The author J. K. Rowling released a new campaign against volunteer work in orphanages during a surprise appearance at the One Young World summit, an event directed to young leaders, that happened on Thursday (24).

The campaign, which uses the hashtag #HelpingNotHelping, is led by Lumos, the charity institution created by Rowling. The institution seeks to close orphanages around the world and claims that at least eight out of ten children who are institutionalized have one living parent who could take care of them if they had sufficient financial support.

Lumos explains that most of the parents do not want to abandon their children in orphanages, but are forced to do due to extreme poverty, war and natural disasters. During her speech at the summit, the author criticized the orphanages:

“Some orphanages are set up literally to abuse children – to get money from the pockets of voluntourism”– J. K. Rowling


Also in her speech, the author alerted young people that orphanages take advantage of money from travelers who work voluntarily in this kind of institution during their trips. Rowling also asked the travelers to not visit orphanage as part of their trip experience. “Often young people come away thinking they did good, and are appalled when the facts are laid in front of them, that they have been perpetrating abuse”, she said.

The campaign #HelpingNotHelping is asking that companies, schools, and universities stop donations to orphanages and grant that they do not promote or take part in orphanage trips.

J. K. Rowling during the One Young World summit, which happened on Thursday (24) in London

Check out below the participation of J.K. Rowling on One Young World:

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Translated into English by Caroline Dorigon
Edited by Aline Michel