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.
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)
When young college students are asked why they volunteer, the answer is usually something along the lines of “I just want to help people,” or “I want to make a difference in the world.” While these answers may reflect good intentions, the actual work that they do tells a different story, and the negative results are seen in the aftermath of this work.
Prevention Project: Street Dramas NGN's Prevention Project team goes deep into rural Nepal to present anti-trafficking street dramas. All our actors are locally selected and trained, and know first-hand the story of "trafficking" of children. Entire villages show up to learn what signs to look for. Help us keep children from ever knowing the trauma of trafficking and family separation!
"I was looking for a way to give back while I was traveling. I have always loved being around children so volunteering in an orphanage made sense to me. I found a place very close to the tourist district where I was staying and the cost of staying there seemed quite reasonable, especially since I was happy to give money to help kids anyway. I also bought fruits and vegetables for the children while I was there, but their diet never seemed to change."
This year, nearly 20 million people will pack their bags to volunteer overseas—yet far too many are failing to make an impact, and some are even doing more harm than good. So how can we change the way we make positive change in the world?