Orphanage tourism

This is something I keep returning to. We don’t help orphanages in Nepal because it is so difficult to distinguish the genuine from the fake. Too often the children are dressed in rags and underfed to arouse the sympathies of well-meaning but naive tourists. Several years ago we did send a volunteer to one such orphanage, and he revealed to us what was happening behind the warm welcome we were given by the management: beatings, lack of care, and the selling of children to foreign adoption agencies.

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…

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HELP is rare for an organisation offering volunteer teaching in that it puts the needs of the local people before the desires of the western person wanting ‘the experience’.
Alastair SkeffingtonSaraswatimata Yumahangma English School