Video #4: Orphanage Tourism

If you are interested in visiting or volunteering in an orphanage overseas, or you know someone who has, or if you have seen and been troubled by orphanage tourism whilst travelling abroad, watch this video and use the following prompts for further discussion:

  • Why do you think people want to volunteer in orphanages? Who benefits? What assumptions do people make about orphanages overseas?
  • Are volunteers allowed to visit orphanages near your home? If you do not have orphanages near your home, what do you think happens to kids whose parents die or can no longer take care of them? Why do you think the issue is treated differently in different parts of the world?
  • What things do you think are essential for the wellbeing of vulnerable children? How can a string of short term foreign volunteers help or detract from providing what these children need?
  • According to the video, how can orphanage tourism be linked to child exploitation? Why do you think most travellers that participate in these activities don’t think about these issues?
  • What would “effective” volunteering in an orphanage look like? What types of people, or qualifications, would make for an ideal volunteer? If someone doesn’t have those skills, what activities does it make sense for them to undertake? Which activities do you think are most “attractive” to volunteers, and how does it link to where there is greatest need?