There has been a lot of questioning in recent years into the actual positive effect that volunteering has on a local community, querying the real agenda behind the work being done by the vast amount of volunteer organisations operating across the Third World and developing nations. There have been reports by newspapers and independent journalists into the misleading way that some travel organisations and volunteer companies operate in developing countries and how they have been providing inaccurate information about the positive impacts of the volunteer work being offered.
Disturbing stories have appeared about parents from disadvantaged communities being misled by the owner of an orphanage giving a false impression of a better life for their children, taking the children in and providing harsh living conditions, in order to attract more volunteers and more money; or how local teachers have been fired from their paid position in a school, just to make space for a free volunteer teacher to take over their role. Changing Worlds sees it as an extremely important part of a volunteer placement that the work being done only has positive effects on the local community and does not indirectly result in negative repercussions.
According to reports on orphanages in Cambodia, over 70% of the children in the so-called orphanages are not orphans at all, and have been taken from their poor families living in the local area to fulfil the demand for voluntourism and orphanage tourism. Some orphanages and childcare centres in developing nations are nothing more than clever scams, targeting international donors, visitors and volunteers.
As an ethical organisation, Changing Worlds is committed to providing responsible volunteer placements, where volunteers are placed to provide support to the local community, local workers and local children. We aim to ensure that we are not providing a platform for corrupt owners of fake or misleading institutions to take advantage of local children, local workers and our volunteers.
Since 1999, Changing Worlds has hand-picked a select group of overseas partners to provide the most ethical and responsible options to those looking to do their bit to volunteer in disadvantaged communities in Africa, Asia, and South America. Volunteering is a selfless act which should have benefits that spread far beyond your own intrinsic rewards and, through a Changing Worlds volunteer placement, you can be safe in the knowledge that you are having a truly positive impact.
If you would like more information on any of our placements, and how we ensure that our volunteers only have a positive impact, then do not hesitate to speak to one of our experienced Travel Advisors.