Family working in community

    There's a better way to care

    People generally volunteer overseas because they want to contribute something meaningful and experience a new culture. Orphanage volunteering has been a popular form of 'giving back' among gap year travelers, those on a short-term mission trip and students studying abroad or engaged in voluntary service overseas.

    However, decades of research show that growing up in an residential care institution is harmful to a child's development and well-being. The solution has been a global care reform effort to move away from this model of care towards strengthening families and communities. 

    ‘Family strengthening’ is the provision of local services to meet the economic, educational, psychological and special needs of families to prevent family separation.

    This can include employment skills and job training, day care and after-school programs for children and healthcare services. 

    Support for businesses, charities, schools and universities and faith-based organisations

    Through our country Hubs in Australia, Europe, and the USA we can help businesses, including volunteer-sending organisations and tour operators, charities and educational and faith-based institutions - to transition away from relationships with orphanages and redirect efforts towards programs that can support families to stay together. Please get in touch for advice or support.

    Members of ReThink Orphanages have supported a growing number of volunteer-sending organisations to transition away from orphanage volunteering.

    Find out which organisations have made this move. 

    Be an advocate for change

    Help to spread the word by sharing these posts and videos on your social media:

    • Residential Care Institutions, like orphanages, cause harm to children. Support organisations that are keeping families together. #ReThinkOrphanages
    • All children need families, not orphanages. #ReThinkOrphanages
    • The best way to help vulnerable children is to redirect donations and support to organisations working to keep families together. #ReThinkOrphanages
    • Over 80% of children in orphanages are not orphans! #ReThinkOrphanages
    • Donations to orphanages fuels an industry that exploits children and tears families apart. #ReThinkOrphanages