REACH Grenada’s Parent Child Voluntourism Program – Creating a Cycle of Giving

On 12th-16th June 2010, 15 children and 9 parents visited Grenada to volunteer at the Queen Elizabeth Home for Children (QEH) in Tempe, as part of charity REACH Grenada’s inspirational and family-friendly voluntourism program.

Through its well-established partnership with QEH, REACH Grenada provided a unique opportunity for the 6 families from New York City, U.S.A. to combine holidaying in a beautiful Caribbean setting with volunteering to a variety of charitable activities.

REACH Grenada is funding a wide range of ongoing projects aimed at enhancing the well being of QEH’s children through yoga, meditation, psycho-social counseling and care-giver training. The voluntourism program aims to help sustain funding of REACH Grenada’s existing projects, develop the children’s pro-social interaction and improve the physical environment of the Home.

As well as participating in yoga and other fun activities with the children, the volunteer group followed a detailed work schedule, organized and overseen by REACH Grenada, which included: transforming a storage room into a children’s library, fully stocked with donated books and games; refurbishing three bathrooms; and planting a vegetable garden that is already producing fresh green string beans and lettuces used to make the children’s meals!

Mrs Marion Pierre, Executive Trustee of QEH says: “Reach Grenada has been associated with QEH for over a year. Within that period both the staff and children have benefited significantly. The Board of Trustees, management and staff of the QEH are sincerely grateful for the support provided by Reach Grenada and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Dr Karen Lawson, Co-Founder of REACH Grenada and parent of three, comments on the importance of enabling children to gain first-hand experience of altruism in action:

Exposing children to positive volunteering experiences from a young age can help to make them happier by nurturing their sense of personal fulfillment and place in the world. In addition it can help sow the seeds of social conscience and hopefully inspire an ongoing interest and participation in giving to others in the future.”

Due to popular demand a special Thanksgiving Voluntourism trip is scheduled to take place 24th-28th November 2010

The success of the REACH Grenada voluntourism program reflects an increase in the number of parents searching for meaningful family holidays and, also, a wider shift in international tourism trends towards a growing demand for more socially responsible, eco-oriented travel experiences with opportunities to gain valuable insights into different cultures and volunteer help to local communities.

Neo Moreton, Co-Founder and Executive Director of REACH Grenada, and graduate of Columbia University Institute for Not-for-Profit Management, he explains the innovative voluntourism program has long-term benefits for everyone involved:

This inter-generational voluntourism experience aims to encourage parents and their children to invest in continued voluntary work to help local communities. By cultivating a ‘cycle of giving’ they can make a real difference to the world they live in.”

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