“The world is full of miserable places. One way of living comfortably is not to think about them or, when you do, to send money.” – Dr. Paul Farmer, Mountains Beyond Mountains
At PEPY Tours, our mission is simple: to improve the world and to convince others of their power to do the same. While our mission may be simple, we know that creating positive change is not a leisure activity to be accomplished on week-long vacation, but rather a life-long commitment. We aim, therefore, to provide our participants with a learning experience that gives them the knowledge, resources, inspiration, and critical thinking techniques to go home and create the changes they want to see in their own lives, communities, and the world as a whole. It is important to dream big.
To do this, we are starting a global movement around a new type of travel; one centered around learning and engaging instead of merely observing and giving things away, and as a result of this we have coined the phrase ‘learning service’ in opposition to ‘service learning’. It is true that we started out by offering volunteering programs, designed to allow our participants to ‘give back’. We soon learned, however, that by doing so we are creating a sense that we as visitors have somehow more superior knowledge and skill to offer and that the local residents are in need of our ‘help’. We were ignorant of the fact that we were sending a misguided message to people that you can come in from the outside and help people and places you know little about, in a culture that is not your own , with ‘problems’ you have defined yourself. This is not the message we wanted to be spreading amongst motivated, enthusiastic travelers. What we really should be teaching is the lesson which we at PEPY Tours learned through our own mistakes:
You have to learn before you can help.
Today, PEPY Tours is about (you guessed it…) learning. Learning about a new culture, about development issues, about compassion, and most importantly learning about service. We must learn before we can serve. We expect people to get angry, get interested, and get fired up to then go out and realize their own potential to do the ‘world changing’ they want to.
Join the ‘Learning Service’ movement if you want to have a sustained impact on the world, not through ‘helping’ someone today, but through catalyzing changes in the way you give, travel, and live well into the future.
Below you can find two guides:
- Learning Service: Tips and Tricks for Learning Before Helping – a tool to help a future volunteer choose a responsible placement;
- Learning Service: Volunteer’s Charter – a guide for existing volunteers on how to maximize their positive impact with the organization.
Click on the covers below to open each guide.
To download the PDF version of two files, please follow the links below: