The Issue: Limited Funds for Service Trips Abroad
Lack of funds can prevent would-be volunteers from going on service trips. More specifically, many college-aged youth who would like to participate in service trips cannot do so because they are paying off student loans or in the process of seeking stable employment. Subsidizing service trips gives them an opportunity to broaden their horizons, serve communities in need, and learn new skills.
The Campaign: Sponsoring a Service Trip Volunteer
If this Grassroots campaign raises $430, then Esperanza International can send one local low-income student on a trip to Tijuana, Mexico, to help implement urban-revitalization projects and then share his or her experiences with communities in Seattle. Each additional $430 raised will fund a weeklong trip for another local low-income student. The fees covered for the trip include lodging, food, construction equipment, and translator services.
The participants sleep in dormitory-style rooms, eat local food, and take limited showers to conserve water. During the day, they travel to community sites to meet with residents, and implement projects including digging foundations and building walls. They can also build understanding with visits to other community sites such as orphanages, and experience local culture for themselves with excursions to sports events and beaches. At the end of the week, volunteers and their host families often celebrate with a fiesta and presentations about their work.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
Esperanza International organizes international service experiences to integrate young people into foreign cultures and promote a sense of global citizenship. On service trips, participants enact urban-development projects, building sustainable housing in Tijuana and setting up solar panels in Oaxaca alongside local residents. They build the homes with support from local families and the Mexican government. Each house exists in a community setting of at least 10 families. The families and participants work together to create homes incorporating the Haener-block system, which involves building walls from concrete blocks using mostly volunteer, unskilled labor. In the evenings, participants interact with their temporary neighbors to dispel stereotypes and build a network of understanding through excursions to sporting events, orphanages, and clinics.