Groupon Getaways, Groupon Grassroots and buildOn are inviting Groupon subscribers to the experience of a lifetime: a seven day journey to a remote village in rural Nepal or Nicaragua and help build a school. We’re also excited to announce that Ernie Halvorsen and Cindy Chiang, winners of the 19th season of The Amazing Race, will accompany guests on the Nepal trip. “”Having traveled around the world and seeing the need to support developing areas, Cindy and I feel the best way to provide a better tomorrow is by supporting educational programs,” said Halvorsen.
The Groupon Package
The deal is priced at $2,583 and valued at more than $5,000. Every package purchased will enable one inner-city high school student in buildOn’s afterschool service program to travel to a developing country and build a school. “The schools built through this experience will give generations of children access to education,’ said buildOn CEO and founder Jim Ziolkowksi, “Through this program participants will not only have a life-changing experience, but will be helping to break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education.”
Once all of the tickets are purchased, an intimate group of 15 travelers will live and work side-by-side with local villagers to construct a buildOn school for children without access to education. Outside the construction site, guests will live with a host family, likely without electricity and running water, and participate in cultural immersion activities designed to educate travelers about the issues facing the local community.
The travelers will join forces with experienced buildOn staff, local villagers, and high-schoolers from buildOn’s afterschool program to build a two- or three-classroom school. Before breaking ground on the school, a local leadership team will sign a covenant guaranteeing that villagers will share in the work of construction and that, once the school is built, girls and boys will be educated in equal numbers. buildOn’s commitment to grassroots involvement and completely transparent financial records has earned the organization a prestigious four-star rating from Charity Navigator for the past eight years in a row. To date, buildOn has built 466 schools in impoverished communities around the globe.
“We’re thrilled to bring such a transformative voluntourism opportunity to Groupon subscribers thanks to buildOn and our Groupon Getaways and Groupon Grassroots teams,” said Simon Goodall, Vice President of Groupon Getaways. “To be able to provide such an extraordinary experience to a high school student with every trip sold makes it that much more impactful.”
Learn more about how sending inner city youth to build a school in a developing country is life-changing by reading buildOn member Rhani Davis’ first-hand account of her experience in Malawi.