It's human nature to help a child in need, and most of us would do anything to make a difference when we are travelling. Which is why orphanages have become such popular destinations for travellers.
But the sad reality is that there’s a growing industry that’s exploiting our good intentions for profit. Around the world, children are being trafficked to fake orphanages as lucrative tourist attractions. They’re kept in deliberately poor conditions to elicit sympathy, and are left vulnerable and exposed.
That’s why Intrepid Travel no longer visits orphanages. Instead, we’re advocating for change and actively donating funds to trusted child protection organisations in countries where the industry is rife.
The good news is, there are ways you can have a positive impact when you travel. Intrepid are continually developing partnerships via The Intrepid Foundation and our NGO partners to facilitate community-based tourism projects that allow you to experience the local culture while empowering the communities you are visiting. Many of our trips also include visits to local homestays and communities that have been developed to directly benefit the people living there. But remember that being a responsible traveller is about being aware that children in any environment can be vulnerable.