So here's what's happening: I'm leaving for Bogota, Colombia in August 2008 to do some social work there for a year - I'll be placed with Fundacion Renacer, which is a rehabilitation and reintegration project for exploited teenage sex workers.
For more info, click here and here.
But why, Ben? Why?
Because it will be a good experience for me: I'll learn a great host of skills, pick up Spanish, learn how to be entirely independent and contribute to society simultaneously.
But what do I get out of this?
The satisfaction of having done charity by proxy. You will have the privilege of engaging in it without having to actually participate. Think of it as doing your active part for charity, except through me. For some reason, some people think that what they are supporting is for me to have free accommodation and food for a year in a foreign place. That is not entirely true: the money goes to the charity which allocates a certain sum of money for my day to day living, and I will be placed with a host family during that time.
I will work with the other staff members in the project (including doctors and psychologists) to ensure that the rehabilitation and reintegration process continues as smoothly as possible. What I'm trying to say is that this isn't really a vanity project, and your donation doesn't go to me - it goes to the charity which will help support me.
And I understand that this seems like you're subsidizing a trip for me, but let me assure you that this is entirely untrue: what you are doing is basically paying for a charity to obtain a volunteer who will work for no payment in order for them to keep the foundation running.
Also, the donor of the highest amount gets a surprise gift and a proper dinner from me, which more or less means I won't be cooking. Unless you insist.
How much have you raised so far?
I have been saving some money, and I have approximately 2000 pounds saved up so far.
How do we know you're not lying?
I'll start a blog, updating as much as possible to show you that I'm not wasting my time and your money. I'm trying to see if I can get through to the mass media in Malaysia, and if I do then I'll make sure to mention your name.
Assure me that this is no con job.
Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE-UK) Ltd - incidentally, a registered charity in the UK - will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.
So, have a heart, support me (or alternatively, my cause), and I'll make sure to buy you souvenirs all the way from Latin America.
Ben Eng Zhen Ng
Ben's Super Cool Fundraising Page
Fundraising for Inter-Cultural Youth Exchange (Icye-Uk) Ltd
We send volunteers from around the world to connect and support local communities