2022 Reach Out To Kids in Hội An, Vietnam
WE SHOULD BE CONCERNED
We Planetary believe It’s right to be concerned about visits to orphanages. Orphaned kids are some of the world’s most vulnerable people. Many of these kids have spent their early years in a constant state of chaos. They’re suffering from PTSD, attachment disorders and other challenges that may be aggravated by a steady stream of visits from people they don’t know and who they may never see again.
And while it’s true that many effective aid and development initiatives would never have been established if their founders had not been able to participate in short term missions trips, we have to recognize that visits to orphanages are different. We need to be very careful anytime we permit access to children whose greatest developmental need is permanency and attachment to their primary caregivers.
GETTING IT RIGHT
Not all visits to orphanages are exploitative or harmful. Many orphans have been profoundly blessed by people whose visits have produced a long-term commitment to provide advocacy and financial support. But there are some general principles that one should keep in mind when evaluating an opportunity to visit an orphanage: