Char­ity chal­lenges for ad­ven­tur­ers with a con­science

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - CATHER­INE MAR­SHALL

WHEN Aus­tralian Kim Bab­bage fell over while on a fundrais­ing trek in Nepal, she re­alised just how in­signif­i­cant her in­jury prob­lems were com­pared with those of chil­dren suf­fer­ing ag­gres­sive forms of can­cer.

‘‘The thing that got me up and kept me go­ing was know­ing that I was do­ing this (fundrais­ing) for chil­dren who didn’t have that same op­por­tu­nity.’’

Bab­bage is the Events and Chal­lenges Co-or­di­na­tor for The Kids’ Can- cer Project, which re­searches child can­cers with the low­est sur­vival rates and funds im­por­tant tri­als.

The char­ity is one of sev­eral to have part­nered with the newly launched Huma Char­ity Chal­lenge, a World Ex­pe­di­tions ini­tia­tive that gives trav­ellers the op­por­tu­nity to in­cor­po­rate fundrais­ing into their adventures.

‘‘In­quiries for char­ity-re­lated travel have grown steadily over the past decade,’’ says Sue Bad­yari, chief ex­ec­u­tive of World Ex­pe­di­tions. ‘‘The es­tab­lish­ment of Huma Char­ity Chal­lenge was in di­rect re­sponse to this growth. Hav­ing a brand ded­i­cated to char­ity chal­lenges sig­nals to the sec­tor that we’re fo­cused on them.’’

World Ex­pe­di­tions is not new to the world of char­ity chal­lenges. Since the trend emerged in the 1990s, the ad­ven­ture travel com­pany has led more than 500 such trips, help­ing to raise about $1 mil­lion.

Its new char­ity arm will give fundrais­ers stream­lined ac­cess to hun­dreds of adventures while guid­ing them through the fundrais­ing process. And the waiv­ing of ad­min­is­tra­tion fees will en­sure a bite isn’t taken from much- needed funds. ‘‘We don’t (charge fees) be­cause we have mar­gins al­ready built into the trip costs, and we’ll ac­tu­ally dis­count trip costs for char­i­ties as our con­tri­bu­tion to the work they do,’’ Bad­yari says.

For or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Kids’ Can­cer Project, the Aus­tralian Hi­malayan Foun­da­tion, SeeBeyondBorders and the Ju­ve­nile Di­a­betes Re­search Foun­da­tion, the de­liv­ery of adventures by an ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tor im­proves their fundrais­ing prospects, and at­tracts trav­ellers look­ing to make a dif­fer­ence.

‘‘You’d be sur­prised at how well a group will click to­gether if they’ve all fundraised (for the same cause). You’ll find that the trips are so much bet­ter and you have so much fun on them. If you’re hav­ing a bad mo­ment, some­one is be­hind you en­cour­ag­ing you,’’ Bab­bage says.

‘‘We al­ways have our char­ity hats on, and some­times we need to step back and ask what would we do if we weren’t char­ity-minded, but would like to con­trib­ute in some way. This pro­gram is per­fect for that.’’ hu­machal­lenge.com thekid­scancer­pro­ject.org.au

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