Family Travel Must Stand Up for Families and #StopOrphanTrips

Family Travel Must Stand Up for Families and #StopOrphanTrips

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Most parenting manuals encourage adults to model best behavior for children. Generally speaking, moms and dads want their kids to see in practice how virtues like kindness, generosity, humility and thoughtfulness are respected and rewarded. Who wouldn’t? A world full of people choosing always to support one another would be an astonishing place.

With this in mind, when families travel these days, they increasingly set aside ever more time – now sometimes in generous amounts – for being of service in the communities they visit, especially when those communities are less fortunate. Spending time with local children is frequently a priority, be it in an orphanage, other residential care center or school. Whether through chaperoned experiences arranged in advance or impromptu visits organized through local contacts, parents and kids together turn their minds, hands, skills and resources to the advantage of people, chiefly children, in need.

But, alas, the world isn’t full of people who always choose to support one another. So what happens when good intentions fall victim to clever unscrupulousness? What should you do when generosity is manipulated or misdirected?

After all, nobody likes to be played for a fool, especially people who truly mean well. But, to be callously blunt, that’s what’s often the case when you visit, volunteer at or contribute to an overseas “orphanage.” Rather than setting a good example for their children, parents are helping to perpetuate, and sometimes aggravate, serious problems.

That’s what the monthlong #StopOrphanTrips blog blitz is about: Daily throughout May, a new article (today it’s this one) raises awareness around the issues of orphanage volunteering. The campaign comes to a conclusion on June 1st, International Children’s Day, with a resounding call for the removal of orphanage trips from the product offerings of all travel organizations, particularly those with a focus on volunteering.

Read more at The Travel Word

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