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Anyone else's facebook stream full of wealthy kids on missions trips holding a poor brown kid?

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Replies to: Anyone else's facebook stream full of wealthy kids on missions trips holding a poor brown kid?

  • soozievtsoozievt ! 31624 replies375 threads Senior Member
    My kids never did these. However, I am not against such trips. Not everyone does things (whether service trips or something else) to look good on a college application. Sometimes kids truly are interested in a certain activity for its own sake. There are travel programs that add a service component that is meaningful for some kids. Even though my kids never participated in these things, I do know that the activities they chose to do they did out of interest and not to get into college and I don't think they are unique in that way. Yes, I am sure there ARE indeed kids who pick such activities (or other ones) for the purpose of college admissions. But I don't look down on the choices some make because some really do such activities due to genuine interest and enjoy and get something out of the experience. I don't frown upon that.
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  • concernedmom17concernedmom17 21 replies2 threads New Member
    edited June 2016
    @mstee Up to 100 because it seems to be 4 or 5 local groups from churches and high schools scheduled trips right after the semester ended? And there are also family pairs who seem to be on bespoke noblisse oblige trips.
    edited June 2016
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threads Senior Member
    I'm not sure you need to promote your charitable works on social media at all, but I'm pretty sure the kids in these pictures didn't help build any houses. As depicted in these images, they are recipients of generosity, not role players in their own story.
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  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes 34213 replies770 threads Senior Member
    Look, I was president of a basketball league in Detroit (I grew up just outside of Detroit). I also coached basketball and a few other sports in that league. Yes, the overwhelming majority of them were black and brown kids. I was with that league for 15+ years between being a player, a coach, and a president.

    I *get* that there are people who do stuff in their backyard and abroad that is actually doing good in the community. But you're kidding yourself if you think those 10 day trips are doing more good than harm. There are volumes written on how detrimental the white savior BS is to communities- especially abroad.

    That's not being negative- that's being realistic.
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  • PizzagirlPizzagirl 40174 replies320 threads Senior Member
    "And there are also family pairs who seem to be on bespoke noblisse oblige trips."

    I don't know. I don't like to second guess motives. Some people really are social justice warriors (in the non-annoying sense of the word). They go on to work for non-profits, NGOs, Peace Corps, UNICEF, etc. Or they become ministers/rabbis/etc.
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  • westcoastmomof2westcoastmomof2 203 replies26 threads Junior Member
    I am proud of the fact that my 16-year-old loves to do service trips. His youth group leader has a "pick it and stick it" motto, meaning he leads groups to the same locations year after year and builds upon the work and relationships developed through past goodwill. My son has done multiple trips to Skid Row and Mexico, and is super excited to go to Swaziland next summer (a village that the church has been visiting yearly for 19 years now). They also do local service projects. These are not luxury vacations - the kids work their tails off. For those of you begrudging the FB posts or college essays of kids choosing to spend their weekends and vacations in service to others who live in extreme poverty, with AIDs, with mental illness, etc., you may not understand how truly life changing those experiences can be for our privileged kids. They are being blessed as much or more than they are doing the blessing. The FB (or more likely, Instagram)) posts are not prompted by pride, but by them feeling humbled by the experience. Teenagers post about everything - of course they are going to post about a service experience. Give them a break! Somehow, I am guessing you are not offended by FB posts of all the kids in front of the Eiffel Tower enjoying Europe this summer (which, BTW, I have no problem with; my older son chose the big Europe trip over missions).
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  • NJresNJres 6110 replies189 threads Senior Member
    No havent seen that one, but I did read a long post that sounded so unbelievable, about the hot, sweaty, buggy, conditions and the lady next door dying and I thought it sounded too horrrible to be possible, must have been made up, but then I remembered who the author was...Maggie Doyne, and her charity Blink Now, and I realized it was all true. And she does post some pics of herself with many brown children, her adopted children, but they are in Nepal not South America.
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  • CorinthianCorinthian 1808 replies63 threads Senior Member
    My D did not do any service trips. But our church does several each year. Our church has a longstanding relationship with a Christian orphanage, crisis nursery and feeding center in Malawi. We send a mission team each year that sometimes includes a high school student. They take much needed supplies and funds. Sure we could just ship the supplies and wire the funds, but the human connection is also vital and frankly seeing pictures and hearing stories of one-to-one contact inspires donations from our members. The junior high and high school groups also do domestic mission trips to inner city locations and a nearby reservation. And the vast majority of the students who participate have no aspirations to go to highly selective schools. They are just regular kids who want to do something they consider worthwhile and a little bit outside their normal comfort zone. One of our adult youth leaders is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, and all of the youth leadership is active in mission work.
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  • westcoastmomof2westcoastmomof2 203 replies26 threads Junior Member
    "This is an excellent comparison. The black kids are serving the role of landmarks in these pictures. They're the Eiffel Tower of Africa. In Europe, we don't get local children to pose with us as a record of the trip. Pictures of Kilimanjaro wouldn't raise any of these issues."

