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 Post subject: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:45 am
Posts: 8
Anybody out there had any experience of World Challenge?

We've attended the sales pitch (all very positive and rosey - as you'd expect) but need to know about the realities of signing up.

Been told it will cost approx £4k and that our DC's will be given lots of help to help fundraise for the trip themselves. Part of me think that it's a fantastic opportunity to go to a country that he may not otherwise travel to (with a teacher in tow for backup!) and the other part of me thinks that its just a very expensive PGL-type holiday...

Any comments?


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
I think it is more in line with your latter thought...I do object to be asked to fundraise for other people's children to have what is essentially a holiday to a place I can't afford to go myself, dressed up as a bit of voluntary work which imho amounts to tokenism. 4k would buy you a fairly decent family holiday (may I recommend Iceland if you are looking for the 'experience of lifetime' thing) which would be memorable for all of you.

Sorry, I am probably at the extreme end of cynicism on these things - have helped organise similar things myself in the past and I know how much teachers enjoy them - but to me they speak too much of indulgence for one precious western child at the expense of their parents' friends, as well as a bit of a patronising attitude to the communities children are led to believe they are 'helping'. As an aside, I have read that there is now a market in 'charity selfies' where young people pop over to Africa for a bit and get themselves photographed with a few underprivileged but grateful looking children, and post it all over their social media with tearful messages. Not saying WC is in this league but it does smack a bit of superiority and missionary work to me.

I am sure someone will come along with a more positive view in a minute x


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:55 am
Posts: 500
I'm inclined to agree with Amber for similar reasons.

I would add though that travel to foreign third world countries is an extremely valuable experience for a young person. Personally though I think its better done when they're slightly older (e.g. gap year post Uni) and paid for out of the young persons own money from working part time jobs before they go, or even better if they can find an organization where they get a paid job abroad to fund it.


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:59 am
Posts: 3579
Ditto I'm afraid.
I am no true altruist but I do really dislike thinly veiled jollies dressed up as charity, whether it be football players setting up teams in Ghana or kids digging a water distribution channel in ethiopia, which the cynic in me thinks is the same channel filled in each week by one group and dug out by the next the following week.
Maybe when its giving up their annual leave, paying their own way, distributing vital supplies or teaching people how to service essential mechanical equipment that they have brought and bought spares for I would be more willing to encourage, support and contribute to the cause.
There are plenty of under funded projects in the uk that would dearly love some young healthy teenagers helping them out, from brush cutting nature reserves to helping those with special needs.
Parents who support their children in world challenge have every right to their opinion of course, but the fund raising is a bit limp wristed imo, just pay for them to go if you believe it will benefit them. I do not want a dodgy looking jar of pickle and wouldn't pay a landscape gardener to mow my lawn quite badly so would rather not pay a fifteen year old twenty quid to do it either, and I absolutely do not want your son or daughter to pack my shopping for me at the checkout. Teens who have proper part time jobs and earn proper cash towards their trips excepted of course.


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 4:02 pm
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My thoughts echo what others have said, but we also have two unrelated sets of friends who bitterly regret spending the money on their offspring going.


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 5:27 pm
Posts: 3445
Location: london
Me too, and if a thread has 5 consecutive posts in agreement that has to say something! :)

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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11932
I also agree. We looked carefully at it before our DS did local volunteering for a charity which gets little funding.

I had a colleague, who had lots of experience in exploration, she said she would never recommend World Challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2014 5:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5922
My DD has been doing voluntary work locally for over two years now and finds it enormously rewarding - and the charity concerned is genuinely grateful too. I think this is the way to go and personally think all teenagers ought to be trying to use their energy and talents to help those less fortunate - especially as society itself withdraws lots of benefits, both monetary and in kind, from the elderly and disabled. Seeing those who are marginalised and disenfranchised by a society which celebrates youth and vitality can be very sobering for the young.

And yes - travel broadens the mind - and concentrates it too if you have had to pay for it yourself. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:30 pm
Posts: 279
Location: Hertfordshire
We attended a talk, I think last November. DS was very very keen. Apart from raising the money. I was concerned about DS being a little young. He's youngest in the school year, so as the trip is this summer he would still be 15. So I persuaded DS that we would have a re-think and maybe look at the 2017 trip, but he would have to start earning money. That's was nearly a year ago and has he done anything about it!! No. :roll:

After attending the talk I had a nightmare about how many cupcakes I would have to make for DS to sell to raise the money :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: World Challenge
PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
Posts: 2808
I always think, if the youngsters involved did all the fundraising and made £4000 and then just sent it to the charity, I am sure they could do a whole world of good with the funds. And the young person could sit back with the glow of knowing they had done a whole lot more good without the carbon footprint of thousands of air miles. And then go and do some local voluntary work to boot.

Just my opinion....


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