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Calling all bloggers please help us STOP Orphanage volunteering

in Responsible Travel Travel Industry Volunteering 851 views

ALERT....blatant plea for help!

Im duplicating an email i am sending out to many of the travel bloggers I know.

Can you help us?

If so - please do contact me

I am asking you to support the initiative I am now involved with - The Better Volunteering Better care Network is asking travel bloggers to help us to raise awareness of the harm caused by volunteering and visiting orphanages.

 I have copied the document that explains what we are trying to do with the blogging blitz and how you could help us below. 

Here is a link to the petition we have launched https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Volunteer_travel_organisations_Stop_Orphanage_Volunteering/?wztoFkb and the first blog post published today http://americangap.org/blog/what-does-responsible-international-volunteering-look-like/

Please do not hesitate to contact me

I so hope you feel you can support us

warmest wishes


Stop Orphanage Volunteering

Blogging Blitz

What are we doing: A month long blogging campaign raising awareness of the

harm caused by volunteering and visiting orphanages.

Why: The “Stop Orphanage Volunteering” blogging blitz provides an

opportunity for a range of individuals and organisations passionate about

responsible tourism to work together to highlight a serious child protection issue.

Those blogging will be able to align their personal brand with the growing

movement against orphanage volunteering and tourism, and demonstrate their

commitment to best practice principles in responsible tourism.

The Better Volunteering Better Care Blogging blitz will harness the creativity,

passion, and influence of  bloggers from the travel, missions, development, and

academic fields. The purpose of the blitz is to not only lobby the volunteer travel

industry, but also to raise awareness in multiple sectors, by working with

advocates and champions in those sectors. This is an issue that a number of

organisations have been campaigning on for some years, and while there has

been an increase in awareness and attention, the issue isn’t gaining enough

traction to actually create change. This blogging blitz is a way of taking the

temperature of this issue – seeing what kind of engagement we can promote, and

what kind of effect that might have.

Volunteering and visiting orphanages can be harmful for vulnerable children, and

is also contributing to the “orphanage industry” and the separation of children

from their families. Child protection specialists have expressed concern about

this phenomenon in over 20 countries worldwide. For further details and

explanation of why orphanage volunteering is a problem – please take a look at

the short document “Orphanage Volunteering – Why to Say No”.

What’s our goal: To persuade travel organisations to stop offering volunteer

placements in residential care centres.

Time: 30 days beginning May 3rd running until June 1st (International Day for

Protection of Children),

Who are we: Better Volunteering Better Care is a cross-sector global working

group made up of individuals and organisations campaigning against

international volunteering in orphanages, and supporting responsible

volunteering alternatives. BVBC is led by Better Care Network and Save the

Children UK and funded by Human Dignity Foundation. 

For the purposes of this blogging blitz, Better Volunteering Better Care is also

receiving support from a number of supporters across the responsible travel

sector – to whom we are very grateful!


At least 30 blog posts in 30 days on different aspects of the negative impact of

volunteering in residential care centres across the world, and positive stories of

best practice, and how to do volunteering well.

Individual engagement with 20 selected travel organisations currently offering

orphanage volunteering placements.

Call to action:

1) Asking readers to sign Avaaz petition calling for travel operators to remove

orphanage volunteering placements from their websites by the next Responsible

Tourism day at WTM in London in November 2016.

2) If you found the article interesting, please share with friends who you think

would too.

3) Use the hashtag #stoporphantrips to share and post further information on the



It is anticipated that all bloggers involved are encouraged to write within their

own style and voice, from their own perspective. However, to ensure a smooth

and successful blitz, we do have a basic process outlined:

1) Please either a) choose the angle you would like to cover or contact me for a range of different ideas.

Note – the current titles / themes are suggestions only!

We are trying to ensure a good “flow” of information, so articles are sufficiently

different (yet connected!) so if readers are following blitz, it builds a rounded

picture of the issue. Hence, we’d appreciate where possible for authors to have an

eye on what other writers will cover (especially those publishing around the same


2) Please review the document “Orphanage Volunteering – Why To Say No” ( which I will happily supply to you if you feel you can help us )- for a

brief overview of this issue. Ideally, we want to make sure all bloggers are aligned

in messaging around they key problems.

3) Please reach out to Better Volunteering Better Care for any resources required.

We can connect you with candidates to interview (i.e. people working on the

ground with orphanages, people who have volunteered, big NGOs to give

comments etc), as well as relevant news articles, research papers, or videos. In

addition, BVBC can also provide input on any “best practice” or child protection

issues if required.

4) BVBC will send an email 3 days prior to your publishing date to check in and

make sure everything is set.

5) Article will be published (on the blogger’s site). Every article will be shared on

Travindy so they are all available in one place should readers be interested. BVBC

will ensure members of the BVBC global working group share the article across

their networks. Those bloggers involved are also asked to share the articles of

other bloggers they think would resonate with their readers.

Key messages to communicate

The issue of international volunteering in residential care centres is a complex

one, and certainly can’t be covered in one – and perhaps not even in thirty –

articles. As such, we have highlighted five key messages that we are keen to

readers to understand:

Advice from children’s NGOs – if you want to help children “don’t

volunteer in an orphanage”

Most children in orphanages have families, and orphanage volunteering

can encourage the separation of children from their families

Orphanage volunteering is not just a problem in Cambodia and Nepal –

we’re exploring this issue in over 20 countries worldwide

It’s not about a “good” or “bad” orphanage – or a “real” or “fake” one – any

orphanage or travel company that allows international volunteers

(especially unskilled, unvetted) direct access to vulnerable children is not

adhering to best practice and does not have the best interests of the

children in mind.

If you want to help, learn first, visit the country, contribute a skill, and

work with organisations that help families stay together.

Many thanks for your support!

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