More Information about Working at an Orphanage
In developing countries there are a lot of orphaned children who live in shelters or orphanages with little or no care. As a volunteer, your role will be to work with them and bring some joy to their lives. Some children may have been neglected or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. They need help and people who they can trust to work with them. Some orphanages are in rural areas and you might be working around 20-30 hours per week Monday - Friday. Accommodation is usually provided in a shared building with communial facilities with other participants or you could stay with a host family.
You will need to have a positive attitude and be able to create a fun environment for the children to live in. You could be just generally assisting with daily tasks, or even coming up with ideas like English lessons, music or leading sports activities. You will be required to be fun, very patience and be able to be creative planning a weekly schedule for the children keeping them busy and occupied. Each orphanage has its own routine but this is a summary of daily tasks:
Help with breakfast and prepare the children for school
Assist with lessons and teach English 3-4 hours a day in the local school
Lead sports, art, games, picture books, music activities
Organize fun activities when the children return from school
Prepare food for dinner
You could volunteer at an orphanage in countries like Moldova, Romania, India, Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Laos, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania. These are just a few of the locations but there are also lots of places around the world with young people in need. You will get to work alongside local teachers / community helpers by helping children lead a normal life.
Is This Right / Ethical?
Orphanage volunteering is a controversial area of voluntourism, there are widespread reports that some orphanages are just being run to many money and to expolit children which actually have families. There are a lot of articles and reviews you might want to read before applying, please research all organisations and check feedback on websites like facebook and twitter. Some organisations offer short term projects but if you are looking to join you have to ask yourself how much of a positive impact you can have in a short period. Also apply with an organisaton which offers training and a structured placement, ask lots of questions before signing up. You might want to read more about if these programs are see whether they are right for you, out of all the volunteer placements working at an orphanage is the most controversial due to some people argueing it can do more harm than good. We will leave this decision up to your personal choice but there are also lots of alternative programs available too. Joining orphanage volunteer programs is not an easy experience, and its certainly no holiday, living conditions also might be what you are used to. Please be aware that orphanage and childcare volunteer programmes can be very emotional, its not nice to see children who have had traumatic lives or who are suffering from illness like HIV / Aids.
You might be asked to pay a fee to participate, the cost usually goes to running the project or orphanage. This also should include training, placements, meals and accommodation which can be in the form of a homestay or with other volunteers.
If you need any specific advice about volunteering at orphanges please e-mail email@example.com we will help with any enquiries and hopefully place you on rewarding placements. View our website and find a orphanage volunteer or go to our volunteer abroad directory today.