For 2017, Exodus has made a commitment: we will send at least 2,017 children from around the world on an eye-opening, educational but most of all exciting day out that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do.
At the time of writing, we are more than 50% of the way to our target for number of children sent on Adventure2017 trips. This is all thanks to our leaders and local partners, who have volunteered their time and expertise to get this off the ground.
We wanted to share with you a few of our favourites. There’s plenty more Adventure2017 trips happening all over the world, and lots more in the pipeline, but here are some highlights.
Seeing the mountains for the first time: India
Travellers from all over the world have been coming to trek the mighty Himalaya for years, but for thirteen city-dwelling children it was their first time to swap their ordinary urban lives for the dramatic scenery of the mountains.
The teenagers, from the Nishtha Rural Health Charity, headed out to get a taste of trekking in the Dhauladhar Himalayan foothills. “We sang and danced!” enthused 18 year old Preeti, “It’s very special to see this area filled with natural beauty.”
Exodus leader Vijay was with them for the day. “The students were so excited and happy to see the mountains and to learn something new about their native state, thank you so much Exodus!”
Seeing the sea for the first time: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, is a port city bustling with energy and life – and for 42 children from the rural Bodhimaluwa Vidyalaya School it was the destination for their Adventure2017 day out. But amongst the city’s many divertissements, from the famous Fort to the National Museum, the greatest excitement lay in something simpler – seeing the sea.
“Only six students out of 42 had been to a city before and none had seen the sea.” Explains Sujan, Exodus Leader who accompanied the children. Their faces as they walked along the Galle promenade to the beach was his highlight.
Seeing rural life: Tibet
Knowing about our own history and traditions is something many of us take for granted, but for the 29 children from SOS Children’s Village in Lhasa, the chance to see a small traditional village like Cai Gon Tang was an eye-opening opportunity. It was the first time they’d seen anything like it, many of them never having left Lhasa in their lives. We think Exodus leader Kangzhu says it best.
“It was just great seeing a smile on the face of the children. They were not only able to learn and see things outside their area but they were able to be children… The smiles of these kids are priceless. As a father of two boys, I know how children smiles are honest. It was really great experience. For all of us!”
Seeing a volcano up close: Nicaragua
For children growing up in an overlooked, low-income community like Pancasan in Nicaragua, chances to leave the community are almost non-existent, which is what made this trip so special.
“We got to see places we never knew existed!” said Noel Muñoz, one of the 13 children who took part in the excursion, which took them out to Nicaragua’s incredible volcanic countryside. In the heart of Masaya Volcano National Park they learned the geological secrets of volcanoes, and took a boat trip across the beautiful Apoyo Lagoon Crater Lake and Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America.
But it wasn’t just the children who enjoyed the day. “Personally I loved the experience and I will love doing it again.” said Roberto, Exodus leader.
Seeing Mayan history come to life: Mexico
For many of us, the appeal of travel is the chance to learn more about history and hear the stories of the rise and fall of ancient empires. It was no different for 30 schoolchildren from Enrique Estrella Oxte school, aged between 11 and 13 years old.
“It was the first time I have ever seen an archaeological Mayan site, I learned a lot of new things!” Said Gallegos Huh, aged 12, of the day trip with 30 classmates from Enrique Estrella Oxte School. The Mayan site was El Rey, an ancient site of ruins surrounded by countryside that gave the children an insight to their own history right before their eyes. “Everything was good and beautiful…I learned a lot of things about Cancún and the Mayan culture.” Agreed Gutierrez, aged 13.
Want to find out more?
Then take a look at our progress infographic as we reach halfway through the year and halfway through Adventure2017 as a whole!