Volunteering in orphanages is bad for children!
In the past decade the number of orphan children has declined worldwide, whereas the number of orphanages in many developing countries has risen in response to the demand from tourists wishing to volunteer. Orphanages have become a tourist attraction and a ‘bucket list’ volunteering opportunity. Unfortunately the resulting rise in the number of tourists volunteering in orphanages is actually fuelling the number of “orphans”, and causing unnecessary separation of children from their families. Whilst we appreciate that aspiring volunteers offer their services for the best of motives, 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 abroad’ – 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.
- The business of orphanages: where do ‘orphans’ come from?
- Cambodia: child protection workers call for end to ‘orphanage tourism’
- Are tourists fuelling the orphanage industry?
- 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)
- Fake orphanages. Bogus animal sanctuaries. And crooks growing rich on Western gullibility..
- Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do
- Viewpoint: Is gap year volunteering a bad thing?
- Orphanage volunteering ‘part of the problem’
- Orphanage tourism: help or hindrance?
- Cambodia’s orphanages target the wallets of well-meaning tourists
- When Residential Care Centres Become Tourist Attractions
- Responsible Travel
- Friends International