Orphan Care


“[The righteous are] those who feed the poor, the orphan, and the captive, for the love of God, saying, “We feed you for the sake of God alone. We do not want any reward or thanks from you.” Holy Qur'an (90:15–16).

The concept and objectives related to caring for vulnerable children, including orphans, are also addressed under different goals and targets set by the UN. The SDGs focus on promoting the well-being, protection, and development of all children, including those who have lost their parents.

  • Target 1.3 emphasizes the need to implement nationally appropriate social protection systems to support vulnerable populations, including orphaned children.
  • Target 3.7 aims to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services, including maternal, newborn, and child health services, which are crucial for the well-being of orphaned children.
  • Target 4.a focuses on building and upgrading educational facilities that are child, disability, and gender-sensitive, ensuring equal access to all, including orphaned children.
  • Target 10.2 aims to empower and promote the social, economic, and political inclusion of all, including children without parental care or at risk of separation from their families.

Problem Statement:

Providing adequate care and support for orphans and vulnerable children presents numerous challenges, stemming from economic, social, and structural factors. Indonesia is home to 85 million children, which equates to around one-third of Indonesia's population, and the fourth largest of any country in the world. It is estimated that half a million children spend the greater part of their childhoods in 8000 childcare institutions across Indonesia.

One of the primary challenges in orphan care is the lack of adequate resources. Many societies struggle with limited financial and infrastructural capabilities to provide comprehensive care for orphans. Insufficient funding for orphanages, educational facilities, healthcare services, and other essential resources hinder the well-being and development of these children.

Majority of children residing in orphanages are not orphans with around 90 percent still having one or both parents alive. Most parents send their children to such institutions because of acute poverty which restricts their ability to provide a good livelihood – food, accommodation, education and healthcare – and encourages them to send their children to institutional providers of childcare. Some researchers believe that the quality of care and education in many institutions are poor, and many children are neglected. For a child, the most protective environment is the family. Capacity building of institutions providing child care is a neglected area. Most of the institutions are in private sector and do not engage the services of trained care-givers. There is a dearth of good learning programs in the area that can be administered in a cost-less manner.

Proposed Solutions/ Objectives:

a. Revisit existing data and research evidence on institutional child care
b. Develop a database on orphanages and institutional child care in Indonesia
c. Identify a sustainable model of intervention for better care of orphans and vulnerable children
d. Bring together donors and orphanages for a financing model that ensures transparency and better accountability
e. Ensure continuous monitoring of mental health of orphans and vulnerable children by onboarding the services of mental health counsellors
f. Identify parents and/or family members of abandoned children and seek to reduce their poverty levels through livelihood programs, so that their reunification with children becomes possible
g. Develop a learning program for parents and staff of child care institutions
h. Identify major pain points and challenges facing orphan care and seek solutions thereto.

Deliverables & Expected Outcomes

• A research database on dimensions of orphan care (the evidence)
• A database on orphanages in Indonesia (the numbers)
• A network of orphanages on the blockchain (the institutions)
• An AI based app that would help counsellors to monitor mental health of children in orphanages and do proper and regular counselling
• An e-learning program on child care and protection, positive parenting for parents and care-givers in institutions
• A platform that would bring together all stakeholders – donors, orphanage managers, parents, volunteers, health care providers, counsellors, regulators and the public at large.

Project Progress

Research into the challenges of orphan care and possible solutions is being led by Dr. Mohammed Obaidullah who in his earlier capacity as Lead Research Economist with the Islamic Development Bank Group led the project team for producing the first ever Global Report on Islamic Social Finance. The research involves intensive interaction with orphan care providers in the country that should lead to their active participation in the blockchain-based platform.


A database of orphanages in Indonesia has been created. The database seeks to collect data points along several dimensions – number and type of beneficiaries, provision of basic amenities like education, healthcare, sanitation, recreation etc, financing needs and management practices, future plans etc. A partnership strategy with the NGOs behind these orphanages is seen as the key to the success of the data collection exercise.

A large number of research studies on orphan care in Indonesia and elsewhere are now under review. The research team has initiated the process of preparing abstracts of these studies, identifying key research questions, method of study and the major findings. These would be posted at this portal shortly. 


Copyright © 2023
YSAI Indonesia

Dr. Irfan Syauqi Beik

Member of Board of Commissioner Badan Wakaf Indonesia

Nana Mintarti

Commissioner, National Zakat Foundation (BAZNAS) Indonesia

Dr. Ahmad Juwaini

Director, National Sharia Economy & Finance Committee (KNEKS), Indonesia

Agus Wicaksono

CEO & Co-Founder of Alumnia

Dr. Moutaz Abojeib

Islamic Fintech Expert, ISRA, INCEIF

Dr. Kinan Salim

Head of Islamic Digital Economy, INCEIF

Dr. Nasim Shah Shirazi

HBK University, Qatar

Dr. Ahmad Younes

Founder, Polykick

Dr. Hisham Dafterdar

Awakaf Australia

Mufti Faraz Adam

Shariah Consultant & Head of Research, National Zakat Foundation, UK

Azim Kidwai

CEO, Mercy Mission & Chair, BoT, National Zakat Foundation, UK

Vladimir Malenko

General Director
PayZakat, Russian Federation

Zeinoul Abedien

CEO, Awqaf SA, South Africa

Dr. Abd Halim M Noor

Rector, UiTM Melaka Campus, Malaysia

Dr. Aliyu Dahiru Mohammed

Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

Khalifa Muhamad Ali

Faculty of Islamic Economics
IPB University, Indonesia