Despite the growing number of bogus orphanages in the world, there are still many children out there who desperately need help. But how to do you find a genuine charity to support? My husband and I had been given some money (by all of our wedding guests) that was to go to a good cause. … Continue reading
Orphanage tourism has become big business in Cambodia. Tourists swarm to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh where adverts in hotels or ‘friendly’ tuk tuk drivers lure them to bogus orphanages. Most of the children are not even orphans. The visitors’ misguided good intentions lead to a sustained cycle of poverty and neglect for the very … Continue reading
A resident of Cambodia who preferred not to be named has witnessed the increase in orphanage tourism over recent years. “I’ve watched the number of orphanages grow, and the number of volunteers grow. It creates a lot of problems,” she said. “The people in these orphanages go out to the countryside and find families that … Continue reading
Leah Holzworth worked with Khmer families in Seattle and studied South East Asian public health at university before moving to Cambodia in 2009. There she embarked on a bumpy ride and a steep learning curve. “My story was like many volunteer teaching stories I’ve heard. I met a nice moto driver, he took me to … Continue reading
What impact is the rise in ‘volunteerism’ having on Cambodia? Are volunteers being conned by false orphanages? Does ‘orphanage tourism’ benefit only the self-interest of tourists? Or are volunteers an important workforce? In 2009 Unicef reported that there were 630,000 orphans in Cambodia. UNICEF – Cambodia – Statistics Basic Indicators | Nutrition | Health | … Continue reading
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a beautiful but harsh country, a place of extremes. The Lonely Planet describes it as “a conundrum” and “intoxicating”. People wear the widest smiles and welcome you with open arms while posters warn about landmines and children sleep in the streets. Overview: Population: 15 million (UN, 2010) Capital city: Phnom … Continue reading
Cambodia, a gallery on Flickr. Some photos of Cambodia that show off the beauty and vibrancy of the country that captures so many hearts.