Myths and realities about orphanages in Cambodia
Over the years long-term residential care centers or orphanages have become part of Cambodia’s landscape. Travel agencies, hotels and tuktuks drivers have included visits of orphanages in their sightseeing tours and many orphanage directors are practicing an “open door policy”, welcoming any visitors into their centers. Tourists and foreigners are offered a victimizing image of children that misleads their overall perception of orphans in Cambodia.
Friends-International provides the following information to inform and educate visitors and travelers about the situation of vulnerable children and the orphanage industry in Cambodia.
Friends-International’s definition of an orphan is, “a child
who has lost both parents through death or disappearance”.
Learn more about the myths and realities of orphanages in Cambodia:
- Myth:“Cambodia is full of orphans waiting in orphanages for a family”
- Myth: “A child
is better off in an orphanage than in a poor family,
at least he/she will get an education, clothing and food”.
- Myth: “Thanks
to orphanages, children are not ending up on the streets
of Phnom Penh, joining gangs, getting involved in crime and/or prostitution”.
- Myth: “If we
give money to the families they will spend it on other things,
not on the children. We cannot trust them; there is always a risk”.
- Why is community-based care preferable for children to residential care?
- How can you better support vulnerable children? Take action!