This paper is a narrative study of the children in the High Risk Children’s Center (HRCC), a residential care facility, managed by the Village of Hope (VOH), in Kersa Ilala, Ethiopia. Current government policy in Ethiopia discourages institution-style care but the reality is that for some children there is no other option. These institutions tend to provide a more stable physical environment for the children in terms of food and shelter, but oftentimes emotional and social needs go unmet. Findings, based on interviews conducted with the children, staff and Governing Council of the HRCC, show the children are currently dissatisfied with the care they are receiving In particular, they have expressed the need for more social interaction with the outside community. The concern of the staff is that time outside the compound will allow for situations where the children can face compromising situations and possibly jeopardize themselves and the reputation of VOH. The research seeks to find ways to appropriately incorporate these children into the community during the time they live at the HRCC, so that when it becomes necessary for them to be on their own they will have a smooth transition. The research also focuses on finding values in the community, using the Appreciative Inquiry approach, on which to build. The findings uncovered the value of service as a lost value in the community. This discovery led to the creation of a youth service group aimed at teaching, not only the HRCC children but all the youth in the village, the value of service while at the same time integrating the HRCC children into the outside community.


Health Psychology | Psychology | Social Psychology