” Children must be protected from many forms of exploitation – the commoditisation of children by many “suppliers” in the volunteer travel industry is also a serious form of abuse. All too often well meaning volunteers are exploited too – particularly those wanting to serve “orphans” They would be horrified to learn that they are probably fuelling such abuse.There is a growing body of evidence that many orphanages in countries such as Uganda Bali and Cambodia are opened specifically to exploit well meaning but ill informed volunteers. There is overwhelming evidence that residential care should not be the first option for children. And where residential care is the option – there are serious emotional dangers for the children when they engage with short term volunteers. So does this mean there are no responsible options for people who want to volunteer to support our most vulnerable children?
No – there are responsible options – but they will take a lot more finding than all the opportunities advertised to “hug and love orphans”
This is an extract from an article Sallie has just written for Tourism Concern – read the whole article here