Charity challenges for adventurers with a conscience
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