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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I think HELP is the volunteer organization that I looked for for a long time. It is the most easily accessible and responsive organization I found on the web. I really like the self donation to the school and how independent it requires its volunteers to be, unlike many other organizations.
Michael WintersteinSt. Paul Primary School