Volunteering in orphanges is bad for children
Tourism and volunteering in orphanages is fuelling the demand for "orphans", and so driving the unnecessary separation of children from their families. In the past decade the number of orphan children has declined worldwide however the number of orphanages in many developing countries has risen in response to the demand from tourists and volunteers. Orphanages have become a tourist attraction and a ‘bucket list’ volunteering opportunity. Whilst we appreciate that many well-meaning volunteers may wish to volunteer at an orphanage our view is that looking after vulnerable children should be undertaken by local, full-time, professional staff and not by short-term volunteers, no matter how skilled or qualified.
Tour Operators must stop sending unqualified volunteers to orphanages
Google finds 505,000 results for ‘volunteer orphanage aboard’ – most are marketed by holiday companies and tour operators. In the UK there are at least 30 tour operators sending volunteers to orphanages and we have written to them all urgently demanding that they stop sending tourists and unqualified volunteers to orphanages.
The petition will be presented to tour operators to demand an end to voluntarism placements in orphanages, which is why it is important as many people as possible sign the petition as possible. Please circulate the petition to your friends, family and professional networks and help us put an end to vulnerable children being used to sell 'holidays'.
Tourism Concern relies on individual donors for our funding – we can only do this campaigning with your help. Please make a donation today.
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- Al Jazeera report on Cambodia's Orphan Business - 'Voluntourism' gone wrong?
- Travel dilemas: Should I visit an orphanage?
- Orphanage Tourism Should Be Stopped, International Activists Urge
- Orphanage tourism runs the risk of long-term harm
- Why You Should Say No to Orphanage Tourism (And Tell All Tour Companies to Do the Same)
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- Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do
- Viewpoint: Is gap year volunteering a bad thing?
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- Orphanage tourism: help or hindrance?
- Cambodia's orphanages target the wallets of well-meaning tourists
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