World Challenge - Any experience anyone ?

(18 Posts)
Queeniebeethree Thu 05-Nov-15 11:57:04

My son is keen to join a month long expedition to Tanzania with his school in 2017. Amongst other things they climb Kilimanjaro and do a week's voluntary work in a local school - building a new classroom or similar.
It sounds like an amazing trip and I think my son would benefit hugely, he's a typical 13 year old boy who lives for his computer games etc.
The 4 week trip is just less then £5,000 which is a lot of money and although they have nearly 2 years to do it, the kids are supposed to earn the money themselves as part of the "challenge".

So I have 2 questions:
Does anyone have any experience of this organisation ?
What on earth can a 13yr old boy do to earn that sort of money. He is already doing odd jobs, but needs to be earning £250 a month ?

Leeds2 Thu 05-Nov-15 17:08:36

My DD did that very same trip in 2014, although not with World Challenge.

Raising the money is very, very difficult. My DD sold some of her old toys, did cake sales at school etc but it didn't really scratch the surface. I would find out from the school if they are going to actively support the fundraising. DD's school did virtually nothing, but I do know of friends' DCs at other schools where they have been able to organise supermarket bag packing, quiz nights, BBQs etc.

He could maybe ask for money for birthday and Christmas presents, which would help.

Also don't forget that the kit list may prove expensive if you don't already have a lot of the stuff on it, and I also spent over £200 on vaccinations.

Queeniebeethree Thu 05-Nov-15 19:41:35

Many thanks Leeds, that's very helpful.
Did your DD really, really enjoy the trip and get a lot from it?
Do you feel it was worth that much money ?
We have 2 other dc and always try to be fair - another major consideration...

Travelledtheworld Fri 06-Nov-15 23:32:39

Have just signed My son up for World Challenge. Nicaragua and Equador in 2017. It's £4,000 and he claims he will raise most of this himself. He is only 15 at the moment and doesn't have a part time job yet. He has earned £40 this week dog walking.

I think it's a great opportunity, but socially devisive. Many families will not be able to find that sort of money.

DS desperately wants to go. He is a quiet boy and not very confident socially and would never travel like this without a good backup team.

The school seem to be very supportive about mass fundraising but it's still really difficult. His Dad is highly salaried and will probably bail him out if he doesn't manage to earn enough. But I will support him in every way I can to help him raise the money. I have set up an Easy fundraising account and will do all my online Chrustmas shopping through that website. Also ask all the family to do the same.

MrsFionaCharming Sat 07-Nov-15 01:47:53

I did a World Challenge expedition in 2009. It cost £4,000 (plus kit, vaccinations, spending money). It really wasn't worth it.

Our hiking leader was very badly trained and had poor group management skills. Our community project was supposedly helping at a school - except it was a school holiday, so we did a bit of cleaning, then got charged for camping on the land.

It's very difficult to have a fulfilling trip with a group the size of those on these expeditions. We had 17 in ours, including leaders, and so we never agreed on what activities we wanted to do / accommodation we wanted / where to eat. So the quieter less argumentative members tended to never get a choice.

On the plus side, one of our group was taken ill, and WC did organise a local doctor, followed by airlifting to a US teaching hospital. However her illness could have been prevented if we'd been given proper training on hygiene in developing countries.

I've since organised trips to similar places just with friends, and done similar activities for a fraction of the cost - an 18 year old doesn't really need a trip leader!

rogueantimatter Sat 07-Nov-15 13:25:55

DS did a two-week WC trip (to Thailand) when he was 15. It cost £1400 + vaccinations and kit.

WC has a reputation for being excellent but the priciest organisation.

The school didn't do much to help with fundraising.
DS group mostly did fundraising individually but WC stress the ideal of team fundraising activities.

The physical side of the holiday wasn't arduous. DS is quiet so he let (mostly the girls) do most of the organising while they were away. He had a great time. The charity component was very tokenistic.

rogueantimatter Sat 07-Nov-15 13:28:02

He raised half the money by doing a six-day a week paper round for six months, a few odd jobs and we organised a concert with another family - which raised about £750 in total. (very stressful but we were glad we did it)

Dancingqueen17 Sat 07-Nov-15 14:39:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whois Sat 07-Nov-15 17:46:39

I went on a months world challenge trip but it was over 10 years ago.

I actually did find it quite disgusting that we were encouraged to 'fundraise' for a glorified holiday. The 'charity' aspect is so tiny and meaningless and encouraging teenagers to undertake glorified begging to pay for the trip does not sit well with me.

Packing bags in supermarkets, sponsored half marathons etc should have no place in paying towards the trip. Things like running a quiz night etc sit better with my but it should not be billed as a charity event.

if you are confident that your son can get the money together by working, Christmas and birthday money and you will too up if he falls short then sure, go for it.

