of institutionalised children.
We visited one of the residential care institutions in Yerevan and talked to children and personnel of the institution. We also visited one of the summer camps in the mountains, outside Yerevan, where every year hundreds of children from residential care institutions spend their holiday.
Despite important steps taken in the last few years, thousands of children still live in institutions and family based alternative care needs to be developed further in order to smoothen the de-institutionalization process in Armenia. The Armenian Network of Child Protection, a union of 16 NGOs, has been working hard in recent years to support the Armenian government in its action to withdraw children from the institutions and give them the opportunity to grow up in a family.