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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

‘Nothing has changed’ despite damning Dreama negligence claims


In February, Doha News shared the story of neglect at Qatar’s only orphanage.  However, little has changed since publication, sources claim. 

Months ago, Doha News released a report on the state of Qatar’s only orphanage, Dreama, with sources at the centre revealing how it had transformed for the worse under new management, despite once serving as a safe haven for many.

The new management, it was reported, did little to provide adequate levels of comfort and support to orphans under their care, making several major changes to services at the facility.

Among the changes was the scrapping of an initiative titled ‘Friendly Family’ which brought volunteers to help the orphans with education and provide companionship.

Sources at the time confirmed orphans who reach their 18th birthday are also no longer provided allowances as per new rules by Dreama’s new head Nour Al-Hor.

But several months since the report was published, and despite widespread anger among the public, little has been done to improve the situation at the orphanage.

Maha, whose real name we are not revealing for her safety, is an orphan at Dreama who reached out to Doha News for assistance.

She said the circumstances at Dreama have only become worse for children at the facility where the quality of food has deteriorated.

“We have the same meal for lunch every day. When we asked them to change the food for us, they refused,” she added.

“We used to have a music room with toys and games, and that has also been taken from us. They’re not even spending any money on children’s clothes. We don’t have parents or families, we rely on the centre.

“Things have just gotten worse,” Maha told Doha News. 

The state-funded orphanage provides shelter, financial support, medical services as well as education for the country’s most vulnerable children. It also works closely with local authorities and the community to raise awareness on issues surrounding orphans while also assisting foster parents.

The centre is home to hundreds of children that have either been orphaned, abandoned or faced unsafe family environments.

However, sources said even the adoption process has been put to a halt with no reason being provided.

Meanwhile, previous orphan complaints that were reported to management at Qatar Social Work Foundation as well as social workers at Dreama have also seemed to fall on deaf ears.

“Since the article came out, no one has come to check on us and management hasn’t tried to make any changes,” Maha added. “We have no one to turn to,” she urged.

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