Visiting Orphanages for Fun

I just read this article about people going to visit orphanages in Cambodia and it really struck a chord with me. I don’t know how to feel about it. I’m not sure what to think.

On the one hand …

If kid are in orphanages and they depend on tourism to survive .. then god bless ’em. What’s wrong with donating a few dollars to help children have access to food, clothing, and shelter?

On the other hand …

I see her point about

Aside from probably not teaching them anything, I achieved the following:

  • nice photos
  • lots of feeling good
  • something to tick off my list and tell people about
  • A great deal of learning and growth and stuff to think about, no doubt which made me a wiser person, more compassionate more aware of the world around me.

These are mostly good things, and I am grateful for the experience. But I no longer believe it served any benefit whatsoever to the children. I was one of a constant stream of white faces drifting in and out of their lives.  For them, a neutral experience at best.


Where is the line between “helping” the children and giving ourselves feel good fuzzies?


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