Orphanage Without Walls (OWW) is a longterm project supporting the poorest and most vulnerable orphans to grow up in a stable family situation in their local community while pursuing their highest possible level of education and/or vocational training. The ultimate goal for each individual orphan is to get his or her first paid job.


OWW combines local foster homes with direct financial and human support involving the orphan, the foster family, schools and the local NGO affiliate.

OWW is a cost effective and target-oriented project helping orphans and foster families out of poverty through education. OWW has so far proven to be surprisingly efficient. OWW represents an immense contact network and a strong platform for a variety of supplementary projects producing direct results while also strengthening OWW.

As of January 2013, OWW is supporting 650 orphans and approximately 2470 foster family members.

The History of Orphanage Without Walls

Dr. Marcel Roux, a former vice-president of Doctors Without Borders, started OWW in Gansu and Shaanxi Provinces in 1999. His Chinese name was Madaifu: Ma for Marcel and Daifu meaning doctor.

Dr. Marcel Roux passed away in 2006. In Dr. Roux’ honor, his NGO was renamed Children of Madaifu. Madaifu is still helping many orphans in Gansu and Shaanxi through the OWW-project.

CoS learned about Dr. Marcel Roux and OWW early 2007 and gradually understood that Dr. Roux had created a truly remarkable development project efficiently helping some of the most vulnerable children in the world today.

To honor Dr. Roux, and to let his legacy benefit and help many more orphans, Children of Shambala started OWW in Amdo in 2009.