It is with great excitement and extreme pride that we introduce to you the powerhouse that will bring the Ethical Tourism Collective (‘ETC.’) to life!
Meet our Fab 5: Dinesh, Alisha, Ruma, Toya (Team Leader), Anisha and Barma. The team will be mentored and supported by Toya Homa Rai.
Who better to dream up and trial fresh alternatives for travellers and tourists to experience Kathmandu without visiting or volunteering in orphanages than these fine folk?
ETC. has recruited the Fab 5 from our pool of awesome Change Agents: young people with lived experience of orphanage institutionalisation keen to make the world a better place. The project aims to improve their employment options through work experience in the ethical tourism sector in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Fab 5 will design and deliver tourism products that promote ethical tourism and raise awareness about the harms of orphanage tourism and voluntourism.
In Nepal, there are currently 14,864 children residing in orphanages and up to 80% could be raised by at least one of their parents. Children are most often trafficked from rural and remote villages into orphanages mostly in popular tourist hubs. Most of these orphanages are reliant on international charities and non-government organisations for funding.
The orphan trade is fuelled by ‘voluntourists’ (including schools, churches, sporting groups and other organisations) who unwittingly cause significant harm to children through a mix of money, good intentions, lack of cultural knowledge and a desire to do good for others.
The problem of orphanage tourism intersecting with the trafficking of children into orphanages is well documented in Nepal and included as trafficking in the ‘US Trafficking In Persons Report 2018’.
As founding partners of Rethink Orphanages we are charged with raising international awareness of the problem and proud to take leadership on this issue with travel industry experts, Intrepid.
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You can contact the team by email.