Many of the children in the orphanages end up there as a result of either or both parents dying from aids, malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid or some other disease. Because they are so poor they cannot afford the necessary medication to recover. The children would come from very poor living conditions and would have at times had to go without food. Many of the children would have been cared for by their grandparents who were not always able to cope. A lot of the children are literally dropped off at the orphanages by parents or relatives because they cannot cope. In some cases therefore it is not known how old the children are. On my visit to one of the orphanages a little girl of twelve asked me if I would be able to get her a passport for her next birthday, she had been dropped off as a baby and therefore there was no record of when she was born and it would be difficult for her ever to get a passport.
It must be remembered that the children that end up in the orphanages (however primitive) are the lucky ones, they have a roof over their head, get fed three times a day and are sent to school.