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New campaign aims to stop 'harmful' mission trips to orphanages

Fri 23 Nov 2018
By Alex Williams

Christian charities have joined a new campaign seeking an end to visits by churches, travel operators and other groups to orphanages, by warning such trips perpetuate a "harmful" profit-driven industry.

They fear successive short-term visits by volunteers leave institutionalised children - who, in 80 per cent of cases, have a living parent - at greater risk of attachment disorders.

The fostering and adoption charity Home for Good is among Christian organisations in the UK supporting The Love You Give campaign.

 

Founder, Dr Krish Kandiah told Premier: "Often, it's in the best interests of the orphanage owners to run these orphanages, put them on the tourist trail [and] use the children as a little bit like a safari experience.

"You come in, play with the kids, put a smile on their face and leave. But that's really unhelpful for the wellbeing of the children. That's another abandonment, that's another rejection."

 

The campaign has got the backing of Christian organisations around the world including Caritas Australia, Catholic Relief Services, Tearfund Ireland and the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Organisers warns that young people leaving orphanages are more prone to trafficking and exploitation, while volunteers left to care for children do not always hold relevant qualifications or experience.

 

They say efforts must be directed towards keeping children in their families and communities.

The Love You Give is being championed by the New York-based Better Care Network and its ReThink Orphanages coalition of groups including Save the Children.

Click here to listen to Premier's Craig Wakling speaking with Dr Krish Kandiah:

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