Department of Anthropology

Ethiopian orphanages

WSUV Faculty participants

While there are over 5 million orphans in Ethiopia, a scarcity of holistic in-country research exists regarding: 1) the nature of caregiver-child interactions, institutional caregivers, and children’s general development and behavior within orphanages; 2) orphaned children "left behind" in the orphanages, on the streets or in child-headed households and; 3) emically-based research examining birth mothers and birth fathers reasons for relinquishment. This research represents an ongoing ethnographic study of one Ethiopian orphanage, orphaned children and their families. Specifically this study examines: attachment behaviors between the children (4 days old to 12 years of age) and their caretakers; anthropometric measurements; social and health histories of the children at the orphanage, ‘supported’ families food insecurity measurements, and interviews with birth mothers and birth fathers.