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How Not to Save the World

Are "voluntourists" - foreigners coming to do well-meaning voluntary work - actually doing more harm than good at developing world orphanages?

Are "voluntourists" - foreigners coming to do well-meaning voluntary work - actually doing more harm than good at developing world orphanages?

Manuela Saragosa speaks to one who says she saw the light. Pippa Biddle travelled to Tanzania to help do construction work at an orphanage. But she soon realised that the shoddy work she and her fellow American students were doing was creating more work for the people they were supposedly helping, and the whole project was really designed for their own benefit.

But the harm goes further than that, as James Sutherland, who works in Cambodia for the child welfare organisation Friends International, explains. Voluntourism creates a demand for an industry of fake orphanages trafficking in children who are not even orphans.

(Picture: American woman with two African children; Credit: MShep2/Getty Images)

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