WHY MISSION TRIPS
Many young people and adults in the Netherlands have little contact with people from other cultures, and find it difficult to find their purpose in life. The interaction between a local community and short-term mission team changes this, by increasing cross-cultural understanding and giving new life purposes.
TYPES OF MISSION TRIPS
Currently, we have six types of short-term mission trips:
- Youth trips. Youth trips are designed for young people in the ages between 16 and 24.
- Adult trips. Adults trips are open to people in the ages between 25 and 75.
- Intergenerational trips. Intergenerational trips are designed for any person of age 16 and above, creating an interaction between generations as well as between cultures.
- Women's trips. In our Lady's Only trips, a group of women visit the vocational skills program that our Ghanian partner runs for girls in a slum area in Accra.
- Study trips. In cooperation with the Christian University of Applied Science Ede (Netherlands) and Lifeskills Promoters (Kenya) we organize Kenya Indepth, a study trip program in which Dutch students interact with Kenyan lecturers, students and development workers to learn about poverty, development and the church’s engagement in poverty reduction in Kenya.
- Two-culture trips. In this type of trips, the volunteer team is made up of young people from the Netherlands as well as young people from Southern Africa.
- Custom-made trips. For churches, companies, non-profits, schools, and colleges looking for a trip exclusively for their own constituency, we offer custom-made trips in which we can adapt the length, location, partner, and support services to meet their preferences.
HOW WE WORK
If we want to achieve a long-lasting impact, we have to manage our short-term missions well. It’s not just sending people off; it’s planning, mobilization, preparation, on-field support, and follow-up. This is how we work.
- Planning. Every four year, we make a strategic plan with objectives for how much we expect and want to grow. Each year we prepare an annual plan, in which we determine the total number of mission trips, the number of trips for each type, and the dates and locations of the trips.
- Recruitment. At our home-coming event, we start recruitment for the coming trip season. We recruit participants through our website, presentations, and most of all through word-of-mouth from participants who've become enthusiastic about World Servants. For each team, we also recruit team leaders responsible for pastoral care, medical & hygiene, children's work, and technical.
- Preparation. We train all team leaders in their specific field. Recruitment closes at the beginning of May. At that time around 500 participants gather at a summer camp in Heino to meet their fellow participants, to get a taste of what it's like to go on a trip with World Servants, and to learn more about their project.
- Briefing. A few weeks before their mission, all Heads of Mission are personally briefed by the designated project manager, financial manager, and training officer.
- On-field. All teams are seen off by a staff member, who can help to solve any problems with check-in or delays. Whenever a team is on-field, we offer an out-of-hours emergency service. On our website, friends and relatives can leave a message for those in the field.
- Home-coming. All teams are welcomed home by a staff member. Participants can share photo's on our website.
- Reunion & debriefing. All participants are invited to experience the Changemaker Festival, where they are challenged to find out what they can do locally with their global experience. Here we also debrief the Heads of Mission.
- Feedback. When the project that a team has supported is completed and the building is being used, we sent an e-mail update to participants with projects results.