It was only £3k when I went. I managed about £1.8k by working every other weekend (all weekend including overnight duties) for two years and saving money from birthday and Christmases. Mum and dad paid the rest.

whois Sat 07-Nov-15 17:49:25

To be honest, j don't think I would want my children to go on a WC trip as knowing what I know now, similar experiences can be gained for less cash.

Also my trip wasn't actually that well organised, we were far too big a group (20+) and it made everything logistically difficult.

Emz449 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:51:16

A few friends from school did the trip, had a great time but found raising the money very difficult. I believe most of them had to get help from their parents to meet the final amount. That said they said it was amazing

rogueantimatter Sat 07-Nov-15 18:59:37

I completely agree with you about the charity element whois. DS' group's originally planned tending an allotment fell through so they visited two schools and supposedly taught the pupils English! I bet DS learned more than the Thai kids. We did not claim to be raising money for charity at the concert.

DS came home with a letter about a four week trip in 2017 with WC to Nepal. He'll be 18 then and felt that he could have a fantastic time travelling with his mates and no teachers for a quarter of the cost. Different when you're younger though.

Travelledtheworld Mon 09-Nov-15 05:18:46

Quite a few bad experiences here.

My sons school does a world challenge event every other year and the sixth form teachers get involved with great enthusiasm. The school seems very supportive in relation to fundraising.
I know of one family who got into financial difficulties raising the money a couple of years ago.

But after seeing some of the comments here I will be asking a lot of questions and digging deeper.

specialsubject Tue 10-Nov-15 10:37:08

I'm sure I replied to this, must be losing it...

it's an expensive holiday with a bit of charity thrown in. There are big ethical issues with this - the kids are of very limited use and they can end up taking the work from the locals. There are mountains to climb in the UK and walls to build here.

£5k for a 4 week holiday is incredibly pricey. Let him save up and go on his gap year or later in life for half that.

KatieES Fri 14-Oct-16 19:47:27

Wow, interesting. I have to say my daughter went to China and had a totally opposing experience to those listed above. It was absolutely life changing for her - she developed more confidence, became more aware of the world around her, more tenacious and is now doing brilliantly at university - something I put down to the trip. Yes, it is a lot to raise but she got there by working hard little by little at a part time job and lots of different events. We always felt supported by World Challenge and the school. It wasn't just China but all those things she learnt beforehand in the build up - working as part of a team, learning to manage money, learning about the world. She didn't go away with her friends but made friends on the build up to the trip with her teammates which was amazing for her development. She trekked in amazing mountains and got to live in a local community. She still wants to travel but world challenge taught her how to risk assess things properly so I feel happier if she goes away on her own now as her mum! The leader was amazing - such a qualified man, and the team really got to lead their own trip and take control, which just turned her into a real adult. You are paying for the safety and backup too. One of the team got sick and he was in hospital but so well taken care of by World Challenge and their team. My husband was concerned before the trip and did a lot of research and world challenge risk assess everything so thoroughly it really impressed us. Yes, you could let your son or daughter go away and backpack and do all those things cheaper but a) they certainly won't be as well-taken care of b)their trip wouldnt be structured or educational c) they won't get to go to half the off the beaten track places. I want to know my child is safe and I believe with World Challenge she was in the safest of hands having the time of her life. Sorry about the long post but it was without doubt one of the best things we ever let her do and I say go for it.

Timetogetup0630 Fri 14-Oct-16 23:00:07

This original post is now a year old.
I pulled my son out of World Challenge in the early summer. He had done no fundraising, which wasn't helped by the fact school wouldn't allow them to do any in school.
I lost my £400 deposit but figured that was better than coughing up £4,000 for an expedition that he wasn't committed to.
I then had a long wait until World Challenge refunded the money Inhad already paid them....that's another story.

EasternDailyStress Fri 14-Oct-16 23:04:59

My DD did this a few years ago. She raised money by:
bag packing at local supermarkets (whole group)
car boot sales
sponsored swim in the sea on Christmas Day
car washing (with others from the group)
getting all the family to put their 5ps in a tub (raised about £50 I think)
we devised a quiz and sold it at the local fete
had a stall at the local christmas fair, selling tat

SunnySummerDays Thu 20-Oct-16 00:05:25

My 17 year old went to Uganda and it was amazing. Yes it was expensive and he contributed about half from a couple of jobs. Injections and kit were pricet too. But he learned so much, they had so many planning meetings at school and made the route themselves and chose activities. I really believe he gained loads from it. And I knew it was safe. The teachers were brilliant too.
Younger son has just signed up for Himalayas with them And he is so excited!
He has a paper round and looking for a sat job. School do discos and cake sales.
I would think it's harder for younger kids to get a job though

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