Do you have money and think you can change the world with it? Do you have low self-esteem, or simply crave instant gratification on social media? Or maybe you just want to increase your chance to on Tinder by embodying a third-world savior persona? Well, I’ve got an easy answer to check all your theoretical boxes: voluntourism.
Institution-based sexual exploitation, including within orphanages, is on the rise in South- East Asia. While the drivers of this increase are complex, the growth in volunteer and orphanage tourism creates opportunities for child sexual exploitation by allowing contact between vulnerable children and child sex offenders, stimulating demand for orphanages and orphaned children through child trafficking and paper orphaning, and providing the necessary conditions for orphanage scams.
NGN Statistics from February 2007 to February 2019
It was 2010, I was just finishing my A levels and had two months before starting university. I knew I wanted to go away and do something different. I was interested in development work and as an eager and naïve 17-year-old, volunteering abroad in an orphanage seemed like a rewarding, helpful and ethical thing to do.
"Following the Nepal earthquake in 2015, thousands of people in Nepal were left homeless. Families became increasingly vulnerable to child traffickers removing children from their communities and placing them in institutions. This is a short film about a programme Next Generation Nepal (NGN) established to raise awareness of this issue amongst families. It was created by NGN in partnership with Lumos, to be used in Lumos’ pilot online course, A Short Introduction to Transforming Care, to illustrate the importance of conducting evaluations in the transforming care process. It was considered a model of good practice by Lumos." Check out this video from our Country Director Samjyor Lama how to monitor and evaluate reintegrated children successfully in Nepal.
As someone from Nigeria, I usually have mixed feelings when my friends announce they are planning to go volunteer in a country with a high poverty rate. The whole process is a little, well, uncomfortable. I am from Nigeria, and I have family that live there. To me, the idea of someone flying to some African country and offering them help is truly bizarre — probably as strange as it would be for an American to see someone from Nigeria travel here for two weeks to do the same. It also seems more than a little unproductive. I have never understood brief one-time volunteer trips. If you care about a community of people, shouldn’t helping them be a lifelong goal, and not a glorified vacation?
Hello Friends, We would like to take a moment to explain why your donations are so important to NGN's work. NGN is required by the Government of Nepal to spend $200,000 minimum per year on our projects in Nepal. This is easy for large INGOs, but it can be daunting for a small organization such as ours to reach this level of fundraising every year. NGN's presence and work is vital for the children and families of Nepal. Rescue, Reunification and Prevention are our core programs. Over time, NGN has rescued and reunified over 500 children and reached tens of thousands of Nepalis on how to end child trafficking. Your donations make this happen.
Whether it’s celebrities or ordinary teens with an organized secular group, the practice of traveling outside the United States for a service trip has become a widespread practice — and a multi-billion dollar industry. While this activity seems noble, the voluntourism industry often serves as a feel-good activity that doesn’t address problems at their roots.
NGN has recently expanded its Street Drama Advocacy program into the Humla and Mugu Districts of Nepal where there is little communication with the outside world. Posed as well dressed, well-spoken individuals, traffickers travel to these vulnerable, remote areas where they make promises to take a family’s child to the city and provide them with a dream of care and education.
I was born in a village in far west Nepal – a remote area near a jungle. There was just my mum, my dad and me when I was born, I had had two siblings but they had died in infancy. My family wasn’t bad to me – although of course we had some problems. My father was alcoholic, and behaved irresponsibly towards the family. He never harmed me or my mum, but he was harming himself. I ended up spending most of my early childhood with my mum.
A historic modern slavery bill in Australia is being praised as the country takes the lead in ending the practice. Australia has become the first country in the world to recognise the popular tourism practice of visiting overseas orphanages is forcing young children into slavery in many cases.
What's your idea of the perfect vacation? Is it lying on a beach, tanning and gazing at the lapping waves? Or skiing through fresh powder on a snowy mountain? Or might it, instead, involve digging a well in a poor village, teaching English to a group of foreign schoolkids or lugging bales of hay to feed elephants at an animal rescue shelter? If you lean more toward the latter, you might just be a voluntourist (a mashup of volunteer and tourist)