The orphanage tourism conversation is going viral. Our September 5 post on Why UNICEF and Save the Children are Against Your Short-Term Service in Orphanages has gotten nearly 15,000 hits in the last three days. Questions and critique show up in the comment string, as well as calls for deeper background. We are therefore sharing two hour-long presentations here, by an individual who works directly with this issue in Nepal, and another individual who has coordinated a global, child-protection-focused, inter-agency initiative directly tied to orphanage tourism.
In the first video, Martin Punaks, Country Director for Next Generation Nepal (NGN) presents an Overview of Orphanage Tourism in Nepal. He covers the growth of orphanage tourism, shares some specific cases of abuses in orphanage tourism, and considers the possibilities for ethical alternative forms of international volunteering.
In the second video, Better Volunteering, Better Care Interagency Network Director Severine Chevrel shares an overview of the issue of children without parental care, and their relationship to orphanage tourism.
Please continue to develop the conversation and spread the word. This is an important issue. Again, it’s not that all service across cultures is bad. Indeed, there are many different kinds of service and some attempts to measure it well or frame it well. It is the case that short term international service in orphanages
- creates perverse incentives for children to end up in orphanages to a greater extent than they otherwise might
- is often psychologically harmful for children
- is dangerously and problematically tied to various kinds of abuse, as child protection guarantees are often not in place.
If you haven’t already read the original summary here, please do so. If you have and are concerned about this issue, please spread the word by sharing the post on social media. We look forward to hearing from you.
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