Thailand Orphanage volunteering

Discussion in 'Philanthropy' started by Mikey Mike, 4th Feb, 2017.

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  1. Mikey Mike

    Mikey Mike Member

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    My wife and I have done ok from property in the past 8 years, so we both took LSL from our jobs (teacher and nurse) and took our two kids aged 2 and 4 to live in an orphanage in the Thai jungle in April to June of 2016.

    Was a great experience for all involved.
     
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  2. Xenia

    Xenia Well-Known Member

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    Hi Mike, for how long and what do you mean you took your kids to live in an orphanage?

    Were you volunteering there?
     
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  3. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Great stuff. Please tell us more!
     
  4. Mikey Mike

    Mikey Mike Member

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    Hi,
    Yes. We were living and volunteering at the orphanage for just over 2 months and travelled for a week or two at the end.
    I am a teacher and my wife a nurse.
    So we taught various lessons to the kids, lived on their property, brought them donations etc.
     
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  5. Indifference

    Indifference Well-Known Member

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    That's fantastic! What a great experience.

    Did you arrange this directly or through a Non-profit organization?

    I'd like to do something similar next year.
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    I never thought of that. How long can I leave them in an orphanage? Do we have to come back to collect them? ;)
     
  7. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    I think that you have done a nice thing, however I think it's terrible that the orphanage allowed this. Orphanages that allow volunteers to work with the kids is such a dangerous thing, and leaves the kids open to exploitation.as much as I'd love to volunteer in an orphanage I never would as orphanages that allow this are not putting the children's best interests and safety first. The ones that charge for a volunteering stint are also exploiting the kids, as they take in non orphans to get more money. A very small number of kids in Thailand and Cambodia are actual orphans. I don't think that we should volunteer to make ourselves feel good, there are more sustainable things we can do for charity. Not having a go at all, as most people don't realise the dark side to the orphanages.
     
  8. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    At least while an outsider is there their daily beatings may cease for a while!
     
  9. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    The issue is they can't screen the volunteers- police checks/working with children's checks can't be verified in other countries and these vary so much in each country. There have been many instances of volunteers abusing children in Asian orphanages. The recommendation is that if it wouldn't be allowed in a western country then you shouldn't do it in third world country just because you can. There's reasons they don't allow volunteers in western countries. It's those kids home, not a tourist attraction

    Again, I'm not disrespecting the OP or implying they had ill intentions at all- just saying it's not good to do because the wrong people can get through too
     
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  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    I disagree.

    The children would have more chance of being abused by a local then a foreign volunteer.
     
  11. MTR

    MTR Material Girl Premium Member

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    What do you suggest????what would be the best way to help these children?
     
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  12. legallyblonde

    legallyblonde Well-Known Member

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    The voluntourism industry is worth mega bucks... So the risk of exploration is very high... Whether it is working with children or animals, this kind of tourism creates a demand for orphans of all types.

    It makes me think of Slum Dog Millionaire. Creating disabled children because they make more money as beggars.

    As previously discussed hope to volunteer in retirement, especially with animals, but it is just a matter of being extremely diligent in the vetting of charities.
     
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  13. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    Donate to reputable charities- never direct to orphanages. My sister worked in Africa and it it was known that there were markets where middle class/well offlocals (not poor at all)would go and buy American branded clothing that was new and donated from excess stock etc from retailers which was supposed to go to orphanages but those in charge would profit by selling it. Some orphanage staff take your donations of kids toys/books pencils and keep them for themselves or resell them.
     
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  14. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    There's been a number of cases in Cambodia
     
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  15. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Yes I have seen stories of those. i also have a friend working in the child protection area there. The stories concerning the locals are far worse.

    But what does that mean? No one should look after children because some have done bad things?
     
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  16. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    No not at all- Im saying by not allowing tourists is a start. I think the best thing to do is for charities to provide education (employment) etc, so that families don't allow their kids to go to orphanages to stay when they can stay at home. I think I read a stat like 70% of these kids have atleast 1 living parent, but parents are told their kids will get an education or be fed for free (a lot of these families struggle to eat), though these orphanages get funding per child, some even make the kids perform in choirs etc and do tourist shows, and it becomes a money maker for those running it. Im don't know a whole lot, though once a long time ago when I had thought about volunteering I read up on it and how its not the ethical thing to do.
     
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  17. Terry_w

    Terry_w Well-Known Member Business Member

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    Yes that is the scam in Cambodia now, not many orphans are orphans.
     
  18. Otie

    Otie Well-Known Member

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    A few years ago my mum went there knowing nothing about the scams, and she did all the touristy stuff in Siem Reap. She did the floating school tour where you buy pencils and school supplies for the kids, she bought formula outside the supermarket where a lady was begging for formula not money (she had no idea that the baby formula gets sold back to the shop when she leaves, and that the pencils etc get returned and resold)
     
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  19. Luke T

    Luke T Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There are definately these bad things going on at some of these underprivilidged areas but its sad when people use that information to stop doing the positive things(giving time and money etc) that many of these areas need. I reccommend making sure the orpahanges you go to are ligit and have the trust built up over long periods.
    There is always still a risk that you may get ripped off once in a while but is that a reason to never help these areas again?
     
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  20. larrylarry

    larrylarry Well-Known Member

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    Few years ago our family with 2 young kids visited the Philippines (Cebu) and networked with my friend who lives there. We visited the slums, smokey mountains (rubbish dump) and homes. We brought toothbrushes,toothpaste, pencils etc over with donations. We saw real poverty personally for the very first time. Our kids still remember the trip. Left a very deep impression on them.
     
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