Here’s Why JK Rowling Has Urged Travellers Not To Volunteer At Orphanages
While it may seem like a charitable and altruistic way to spend your holiday, or part of your gap year, volunteering at orphanages has a darker side – one which Harry Potter author JK Rowling recently called out.
Rowling launched a campaign on Friday 25 October called #HelpingNotHelping through her charitable foundation, Lumos and YouGov UK. She spoke at the young leader summit One Young World in London, and said, “Despite the best of intentions, the sad truth is that visiting and volunteering in orphanages drives an industry that separates children from their families and puts them at risk of neglect and abuse.”
“Institutionalism is one of the worst things you can do to children in the world,” she said. “It has huge effects on their normal development, it renders children vulnerable to abuse and trafficking, and it massively impacts their life chances. And these dire statistics apply even to what we would see as well-run orphanages … The effect on children is universally poor.”