Just saw this post fly by–ResponsibleTravel.com has temporarily removed orphanage travel programs from its listings. From their blog:
The removal of trips is a temporary measure, whilst, over the coming weeks we work with industry leaders to develop best practice guidelines and criteria for the child-focussed volunteer trips we offer via responsibletravel.com.
We want to ensure we only market volunteer trips that we have 100% trust in and that, as a community of responsible operators, we are leading the way and raising standards around best practice in this industry. We hope that by being independently created, the new criteria will help sustain the exemplary operators while removing those that may potentially tarnish the sector.
You can read more about the decision here. Be sure to scroll down to the comments as well, where there’s some lively discussion going on.
To our volunteer trip provider friends—whether you send volunteers overseas or host them in your own community—and especially those who offer orphanage programs, what steps have you taken to continually evaluate those placements? Have your practices changed in recent years or months?
And to those of you who receive requests for partnership from orphanages, how do you respond?