    The teens (at least my son's youth group) go to their sites specifically to interact with the kiddos, build them homes and playgrounds, play with them, etc.That is what the trip is about, so that is the focus of their pictures, just as we would post pictures with our friends if we took a trip out of town to see them. They are not treated as landmarks - that's so dismissive of their motives. Schools and houses and recreation buildings and playgrounds have been built. With the construction of the school and playground in Swaziland, child trafficking within that village has been virtually eliminated because the kids now have a safe place to go. 99% of the kids on these trips are there with no motivation other than to serve others. Most of them aspire to small Christian colleges that don't require a knockout application. Why so cynical?

    I have a dear friend (now 51) who changed her life course and became a nurse after a mission trip to India during college. My niece decided to become a doctor directly because of her 3 trips serving in Haiti. These trips can absolutely be transformative.

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  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 14268 replies297 threads Senior Member
    edited June 2016
    My son has done multiple trips to Skid Row and Mexico, and is super excited to go to Swaziland next summer (a village that the church has been visiting yearly for 19 years now). 

    For what you've spent in airfare to Mexico & Swaziland a cash donation to an NGO could have achieved a helluva lot more.

    Plus by sending "free" unskilled labor to these countries, you've undercut the local job market.

    edited June 2016
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  • shawnspencershawnspencer 3121 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Although people do tend to put down these service trips often, I do think they can serve a worthy purpose. They can help students realize how privileged they are and encourage them to help out in their local communities when they get back home. It can put them in touch with a local culture that they were never aware of and encourage an exchange of lifestyles. It can widen people's worldview beyond just the tourist areas of a country. It's better than simply taking a week off at a cruise in the Bahamas. I do have problems with the commodification of a people and sometimes people's trips do more harm than good, or fail to have an effect at all, but this differs by organization and purpose.

    Overall I do not think all service trips abroad are bad. I know several students from my colleges participating in SOMOS and MANOS an organization that works with local communities to meet their needs and open up clinics where they can help local residents. Other organizations that seem to have an positive impact include the Social Entrepreneurship Corps which intend to train students who are able to in turn empower the villagers to start their own businesses and reach their goals.

    The thing that tends to bug me more is when people on social media post that they have had their life-changed by a service trip because "we don't realize how lucky we are every day" and uses it in turn to lecture other people about their trip. (If this is the cases, they need to get out more) Or create a gofundme page for their trip, but not for helping out the local community, but asking for funding for the trip itself. (They could volunteer at home without having to spend exorbitant costs... for some reason the notion of asking others for money to pay for the trip bothered me) But yeah, much of that could be done more effectively without spending thousands of dollars, or at the very least it could be used by organizations with trained professionals in the field
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  • CCDD14CCDD14 1082 replies2 threads Senior Member
    For some reason I immediately though about Kinto who changes lives:
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887324000704578390340064578654
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  • concernedmom17concernedmom17 21 replies2 threads New Member
    edited June 2016
    @CCDD14 Suzy's admissions op-ed made me roll my eyes because she's well off, with an older sister who's an editor at the Wall Street Journal (a hook she's tapped to get published 3 times — and prob helped with her internships). She used satire to poke fun at admissions branding, but she is obviously savvy enough to play the game and certainly did — it's just her attempt didn't deliver a T10 acceptance letter. According to her linkedin, Suzy is a rising junior at Univ. of Michigan's Ross School of Business — one of the top undergrad business schools in the world. It's not like she ended up taking U of Phoenix courses in her parents' basement.
    edited June 2016
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