VolunTourism – Children are NOT tourist attractions!

VolunTourism and Orphanage Tourism are NOT OK!

This is an excerpt of a blog I wrote last year when I was in Siem Reap, Cambodia whilst working for founder Billy Gorter of This Life Cambodia.

Thanks to Billy and his integrity, passionate and deep knowledge of orphans and children in Cambodia, I learnt so much.  The biggest and most important is about the Voluntourism and Orphan ‘industries’ that are sweeping third world countries with a front of ‘helping’. I see it as a licence to print money these days.

Not all of them are bad of course but sadly, many are not kosher.

YOU can help by educating yourself and learning what the difference is so you can share and spread your knowledge and in the process, help save some children’s lives. Remember…

Children are NOT tourist attractions!

Voluntourism and Orphanages

There are 1000’s of charities or NGO’s in Siem Reap alone, never mind the rest of Cambodia. I’ve learnt a lot these past 4 months being here and in Viet Nam, that just because it’s a charity doesn’t mean it’s good. Not all NGO’s are kosher sadly. Children have become a commodity in the growing Voluntourism industry.

Over 70% of children in orphanages in Cambodia are NOT ORPHANS!

If you’re reading this and considering paying some company to volunteer, ESPECIALLY if it’s a so-called orphanage or children’s shelter, PLEASE RECONSIDER.

Because of the rising number of people in the world wanting to help and make a difference, just like I did when I began this journey, children are being put at risk. Distressingly, many orphanages are keeping children who are not orphans and have a parent alive, ensuring they look scruffy and dirty, even teaching them to beg or perform for tourists just to get more money (not necessarily money that’s used within the charities or for the good of the children). This has lead to the horribly growing industry of Voluntourism.

There are several previous NGO heads now in jail in various parts of the world for paedophilia. Children who were given up by their parents thinking they’d have a better life in a shelter, now can’t get them back – and so it goes on.

I’m not going to bang on about it, there are some responsible and ethical links below that tell it how it is so educate yourself and please, please for the sake of the children, share and spread this.

The BEST place for children whether orphaned or ortherwise is in a family environment and getting an education.

Unicef: Cambodia’s Orphans Not Really Orphans

Why You Should Say No to Orphanage Tourism

Horrible People Are Exploiting Cambodia’s Orphans

Orphanages Not The Solution

Read rest of the blog here

With love and blessings Glen