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missions trip
Old 04-18-2018, 06:43 AM   #1
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missions trip

My 13 year old NIECE and her mother want to go on a 'missions' trip to Romania this summer. the cost for each is down to $1700 now after a few church fund raisers.
My brother has been out of work since a hurnia surgery in jan , and has a $20k hospital bill. (after insurance)
1. i think my niece is too young for this type of trip. i think she should be college age.
2. i think my niece is prime pickings for sex traffickers.
3. my school teacher sis in law flew once to Disney. that is her travel experience.
4. my sis in law is preparing to send letters to my sisters daughter and to me wanting money for the trip, because we can afford it --not sending these letters to anyone else.

I've traveled all over the world via the NAVY. i know about sex trafficking, I've had numerous security briefs....i know the dangers.

you see the issues here? I am leaning to replying back with, a long letter on managing money, family getting together on the same page, selfishness....

I feel like it is none of my business, until they ask me for money and which point they just made it my business. my money = my opinions!
i have talked this over with my brother. he is like a beat down dog, and abused spouse if i have ever seen one.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitesurfer2 View Post

you see the issues here?
Sorry, no.

Are you talking about your daughter and "her mother" (your ex?) going on this trip or your niece and her mother?
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:32 AM   #3
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I'd be less concerned about trafficing than about whether this trip will really do any good. According to a book called "Toxic Charity", many of these trips are make-work projects that the locals have to redo or that take work away from locals (painting buildings, for example), or feel-good stuff like visiting orphanages and having the kids sing songs for them. In most cases, a direct donation of $1,700 per person would do far more good than everyone getting on a plane and coming over.

I'd ask a lot of questions of the church sponsoring the project- who's in charge, where will they be going, what will they be doing, have they done this before, etc. A niece went on a similar trip when she was in HS and I still remember her e-mail home from Brazil, where she stayed with a local family:"I miss my room, I miss my phone, I miss my car." I don't think she "got it" although I suppose the poverty opened up her eyes.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:37 AM   #4
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My 13 year old daughter
Maybe you meant your brother's daughter?

And are you asking for advice? If so, keep out of it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:07 AM   #5
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I agree that 13 is a bit young. Our 14 y.o. niece stayed with us one summer in Paris and it was a bit of a waste on her.

OTOH, I'd be worried about a lot of things but 'easy pickings for sex traffickers' would not make my top 10.

Could we assume that there would be some sort of supervision, chaperones, organization overseeing this trip? I doubt she'd just hop off the plane and take a cab to the site.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:13 AM   #6
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Maybe you meant your brother's daughter?

And are you asking for advice? If so, keep out of it.
Yes, but they want the OP's financial help, in which case he has every right to decide whether or not it's a good use of his money.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:17 AM   #7
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‘Thanks for the opportunity, however we have made plans for our charitable donations this year’

My wife had a friend who came out of the blue with a similar request. The friend was going through marital and other issues and determined that the way to deal with her problems was to run away on a mission trip to Africa, and could my wife please fund her excursion?

Considering mission - what are you running from, or to?
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:24 AM   #8
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Maybe you meant your brother's daughter?

And are you asking for advice? If so, keep out of it.
EXACTLY. my brother and i talk about this often, and i have stayed out of it. but when they ask me for money 'to go play', they invited my advice also.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:27 AM   #9
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Kite surfer2- off topic - avatar, tail of the dragon?
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:32 AM   #10
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i am not cheap. i have the money. my brother is a 'maintenance' type person who can weld, build, and fix most everything except internal combustion engines. He lost his good high paying job a few years back because of his safety concerns (and his coworker was killed on that very job in a few months. he is 57 and has aged out of his field. ive offered him a 5k loan to start up his handy man business if he wants it...not much but i felt it was a start if he wanted it. his overbearing wife shot it down. this is a small rural community in NC where there is literally no one to do small jobs. i am so much appreciating the comments from you guys. PLEASE keep them coming--i am searching.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:35 AM   #11
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Kite surfer2- off topic - avatar, tail of the dragon?
don't judge! i forgot my gloves and trailered up on that trip. i still have those $9 wal mart gloves and use them for rain.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:48 AM   #12
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Since this is your niece not your own kid, I agree sit back until asked for payment:

"I'd be happy to help support a domestic trip but I don't believe the itinerary is a good idea for a 13 year old."

done. Perhaps suggest you Brother apply for SSI-D? but other than that I'd be out of it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 08:57 AM   #13
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yeah, hate to break it to the fam, but...

7 Reasons Why Your Two Week Trip To Haiti Doesn’t Matter: Calling Bull on “Service Trips” and Voluntourism - The Almost Doctor's Channel
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:21 AM   #14
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Even with chaperones, 13 seems a bit young to actually go on a trip to Romania without parents. Also 100% agree that the volunteering is completely ineffective. If asked, just say no to any donations. Your brother needs to develop some cajones to talk with his wife and say why it is not a good idea.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:23 AM   #15
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EXACTLY. my brother and i talk about this often, and i have stayed out of it. but when they ask me for money 'to go play', they invited my advice also.
They did? They explicitly asked for your advice ?

If not, just politely decline to help and MYOB.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:59 AM   #16
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Yes, but you get what really matters the most: Some great photos of you with orphans for your Facebook page so you can make your friends envious!

It's quite fulfilling.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:38 AM   #17
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Even with chaperones, 13 seems a bit young to actually go on a trip to Romania without parents. Also 100% agree that the volunteering is completely ineffective. If asked, just say no to any donations. Your brother needs to develop some cajones to talk with his wife and say why it is not a good idea.
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They did? They explicitly asked for your advice ?

If not, just politely decline to help and MYOB.
I'm in the politely "just say no" camp. Its pretty easy.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of this kind of trip, I agree that in a quantitative sense they cannot be anything but ineffective. A drop in the ocean.

However, DW has been board chair, board member, and advisor to an organization that sponsors a couple of thousand Dalit children at boarding schools in India. They also support a womens' health center in CAR and various other things around the world that actually do matter to the people that benefit.

One of their activities is sponsoring this type of trip. Participants do work on small tasks with the people in the destination country, but the goal is not quantative impact. It is understanding. This is the polar opposite of a cruise ship bubble pulling into port, the herds debarking into their bubble buses, and viewing the native wildlife for a few hours.

The result is a new world view for participants, something that is especially impactful for teens and pre-teens. One can argue whether achieving this is cost-effective or not and I could come down on either side, but after years of watching it (and occasionally participating) I can guarantee you that it changes people in a very positive way.

Re danger, there is no statistically significant danger in any of this any more than there is a statistically significant danger of getting shot while crossing a city streetin the US, though many outside the US believer that this is a serious risk.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:55 PM   #19
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Tell the money grubber to find a worthy cause in her home town. If she makes real, consistent contributions for 1 or 2 years, maybe match dollar for dollar up to some limit. No skin in the game, no trip.

An overseas trip the family can't afford isn't mission work or charity. It's a vacation.

Just say no.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:12 PM   #20
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My boss young daughter has gone on several trips to an orphanage in Haiti that is partnered with their church. Boss and his wife have gone with her each time, and I definitely think it has had a huge impact on her. Shes a good kid overall, but working with the kids at that orphanage has made her very mindful of her own good fortune and her place in helping others.
But they never ask anyone else to sponsor their trips. She saves money from babysitting and her dad matches it.
Id politely decline in your situation, and try very hard to sit on my hands not to offer advice.
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