Emily Tan
Feb 27, 2015

Help families, don't fund a Cambodian 'orphanage factory'

CAMBODIA - It's sad when good intentions go awry, but it seems donations to orphanages in Cambodia, instead of organisations that help family welfare, is prompting poor families to give up their children because that's where the money is going.

Client: Friends-International's Childsafe Network

Agency: The Sweet Shop, 17 Triggers, Assortment

Market: Global

Campaign scope: Long-form video content

Details: Content company The Sweet Shop and 17 Triggers, a Cambodian agency that focuses on development and social issues has created a short animated piece for Friends-International that follows the negative effects of a well-intentioned orphanage donation as it plucks a young girl from her family and puts her on a traumatic path of neglect, isolation and abuse. Directed by Julian Stokoe from Assortment, 'Orphanage Factory' was created to inform viewers about the over-saturation of Cambodian orphanages and point volunteers to opportunities that support long-term strategies like family welfare instead.

Press release quotes: “Making people aware of the impact of their actions when dealing with such an emotive issue is a real challenge – that’s why as an agency we work incredibly closely with clients and stakeholders to understand the issues, and then transform them into creative work that resonates,” says Gordon Candelin, former Creative Director of 17 Triggers.

Campaign Asia Pacific's comments: Done in 2D with hand-painted charcoals, the short animated film is both painful and compelling to watch. Until this campaign landed in our inboxes, few of us at Campaign knew that orphan-tourism and orphanage factories were such a major issue in Cambodia. In 2011, Unicef estimated that most of the 12,000 children in the country's orphanages were not, in fact, orphans. But because of the glut of welfare funding from 'orphanage tourism', where wealthier nations visit to pat children and give money, poorer families feel compelled to give up their children so they can have regular meals. According to the Guardian, these orphanages even keep their premises and children looking pathetic to illicit more donations. If we have one criticism of this campaign is that we haven't been informed of a wide-spread campaign to get the message out there. we hope we're wrong, and that this will be seeded on social media and will appear across mass and targeted media along with alternative, and more helpful, charities to donate to. 


Creative Credits:

Title: Orphanage Factory
Client: Friends-International
Product: Support Families, Not Orphanages
Agency + City: 17 Triggers, Cambodia
Creative Director: Gordon Candelin
Art Director: Kendra Malcolm
Project Manager: Koheun Lee                      
Agency Producer: Sopheak Hoeun          
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Animation Director: Julian Stokoe
Executive Producer: Claire Davidson
Global Executive Producer: Sharlene George
CEO: Paul Prince
Animation + City: Assortment, New Zealand
Executive Producer: James Hudson
Music and Music Publisher: Pete Jones Music, London

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