MrBeast South African Orphanage

MrBeast in Controversial Charity Stunt: Accused of Exploiting South African Orphanage for YouTube Fame

Renowned YouTuber MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, has found himself in the midst of controversy once again, accused of exploiting the suffering of others for personal gain. Donaldson recently uploaded a video highlighting the reconstruction of the Baphumelele orphanage in Cape Town, a project he claimed to have financed.

Unveiling MrBeast and His Controversial South African Orphanage Endeavor

In the video, Donaldson said he poured millions of dollars into showcasing the orphanage’s reconstruction, resulting in over 15 million views within just a few days of its release. While he insisted that his intentions were good and aimed at helping, allegations arose that he disregarded pleas from humanitarian groups to cease what they deemed a “philanthropic stunt.” Concerns were raised regarding the conditions in orphanages, which some believed to be breeding grounds for violence, abuse, and neglect.

The global movement to replace orphanages with family-based care, endorsed by entities like the UN, EU, Commonwealth, and the South African government, received support from a 2019 UN General Assembly Resolution on the Rights of the Child. This resolution urged member states to transition away from orphanages and instead focus on providing quality alternative care through foster networks and social workers.

Mixed Intentions: Benevolence or Controversy?

Lourenza Foghill, representing Hope and Homes for Children, expressed frustration at MrBeast’s apparent dismissal of their efforts. The charity had contacted him in March after he released a video soliciting donations for his orphanage project. Foghill labeled MrBeast’s involvement as an instance of “white saviorism” and argued that he was denying the children at Baphumelele their right to grow up in a family.

It is important to note that no wrongdoing was reported at the Baphumelele orphanage; however, evidence suggested that 80% of the 5.4 million children residing in orphanages worldwide were not orphans but had family members who could provide care.

Advocates for the campaign against orphanages stressed that children growing up in such institutions were at higher risk of experiencing abuse and neglect, facing homelessness in the future, dealing with mental health issues, and encountering legal troubles.

Hope and Homes, along with the Lumos Foundation, whose president is JK Rowling, reached out to MrBeast’s team in March to convey their concerns after his video seeking donations for the Baphumelele orphanage reached 15 million views.

A Glimpse into MrBeast’s Philanthropic Endeavor

In his latest video titled “We Adopted an Orphanage,” released last month, Donaldson claimed that his initiative, Beast Philanthropy, had saved Baphumelele from closure. He detailed six months of tireless work by his team, which included constructing 12 new homes, providing a consistent supply of fresh food, and refurbishing the orphanage’s dilapidated playground. Donaldson asserted that the orphanage had saved approximately 5,000 lives.

The video also featured the touching story of Mama Rosie, the orphanage’s founder, who was led blindfolded to witness the renovation of her project. Her emotional reaction left her on the verge of tears.

Lumos Foundation acknowledged Mama Rosie’s well-intentioned efforts but emphasized that not all orphanages shared the same intentions. Many orphanages worldwide, the charity stated, were established to exploit children for profit, putting them at risk of harm and abuse. Lumos advocated for moving away from promoting orphanages, even well-intentioned ones, and instead supporting families with community-based care, allowing children to remain within their families.

Efforts to contact MrBeast and the Baphumelele orphanage by “The Saturday Star” were unsuccessful at the time of this report.

By Tayana