There are many children in Asia in need of support, but giving directly to these children or buying items from those that live on the streets or near popular tourist sites is strongly discouraged by the key organizations working to protect these children (Save the Children, UNICEF, Friends International, APLE).
EXO Travel has removed all visits to orphanages and children centers from its tours, especially where the children are under 12 years old. This decision was motivated by reports indicating that such visits along with short term volunteering can be disturbing to the children’s emotional balance and educational process.
A great way to support children is to channel funds into organizations caring for children such as children’s hospitals, as health is a major cause for families finding themselves unable to financially support their children, and one of the main reasons for why parents decide to resort to child care centers. We recommend the following organizations to provide better support:
- Kantha Bopha Hospital in Cambodia,
- Buckhunger a program feeding Street children of Phnom Penh or APLE an organization supporting children victims of rape and sexual exploitation
- Friends International active in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and in Myanmar
- Lao Friends Hospital for children also operate one hospital in Cambodia or Lao kids program
- Ho Chi Minh Hospital for children or Hy Vong School for Deaf & Mute in Vietnam.
- In Indonesia we work with a local organization EBPP developing hygienic living and better living conditions for poor communities in remote eastern part of Bali.
- Our clinic project in Myanmar
- In Thailand we recommend Gift of Happiness who secure basic needs (clothes, hygiene, toilets facilities, water supply, etc.) and supply to vulnerable families.
The latest campaign launched by Friends International, ‘Think before you donate, Support families not orphanages’, explains why supporting orphanages actually increases the likelihood of parents placing their children in such institutions instead of caring for them at home. ‘Someone came and told me that if I gave the baby to an orphanage I would get lots of money, I cried when I gave the baby, I cried’ (A mother, Save the Children). Check the campaign here.
To get our recommendations for other countries or should you wish to find out more information please ask your EXO Travel Consultants or contact us directly at [email protected]