But perhaps the most troubling thing is that these tragic scenes in Haiti are not unusual.In dozens of places around the world, unregulated orphanages have become a boom business trading off Western guilt.In Bali, the number of orphanages has doubled in less than a decade, despite two-thirds of the children having parents.
As a child welfare expert who has worked amid bullets and bombs in some of the world’s toughest war zones, Jennifer Morgan is not someone easily shaken.
But even she admits she was shocked by some of the orphanages she visited recently in Haiti.‘Outside it is a sunny day.
Some are then forced to work from dawn to dusk on building sites, making jewellery or selling street food. A boy can't hide his horror as he sits among the rubble after the Haiti earthquake.
Orphanages in disaster zones, such as Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince, are abusing, buying and even renting children from their parents to fleece gullible Westerners Brenton Whittaker, founder of local charity Bali Kids, says the worst directors – who live in large houses and educate their own children abroad – sell on all donated goods, even medicines. ‘They run these orphanages as a business, spending as little as possible on food, health and education for the kids in order to make the most profits.’In Sri Lanka, another popular tourist destination, a study found that 92 per cent of children in orphanages had one or both parents living.
Our desire to help is backfiring in the most dreadful fashion.