In middle school, I remember hearing about the local church visiting a rural town in Mexico with a group of volunteers for a week to build houses. At the time, I was impressed. Not only did I not know how to find these sort of opportunities on my own, but I remember thinking how noble it was to put yourself outside your comfort zone in such a productive way.
As a child, Teresia was forced to work at a Kenyan orphanage, where well-meaning donors and tourists paid to visit with the children.
At 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning we received an urgent phone call for a rescue of 12 children from an illegal orphanage. The man holding the children escaped a few days earlier leaving the children without enough food.
This is our brief guide on ethical volunteering and ethical tourism. Read it through and contact us if you have any further questions!
Read the latest dispatch from Nepal here!
Despite powerful evidence of the negative impact of orphanage care, private donors continue to provide large amounts of funding to orphanages through donations, volunteer tourism, mission trips and other forms of fundraising – adding to the pull factors drawing more vulnerable children into institutional care and away from family or community care.
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.
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.