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Volunteer travel organisations : Stop Orphanage Volunteering

Volunteer travel organisations : Stop Orphanage Volunteering

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Better V.
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Volunteer travel organisations
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Volunteering or visiting orphanages can cause harm to vulnerable children. It is also driving an "orphanage industry", where children are being unnecessarily separated from their families.

These concerns have been widely covered in international media, but volunteer placements in orphanages are still being offered by many travel and volunteering organisations.

Please sign this petition as part of our efforts to call on these organisations to act in the best interests of the children and communities they are supposed to serve and

Please also share this petition with your networks, using the hashtag
#StopOrphanTrips .

Why is this important?

On average, 80% of children living in orphanages worldwide have one or more living parent. The most common reasons for many children to be placed in orphanages is because their families think it will give them better access to food and education. They often think this because many orphanages are supported and visited by foreigners who bring donations and often teach English.

However, over sixty years of research shows that growing up in orphanages can have a negative impact on children’s health, development, and life chances. Children who grow up in orphanages are also much more likely to experience abuse than in any other form of care setting.

Children grow up best in families.

Why is orphanage volunteering harmful to children?

Volunteering in an orphanage can cause harm to children in the following ways:

Volunteering in orphanages can glamourize orphanages
and incentivize the separation of children from their families.

Volunteering in orphanages sustains and grows a type of care that should only ever be a temporary, and last-resort solution for children.
In many places, governments are trying to move children out of orphanages into families, but the funding and support of orphanages from international supporters and volunteers is disrupting these efforts.

Volunteering in orphanages normalises access to vulnerable children.
Orphanages are a target for those with harmful intentions towards children. Visitors with good intentions normalize the practice of allowing access of unqualified staff to vulnerable children – something that would not be permitted in their own country.

Volunteering in orphanages can cause disrupted attachment
. Every time a volunteer leaves, children are left behind. This can have a particularly adverse affect as they learn not to trust or invest in relationships. For very young children such disrupted attachments can also have adverse affects on how their brains develop.

Child protection specialists have also articulated concerns about how the presence of international volunteers can disrupt children’s routines (such as education), and create confusions with regards to culture and identify. Most volunteers are not qualified to work with children and have little understanding of the potential of their behaviour to negatively impact upon the emotional and social stability of children.

In addition, volunteering can contribute to the commodification of children, where they are seen as something to be “experienced” by a visitor, and can be encouraged to act “poor”, or perform for visitors to solicit donations.

For more information on the negative impacts of volunteering on children and families, please visit: http://www.bettervolunteeringbettercare.org.

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Organizaciones de viajes de voluntariado: detengan el turismo de orfanatos!
¿Por qué es importante?

El voluntariado que se realiza orfanatos puede causar daños a los niños vulnerables. También está impulsando una "industria del orfanato", donde los niños son separados innecesariamente de sus familias.

Este problema está siendo difundido en medios de comunicación internacionales, sin embargo las pasantías locales e internacionales de voluntarios en orfanatos siguen siendo ofrecidas por muchas agencias de viajes y organizaciones de voluntariado internacional.

Hacemos un llamado a estas organizaciones para actuar en el mejor interés de los niños y las comunidades que se supone deben servir y decirle:


Comparte el hashtag:
#NoAlTurismoDeOrfanatos #StopOrphanTrips

Para obtener más información sobre el impacto negativo de este tipo de voluntariado en los niños, familias y comunidades, por favor visite:


Para obtener asesoramiento sobre adecuación de buenas prácticas a en voluntariado y protección de la niñez escribir a: volunteering (a) bettercarenetwork.org
Posted (Updated )