One of the most valuable skills that World Challengers will learn in the pre-departure program and during their expedition is the importance of budget management.
Fundraising is an important part of the Challengers’ journey, not just so they can potentially make a small donation to the community or organisation they collaborate with during their project phase, but also so they can earn money to pay for their expedition. It’s always humbling to see how hard the students work to raise money for their expeditions.
World Challenge staff are always on hand to advise Challengers and provide them with ideas for fantastic fundraising events. One of the most valuable ways we can offer guidance is through our own first-hand experience. There’s no better way for us to provide advice and support than to be directly involved in our own fundraising for a cause closely aligned to what we do here at World Challenge, so in early 2011, members of staff from each of our 7 offices around the world decided to launch the World Challenge Charitable Committee.
The 2014 World Challenge Asia-Pacific Charitable Committee’s nominated charity is ‘Friends Without A Border’ (FWAB) and we are currently contributing fundraising towards their facilitation of the construction and on-going maintenance of the Laos Friends Hospital for Children.
FWAB was founded in 1996 by renowned Japanese photographer Kenro Izu, after he visited Cambodia and realised that many of the local communities lack access to good, reliable medical facilities. On completion of his trip, Kenro decided to help fund and manage the construction of the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap. The AHC opened its doors in 1999 and has since treated over 1.2 million children, trained hundreds of healthcare professionals and is widely considered as one of the most important medical facilities in Cambodia.
Building on the success of the AHC, Kenro and his dedicated team at FWAB are now fundraising for and assisting with the construction of the Laos Friends Hospital for Children (LFHC). Once complete the LFHC will be equipped with in and out-patient departments, an emergency room, an intensive care unit and an operation theatre. This will contribute to the LFHC becoming the first comprehensive medical facility in the greater Luang Prabang area. The project doesn’t stop once the construction is complete though; all the local staff need to be trained and qualified as healthcare professionals, and the local communities have to be encouraged to make use of the facility.
The decision for the World Challenge Asia-Pacific Charitable Committee to support FWAB was an easy one. On an annual basis, around 75% of World Challenge teams travelling from Australia and New Zealand will go on expedition to Southeast Asia. Our teams are involved in a variety of fantastic projects which allow us to give something back, from assisting locals with basic infrastructure improvements (e.g. setting up water tanks and pipes), renovating community buildings to organising a sports afternoon with the local children. FWAB are contributing fundraising towards the care of people in Laos, one of the most popular locations for World Challenge expeditions in Southeast Asia.
Over the next 12 months, the staff in our Melbourne and Auckland offices are challenging themselves to raise in the region of AUD7000 for FWAB. There are many ways this money can be used. The full amount can be used to pay a nurse’s salary for a whole year. Alternatively, the money raised can contribute towards the ongoing maintenance of the hospital, to the procurement of much needed medical equipment or to the coordination of medical education campaigns in the greater Luang Prabang area.
Our inaugural event, The Great World Challenge Bake Off, is in full swing and, for a simple gold coin donation for each tasting, hungry office staff can satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time as contributing to our fundraising goal. We’re excited to see who is crowned World Challenge’s Baker Extraordinaire!
When it comes to fundraising, think outside of the box, get creative with your ideas and remember you can always contact World Challenge ( firstname.lastname@example.org / 1300 728 568) if you need any advice about fundraising.
To learn more about Friends without a Border visit: https://www.fwab.org/
All the best for your expedition!
Head of the Asia-Pacific Charitable Committee
Expedition Planning Manager for Borneo, Fiji and Thailand