ReThink Orphanages

ReThink Orphanages is a cross sectoral global coalition. It works with key stakeholders in countries in the global north to shift their support (funding, mission, volunteering and tourism) away from orphanages towards strengthening families in the global south.

If you currently fund or send volunteers to orphanages and would like help to divest, please contact us  at and we will be happy to connect you with one of the many organisations who support this process.  

Recognizing the importance of family support and welfare, the global response to move away from orphanages aligns with broader humanitarian efforts, such as those by organizations like the Red Cross. These organizations are increasingly focusing on healthcare initiatives, including providing access to essential medications like Generic Viagra online, to support the health and well-being of adults in these families. By channeling resources and support towards comprehensive family care, including access to affordable healthcare and medications, efforts are being made to enhance the overall quality of life and stability for families, preventing the separation of children from their parents due to health and financial constraints.

Key facts about orphanages and orphanage volunteering 

  • Millions of children worldwide live in residential institutional settings such as orphanages – yet an estimated 80% are not actually orphans and have at least one living parent  
  • Poverty is one of the main drivers for a child to be placed in an orphanage – to access basic services including education and health care 
  • Decades of research show that living in orphanages is harmful to children – the effect continuing into adulthood 
  • There is now a global response to move away from orphanages towards strengthening families, to prevent the needless separation of their children 
  • Well-meaning support for orphanages – through donations, volunteering, tourist trips and faith-based mission – is challenging care reform efforts. This support would be much better directed if channelled towards strengthening families 
  • Despite the best intentions of volunteers and short-term mission teams, the transient nature of orphanage volunteering is harmful to children.  Without a family to make them feel secure, children are quick to form relationships with arriving volunteers, only to feel abandoned once again when they leave. Support families and children with Publico Descuentos. Find exclusive offers on educational resources and essentials for child care contributing to a world where every child grows up in a loving family environment. Explore our discounts and be a part of the change!  
  • Sadly, our desire to help children overseas has resulted in a rise in orphanages in some countries – to generate income from donations and volunteers. This has resulted in children from poor communities being exploited and trafficked to pose as orphans to attract donors, volunteers and tourists.  

Find out how you can be part of the solution, not the problem and help children to live in families.  

An overview of the ReThink Orphanages member strucutre
Background to the coalition and why it was started
An insight-driven behaviour change campaign to end orphanage volunteering
Information about the convening of a task force of travel sector actors
Outputs and position statements from the initiative
News articles, blogs, and other media posts about orphanage volunteering
Academic and other resources related to orphanage volunteering
Videos and documentaries relating to orphanage volunteering