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World adventure - aibu

(59 Posts)
Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 05:43:18

My son has chance to join a world adventure to Tanzania in 18m (he’ll be 16) working on an education project - all aspects from teaching, running extra curricular activities to labouring for local tradesmen on classroom build. The opportunity includes a safari at the end. They will also work on reforestation in the area damaged by Mt Kilimanjaro tourism. The cost is £3k and participants must fundraise to get themselves there. Other than flights to/from they must take charge of their transport, accommodation and provisions when there with a guide on hand. One school of thought appears to be - why should people contribute to someone else’s adventure holiday. Of course if he earns money through part time or odd jobs which he intends to then it’s his earnings to spend on his trip but some will come from fundraising. My view is that this is getting Gen Z to be independent, accountable, giving them a lasting desire to improve the lives of those with much less (not just abroad) and becoming active in trying to stop man’s destruction of the planet and the amazing beasts that roam it. I understand most kids come back changed forever by their experience. Would you support fundraising for this kind of project or are you turned off by it?

buttfacedmiscreant Wed 24-Jan-18 05:54:11

I wouldn't because I don't think voluntourism to economically depressed areas is generally beneficial.

buttfacedmiscreant Wed 24-Jan-18 05:56:17

I think there are exceptions though... if you are particularly skilled in something that is needed or if you go to a first world country and do a volunteer job that does not take away jobs from locals. e.g. working on restoring habitats in national parks in the U.S.

buttfacedmiscreant Wed 24-Jan-18 05:57:34

I do agree with what you say about encouraging teens to look outside of themselves and care about people and places. I think that can be done in different ways though.

Athrawes Wed 24-Jan-18 05:58:00

If he really cares he would donate the 3K to someone like Oxfam who will use it effectively and efficiently. These schemes are just about making rich kids feel good and are not about sustainable improvement nor are they driven by the actual community but instead by well meaning outsiders. They often have a hidden evangelical agenda.

Minko8990 Wed 24-Jan-18 06:01:00

I would because of the opportunity to travel and experience new things. I think travel is invaluable to a person and lots of people don’t get enough of a chance to do so. I’d be more inclinded to support those I know however, rather than random teenagers bag packing in the supermarket. Although I don’t like that anyway as I’m particular about my bag packing!

FrancisCrawford Wed 24-Jan-18 06:06:45

My view is that this is getting Gen Z to be independent, accountable, giving them a lasting desire to improve the lives of those with much less (not just abroad) and becoming active in trying to stop man’s destruction of the planet and the amazing beasts that roam it

All this could be done at home (as in local area) and that £3k given directly to charity.

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:06:48

Or athrawes, misspend it as in the case of the Red Cross in Haiti per the link to the NY times. Part of the trip is using their budget raised through the £3k pp to buy supplies. One participant to Cambodia bought toothbrushes and toothpaste with some of the budget and stopped the teeth rot. She’s returned repeatedly to continue working with the community. What I want is for my son to become evangelical about change and for this he needs to see and learn the need for himself.

LittleKiwi Wed 24-Jan-18 06:07:56

CF personified - how dare either of you ask for anyone else to fund your son’s jolly. Sure, he might get a lot out of it, but why should anyone other than him pay for that?!!!! Tell him to get a bloody job.

If VSO wouldn’t take him, he shouldn’t go, basically (VSO - voluntary service overseas - is a serious charity which takes people with real skills to where those skills are needed). Most gap year companies are ripping off the volunteers and their donors whilst doing little of value for the communities they operate in on the whole.

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:08:55

Francis he already volunteers at a special needs school after school club and does the monthly food bank shop (I pay of course). This is about broadening his view

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:10:56

Easy on the agression there kiwi! I already said he’ll get a job. And he’s too young for VSO

buttfacedmiscreant Wed 24-Jan-18 06:11:43

I think travelling is fab for teens, but he could travel differently and still do that.

At the end of the day OP, you and your DS must do what is right for you, but to be fair you asked what we thought.

Bluedoglead Wed 24-Jan-18 06:13:56

I hate these jollies for teens (usually via churches) and no, I wouldn’t donate.

pigeondujour Wed 24-Jan-18 06:14:21

I understand most kids come back changed forever by their experience.

Not the case. Also you write like a journalist.

pigeondujour Wed 24-Jan-18 06:14:46

To clarify, that wasn't a compliment.

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:15:00

Absolutely butt, I’m just trying to guage reaction to fundraising. We already have a lot of support for it but to Minko’s point, that’s from people who know my son and support his plan. I think it’s different considering it in the context of a stranger. My curry night will of course only be sold to friends and family, not strangersgrin

Bluedoglead Wed 24-Jan-18 06:15:49

I view it like a slightly better packaged Samaritans purse. Sorry.

RedHelenB Wed 24-Jan-18 06:15:56

I don't see the problem if people want to donate to his fundraising they will and if they don't they won't. My Dd did world challenge in Europe aged 15 and had the best time. Did some bag packs (and most people were very generous but most came from her savings.

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:17:44

I write for a living pigeon, but I’m not a journalist. Can you expand on your comment responding to mine? I’ve spoken to many parents who have confirmed it to be the case, and know some of the kids who went.

buttfacedmiscreant Wed 24-Jan-18 06:19:23

I'm a big fan of Outward Bound, would you consider a trip like that if you are interested in character building travel?

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:19:31

Thanks Red. My son is doing the challenge in any event, I wasn’t looking for endorsement of the concept, but gauging the appetite to support fundraising.

VileyRose Wed 24-Jan-18 06:19:43

They do a similar thing at the secondary here but again I wouldn't be keen on mine to go.

Alwayswakeearly Wed 24-Jan-18 06:22:09

He’s been on an OB course Butt, loved it

Spam88 Wed 24-Jan-18 06:22:16

Totally disagree with asking people to fund your holiday under the guise of raising money for charity. Same for sponsored skydives and things like that. The costs should be paid from the fundraisers own funds, and any donations should actually go to the charity.

scaredofthecity Wed 24-Jan-18 06:23:14

I did it 15 years ago, it was an amazing experience and definately opened some doors for me with regards to building up my cv and uni applications. Plus it taught me some valuable life skills. The 'community work' we did was definately questionable, I'm really not convinced we were much help at all as a bunch off 16 year olds.
I tried to fundraise like they suggested and struggled though, the vast majority of the trip was paid for by my Saturday job and babysitting.

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