Volunteering in orphanages is not in the best interests of children
The orphanage volunteer
Did you know?
... that volunteering in orphanages is not in the best interests of children? It can increase the risk of abuse, and cause attachment and other developmental issues.
The orphanage myth
Did you know?
... that 80% of children living in orphanages have one or more living parent? Children develop best when they grow up in families, not in orphanages.
The orphanage industry
Did you know?
... that in some cases, volunteers and tourists are creating a "demand" for orphanages? This is resulting in the growth of what's known as the "orphanage industry".
Why orphanage volunteering can be harmful to children
Watch the video
How volunteering in orphanages can be harmful
A three minute video detailing the main reasons why volunteering at and supporting orphanages isn't necessarily in the best interests of children.
SIGN the Petition
We are asking volunteer travel organsiations to stop offering placements in orphanages. Add your name to our petition hosted on Avaaz by clicking on the link below.
We, the organisations listed below, do not support volunteering in orphanages abroad, whether undertaken by organised groups or individuals for short or longer periods of time. We pledge not to advertise these to our students and we will endeavour to ensure that such opportunities are neither facilitated nor promoted within our institution.
We believe in the power of volunteerism and support and encourage student learning experiences and overseas volunteering opportunities that strive for the highest standards of child protection and best practice for ethical engagement.
If you’re a student and passionate about this cause please sign the petition calling for the end of orphanage volunteering.
If you’re a higher or further education institute please add this pledge to your website. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the list of supporters.
Articles and resources
Easy-to-share resources and further information
Who We are
The global movement behind this campaign
Better Volunteering Better Care
Better Volunteering Better Care is an initiative founded in 2013 by Better Care Network and Save the Children UK. The goal of the initiative is primarily to understand and share information regarding the impact of international volunteering in residential care centres (orphanages) and to raise awareness about the negative effects of volunteering in these settings.
Global Working Group
Due to the passion and commitment of numerous individuals and organisations campaigning on this issue worldwide, in 2015 the Better Volunteering Better Care initiative established a global working group to unite and support those working on this issue and to provide a platform for collaboration. The goal of the Global Working Group is to discourage international volunteering in residential care centres (orphanages) and promote responsible volunteering alternatives.
Members and partners
For more information about the organisations and individuals participating in the global working group, please click here. Better Volunteering Better Care also partners with a number of other initiatives worldwide with similar goals. If you are interested in joining or working with the global working group please contact us through the form below.