Are volunteering holidays for school children ethical?

Raising money for school volunteering holidays

I remember challenging a friend of mine when she put a post on Facebook a few years ago about how proud she was that her twin 16 year old boys were going to help build an orphanage in Uganda for a month during their school holidays. They were trying to fundraise for the trip, thus the Facebook post, the target amount being £4000. Or £8000 for twins.

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Loving London’s lidos in winter

Lido love is a summer romance for most people in London. A fling with urban adventure when the heat is on. Then you have the die hards who swim all year round in ten degrees of heart stopping H20, because the majority of the lidos, which hark back to Victorian times, are minimally heated. But thankfully there are exceptions for water wimps like me who fall between these two stools and for whom breaking the ice is never nice. Whose hearts soar at the sight of beckoning blue tiles and shimmering waters, who love to swim outdoors, the elements always assured to elevate the spirits.  And, most importantly, who crave Celcius readings over the 25 degree mark, no matter what the season. And for those of us who love to travel, finding this on a winter city break turns the fling into a lifelong affair.

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Tribal Voice Communications

Ecotourism and the Maasai in Kenya

I can’t believe it is over ten years since I travelled to Kenya with Dr. Cheryl Mvula, to write about the extraordinary work that she had been doing with Maasai communities and sustainable tourism in Kenya’s Masai Mara.  I had only started writing really, following completion of my MSc in Responsible Tourism Management. But the people I met and places I visited on that trip of a lifetime were not only the greatest reward for my studies but also the greatest reminder that giving voice to people who deserve it was what I had set out to do when I started writing.  

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Youth Hostel Association (YHA) UK summer camps

I have stayed in a wonderful array of youth hostels on my own, with friends and then, as time went on, with my children.  But the time came a couple of years ago for me to start thinking about letting them go it alone and considering a UK summer camps. Whether I like it or not, they are getting older, and although I hope they will always holiday with the ‘old ma’, they do relish any opportunity to spread their wings just a little.

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