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Western volunteers in Cambodia

A damning report says that well-intentioned westerners do little to alleviate the lot of poverty-stricken children in developing countries, reported The Observer. Ian Birrell wrote: Before you pay to volunteer abroad, think of the harm you might do.

By 10pm, the aptly named Bar Street is pulsating with tourists drawn to Siem Reap by the famous Cambodian ruins of Angkor Wat. As hip-hop blares from clubs, children playing traditional instruments are led along by men with placards reading: “Support our orphans.” The kids offer sweet smiles to the diners and drinkers and anyone making a donation is invited to visit the nearby orphanage, one of several in the city, and perhaps spend time working there.

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