There are now 65 children at the orphanage, ranging in age from newly born to 18 years old. They include 13 babies between just a few days and 6 months, 17 between 6 months and 4 years and 45 children aged 4 to 18.
The 45 children are housed in 5 cottages of mixed ages, so that they can help each other with daily tasks such as getting dressed.
Each cottage has a homework room, bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. The food for all the children is prepared in a central kitchen, and then reheated in the individual houses by the older children, who also enjoy helping out in the sewing workshop.
What happens when a foundling is left at the orphanage?
San Vicente de Paul always reports this to the police and the child is given a physical check at the local hospital. Most children staying in the orphanage have been placed there temporarily, as their parents are unable to take care of them at that time. This is often caused by drug abuse and money problems.
If nothing is known about the child or its family, the orphanage will usually give them both a first and last name. The names are often based on faith, the name of a former orphan or one of the social workers.
The child is usually eligible for adoption. But if this doesn’t work out, the child will live in the orphanage until the age of 18. You can read about what happens after their 18th birthday in a previous newsletter. In our next newsletter we will be featuring what happens during the adoption process.