ISS signs Stop Orphan Trips pledge
On Thursday 2 February 2017, ISS became the first academic institution in the Netherlands to sign an Institute Pledge to Stop Orphanage Volunteering.
The Pledge was signed by ISS rector, Inge Hutter, in the presence of Mirjam Blaak from the Defence for Children/Better Care Network/UNICEF NL NGO consortium and the ISS campaign team composed of the Children and Youth Studies interest group, student campaign coordinator, Cassia McCann and senior lecturer, Kristen Cheney.
By signing the pledge, ISS states that it does not support volunteering at orphanages, that it will not advertise volunteering trips among students and that it endeavours to ensure that such opportunities are neither facilitated nor promoted within ISS.
The pledge is part of the #StopOrphanTrips campaign which aims to put a halt to what is one of the most popular forms of volunteer work. The campaign highlights the negative impact on children growing up in orphanages, including difficulties in bonding, exacerbated by the ever-changing volunteers who come to 'help'.
Research has also shown that a vast majority of the children growing up in orphanages have at least one living parent or other family member who could take care of them. This is not only better for the child itself, it is also financially more responsible.