Voluntourism, closely linked with Orphanage tourism, often results in very little benefit to local communities. The focus seems to be more on the “experience” of the volunteer, and not on the actual needs of the beneficiary and the true value to them.
Various studies have shown that short-term volunteer projects can do more harm than good. Wealthy tourists prevent local workers from getting much-needed jobs, especially when they pay to volunteer; hard-pressed institutions waste time looking after them and money upgrading facilities; and abused or abandoned children form emotional attachments to the visitors, who increase their trauma by disappearing back home.
Read the following articles for more information on voluntourism: