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
Stop Orphanage Volunteering
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
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:
ïï Advice from children’s NGOs – if you want to help children “don’t
volunteer in an orphanage”
ïï Most children in orphanages have families, and orphanage volunteering
can encourage the separation of children from their families
ïï Orphanage volunteering is not just a problem in Cambodia and Nepal –
we’re exploring this issue in over 20 countries worldwide
ïï 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.
ïï 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!