In November Sallie paid a flying visit to Bangkok to participate in an important child protection workshop.
(and our local partner Paul from Calabash Tours in Port Elizabeth was there – so an additional treat!)
Volunteering in orphanages is a hugely popular way for many to “give back” but child protection experts have been telling us for some years that there are many dangers in this well meaning practice. A whole “industry” – that would horrify well-meaning volunteers – has grown from this desire to work with orphans.
To learn more take a look at the links at the end of this post
We at people and places are passionate about child protection and we have listened and learnt a huge amount from child protection and child rights experts – so we have been advocating against volunteering in orphanages for a number of years.
We are therefore very pleased and proud to be involved with an initiative that seeks to highlight these issues and help a greater understanding of the issues involved.
The Better Volunteering Better Care Network is an initiative supported by Oak Foundation and the Human Dignity Foundation, and led by actors in the child protection sector, to better understand the issues associated with international volunteering in residential care centres – aiming to discourage international volunteering in residential care centres whilst promoting ethical volunteering alternatives supporting children and families.
people and places were invited to participate in the network due to our internationally recognised role in campaigning for and managing responsible volunteer travel – and our contribution to the debate on volunteering in residential care centres. Sallie is a member of the steering group
Much has been written on the potential harm caused by orphanage tourism
Orphanage tourism: Who are foreign volunteers actually helping?
‘Making mistakes with people’s lives’: the ethics of orphanages and voluntourism
for an example of volunteer programmes that work to keep children in families – a better alternative to orphanage volunteering in our opinion – take a look here
If you would like to talk with us about this issue or learn about how you can volunteer to help keep children in families please do email