Voluntourism's Dark Side The Scam of Fake Orphanages in Cambodia

Thousands of children in Cambodia live in orphanages even though their parents are still alive. Some of the institutions exist solely to make money from tourists. Now, efforts are being made to reunite the families, but that is easier said than done.
A Chinese tourist in an orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia

A Chinese tourist in an orphanage in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Maria Feck
Children in "Little Angels" making leatherworks for tourists.

Children in "Little Angels" making leatherworks for tourists.

Maria Feck
Photo Gallery: Working and Singing for the Tourists
Maria Feck
Fotostrecke

Photo Gallery: Working and Singing for the Tourists

Dorm Sophea: "I like it here because I can earn money."

Dorm Sophea: "I like it here because I can earn money."

Maria Feck
Dorm Sophea sitting on his bed at the home

Dorm Sophea sitting on his bed at the home

Maria Feck
A tourist watching the children work at the Little Angels orphanage

A tourist watching the children work at the Little Angels orphanage

Maria Feck
A voluteer teacher hands out Coke on her last day.

A voluteer teacher hands out Coke on her last day.

Meta Kong
Long Sedtha with orphans: "It makes me sick that people profit from the misery of these families."

Long Sedtha with orphans: "It makes me sick that people profit from the misery of these families."

Maria Feck
Former orphanage resident To Brosna, 17.

Former orphanage resident To Brosna, 17.

Maria Feck
Photo Gallery: The Challenge of Returning Home
Maria Feck
Fotostrecke

Photo Gallery: The Challenge of Returning Home

To Brosna with a photo from the orphanage where she once lived.

To Brosna with a photo from the orphanage where she once lived.

Maria Feck
Dorm Sophea's mother Norm Teab relies on the money her son earns at the orphanage.

Dorm Sophea's mother Norm Teab relies on the money her son earns at the orphanage.

Maria Feck

This piece is part of the Global Societies series. The project runs for three years and is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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