Pilot project: the first family-style orphanage in Colombia (closed)
During 2012 to 2016 the Fundación Benjamin Kullmann, licensed during this time by the Colombian Ministry of Family Affairs (Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar), initiated and operated the first family-style orphanage in the Republic of Colombia accommodating up to 10 children in a family home-style facility in Barranquilla targeted at older children with a low probability to be adopted by a regular family. The model was inspired by an innovative combination of the experiences of the well-known SOS Children’s Villages model (just not in a village setting) and the US Foster Care System Family Homes for biologically/socially-orphaned kids. The principal aim was to provide a safe, micro-environment which would resemble as much as possible a regular family with a “mom” as well as “siblings” in a family-home environment and bring the participating children from abandonment to healthy family and community relationships, overcoming the frequent life-long lasting negative syndrome of ‘institutionalized kids’.
Unfortunately, a general shift on adoption policy in the Colombian Ministry of Family Affairs lead to the premature closure of the home in 2016. During its operation excellent progress and development results were, however, recorded with the supported children, which largely came from a history of traumatic neglect and abuse, visibly transforming from feelings, energies and emotions of victimization, neglect and low self-esteem to assertiveness, healthy self-esteem and empowerment. We saw the children participating in our family style orphanage pilot project on a healthy and transformational shift towards a high quality livelihood and positive future later on in life. Unfortunately, we were not given the opportunity to complete this process. We remain, however, at the disposal of any governmental or non-governmental organisation which is interested in the results of this pilot project.