Like so many Nepalese children, Tika had been taken from his family by traffickers. For a high fee, they promised his parents that he would be well cared for and educated in an institution in the city. Instead, he was taken to an orphanage where he survived alone for two years; neglected, abused and exploited to elicit donations from tourists.
The UN resolution on the rights of the child 2019. This week, history was made as the 193 member states of the United Nations recognised the harm that institutions cause children and called for institutions to be progressively eliminated.
Even if we know that in the right circumstances, volunteer tourism provides significant benefits for both the volunteers and the communities that receive them but we need to be absolutely clear: volunteering in an orphanage abroad is a bad idea.
It is increasingly important to address how volunteers and travellers tell their story on, to make sure that language and images are used to make a positive impact and break stereotypes, rather than reinforce them.