It makes eminent sense: kids in orphanages need hugs, attention, consistency, love. People who have been mothers and grandmothers, and who are often retired, have the time and the skills to make enormous differences in the lives of children.
I have found programs that match women to children, some more formal than others, in the U.S., in China, in Eastern Europe, in Africa. They have names like Hugging Grannies and Granny Goodness. One of my favorite names, Gogo Grannies, comes from South Africa, where gogo means granny in Zulu.
In this program, each woman comes five days a week, is matched with two children, and spends two hours a day exclusively with each of her two kids. Children who could not crawl begin to walk. Children who were withdrawn reach out their arms for hugs.
The gogo grannies report that even their “own” grandkids follow the progress of the orphans, and that all of them are happy/sad when the orphans reach the point where they can be adopted and find families of their own.