Spotlight on Volunteering

Spotlight on ReThink Orphanages


Are you thinking about volunteering overseas? Before you sign up, there are a few things to consider about volunteering in an orphanage. 


Today is the launch of ReThink Orphanages, a social enterprise campaign to end orphanage volunteering. LSE explain, 'Volunteering in orphanages is a popular means of ‘giving back’ among gap year travellers and short-term mission teams. However, this well-meaning support is weakening the global care reform effort to move away from the institutional model of care for children. Around 80% of children who live in orphanages are not ‘orphans’ – they have at least one living parent. One of the main reasons for a child to be placed in an orphanage is poverty – the only way for many children to get an education or access other basic services such as health care is to be raised in institutions, away from their families. The solution is to focus on strengthening families and communities to prevent this from happening.


There are many reasons why volunteering in orphanages can be particularly detrimental to children: it can lead to child traffickingsexual exploitation and psychological disorders.'


Text courtesy of LSE/ReThink Orphanages


Article: Universities have a duty to stop promoting orphanage volunteering


Video: How volunteering abroad in orphanages is harmful to children

Video: Orphanage tourism