The Problem with Orphanage Tourism
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Orphanage tourism has taken off, and as sad as it is, I’m really not surprised. The popularity generated by the Western World for volunteering at these establishments has been so significant that in order to meet such demand, fake orphanages have been set up. There have been reports that these fake orphanages house non-orphans who have either been placed there willingly – used loosely - or even children that have been forcibly taken away from their families. So whose fault is it? Is it all down to the horrific, greedy and selfish people who have seen this niche market and decided to capitalise on it? I disagree to an extent, although there is obviously an element of this. Instead, I believe this condition is a perfect example of how we’ve become a 2D society. Marketing, advertising and publicity have made us too dumb to make our own decisions, and have glued our eyes, ears and brains shut. I like to call it... The Modern-day Middle Class Condition. Basically, we’re selfish. We want our cake, and we want to eat it too. In fact, we want to eat the whole bakery. We live in an age where even seemingly selfless acts can be capitalised upon, marketed and sold to us. The fact that orphanage tourism exists is testimony to how this society has developed. The growing middle class can be characterised by “bucket-list” “check-list” “experience list” “achievement list” “CV list” virtues, as opposed to altruism and generosity. Otherwise, if the latter were true, surely there would be a positive correlation between foreign orphanage volunteering and domestic volunteering. I for one have not seen reports of fake homeless people being recruited to meet the demand of soup-kitchen volunteers.
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