My first mission trip was about 6 years ago when I went with my school ACS (International) to Chiangmai to build a new school. It was an eye opening experience for me and I didn't want to go home. Contrary to what I expected, the villagers were so happy and they possessed next to nothing. They lived in simple wooden houses and farmed and took care of the children all day. I remember we slept about 7 girls to each room on the floor and there was 1 toilet for the whole house/hut. The locals were just happy to have us there helping them out! I won't lie, it was fairly hard manual labour, but it was so enjoyable and satisfying for the soul.
I do not give money to charity funds as I have no way of knowing precisely where it's going- plus these people might not need our help at all. Often us first worlders think all developing places need our help due to media portrayal (sad children surrounded by flies looking pitifully up at the camera... ring a bell?) and give money because it makes us feel better about ourselves. That's why I do mission trips. Raising money and traveling to another country and dedicating your time and energy to a community that is actually in need is something else entirely.
In December I will be traveling to Ganesh Secondary school, Mahendra Jyoti, Nepal. Primary education in government schools is free in Nepal, however, due to minimal funding, many of the government schools are in poor physical shape and are severely under resourced. The Government of Nepal offers funding that is predominantly spent on teacher’s salaries and any additional resources for the school must be paid for by villages who already suffer financial hardship. As a result, a large number of schools do not have the necessary means to maintain or improve infrastructure required to provide their students with a holistic environment for education.
Yanto and I will be traveling with a team of young people from WA to help with the outfitting of classrooms and infrastructure and need to raise $20,000 for the resources. If you would like to donate, please click here, and you can be sure your money will be well spent. My name is listed there as Kim Lye :)
Aside from working hard, I am also looking forward to the beautiful scenery and going trekking in the mountains! Nepal looks like a beautiful country, this is what comes up when you Google Nepal, I'm practically shaking with excitement when I look at the pictures.
I also came up with our team logo and design, one of the only times my two years of graphic design education paid off! Haha, I thought I'd have to work on it a lot more, but the team really liked my original, so there you go :)
After Nepal, Yanto and I are flying to Japan. It has been both of our dreams to go to Japan for years and I can predict I'm going to start crying once I'm there. Finances will be a struggle, but I'm hoping we can attract some luck and fortune in our lives in the time leading up to then.