• The problem

    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".

  • Learn more

    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.

    Download here

    A detailed explanation of the reasons why orphanages and other residential care settings can be harmful for children, and why volunteering in these settings can create further problems for vulnerable children.


    Disponible en español

    Download here for the pdf

    Download here for the jpeg

    This infographic explains in an accessible way why we should say NO to international volunteering in orphanages (residential care centres).

    This section of the BCN website provides further resources and information on the issue of international volunteering in residential care

  • 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. 

  • 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.


    Since 2013 the Better Volunteering Better Care initiative has received funds from Oak Foundation and Human Dignity Foundation.

  • Contact Us

    For further information, or to start a conversation, please get in touch by using the form below. 

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