Every year tens of thousands of children move from orphanages to live with families right across China
, thanks to the vision of this Norwich man.
Based in Norwich’s Cathedral Close, Care for Children
has just been given £2.22m by the Ikea Foundation
to further develop foster care in China and Thailand.
"We restore children to where they should be - in a family," said Robert, who trained as a social worker. "Children were never meant to grow up in warehouses. When we don't let them have good mothers and fathers, they develop mental and physical problems; awful things happen."
A former Norwich City
trainee, Robert had a career in social work, working with youngsters in residential care and becoming fostering officer for Norwich City Council.
“There was quite a lot coming out about the conditions for orphans in China and I just felt I wanted to find a way of helping," he said. So Robert moved to Shanghai
with wife Elizabeth
and their six children embarking on a journey which could find homes for a million.
Robert said the couple were driven by a desire to make a difference, which he believes springs from their faith.
"I'm just a normal guy. There is nothing special about Robert Glover, or my wife. But we are both Christians so we have the value of wanting to, where we can, help others.
"I knew we could help these children. For thousands of years we raised children in families and then we try putting them in warehouses. This is restoring God's order."
It took three years to get the first 500 children placed. But in the next three years, from 2014 to 2017, another 80,000 Chinese children will be moved from institutions to families, plus thousands more in Thailand
where the charity is working with the government. .
Next year it will launch a fostering project in Vietnam
, in partnership with Unicef.
Read the rest of this feature article on EDP24
Pictured above is Robert Glover with foster families in China.