From the network

January 2014

Travel stamps (1)

  • +1 rating

    Samoa or Nepal?

    Be careful about volunteering in orphanages. There is so much exploitation of 'volunteer/orphanage tourism', as this is appealing to westerners. Agencies charge huge sums of money for your right to volunteer and then, often, don't know what to do with you. Kids can be mucked around by a string of volunteers, each of whom come for a couple of weeks. Many genuine 'people services' want volunteers for 9 - 12 months. This is because children who have suffered great loss or abandonment, need continuity in their lives. I returned from Nepal very recently. There are over 500 orphanages in Kathmandu alone. Some traffic in children, by tricking poor families into surrendering their kids and their documents, promising an education, etc, which never materialises. Parents can't get their children back and they have no papers to prove that their children ever entered that institution. In the meantime, the orphanage showcases its poverty and makes money by enticing westerners to donate large sums of money for the children. The children never benefit from these donations. If you check out voluntourism or similar, online, you'll be sure to find lots written about it. On the other hand, volunteering to help people build a house, a community centre, a road, etc really does help. You can give your skills, labour, good-heartedness, without messing anyone around or being exploited by the agency. I could write more, but will leave your to do your own research. Kes about 6 years ago