What Challenges Do the Children in Japan’s Orphanages Face?

  • Japan may have a low birth rate compared to other countries but it doesn’t stop some people from abandoning their children and leaving them in institutions like orphanages. Some of them have been taken away from their parents for various legal reasons. And once the children grow older and leave the orphanage, most of the time, they encounter several problems. These include a lack of knowledge and life-skills necessary for living independently as well as a lack of support. Many orphans often face discrimination in their adult lives as well.

    Living in an Institution

    In some developed countries, it is expected that orphans will be given foster homes which will nurture them and give them a chance to be loved and supported. In contrast to this, growing up in an orphanage in Japan can be damaging, especially for children 3 years and younger. Most of the time, children are at risk of delayed mental growth as well as emotional and physical development. Another problem is the declining number of staff who take care of them which results in the frequent problem of bullying among the children. These living conditions are, of course, unfavorable both for the staff and the children.

    The Budget and Support System

    The insufficient budget of the government for orphanages is another major problem to consider. This reality leaves the employees overworked, as one member of staff is left to take care of 3 to 5 children. The government is not allocating much of a budget to orphanages, as they believe that children are being cared well by parents, but this is not always the case. Because of this, some volunteers are being dispatched to invest their time in helping these children with their education as well as offer them emotional support. Some volunteers have already established a support network for children for them to report abuse or seek help.

    The ultimate goal for every society is to have every child feel loved, secure and protected. Children in orphanages are often bereft of these important things.

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