In an upcoming episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta the cast members visit an orphanage. I have a lot to say on this issue and none of it is good. What could be wrong with visiting an orphanage, hugging some socio-economically deprived kids and maybe bringing them a candy or twelve? Well lots of things. This isn’t your average RHOA post and may not be for everyone. On the other hand, it could be enlightening for some of y’all. It provides a bit of background on South African orphan tourism and its effects. We will have to tune in tomorrow to see how Marlo responds to the orphanage. As someone who has struggled with the effects of foster care, I am sure we will see generous donations to the South African children and lots of personal interaction.
Celebrities like Madonna and Angelina Jolie who adopt children internationally have unintentionally spread the idea that dropping by an orphanage when in a country with residential care centers for poor and orphaned children is a noble act of kindness that benefits the children. This led to well- intentioned travelers seeking out orphanages while vacationing as a way of “giving back” on a global level. While these intentions are honorable, it tends to call to mind the old saying , “The path to hell is paved with good intentions.” Click through the jump to see why.