One of the main aims of this trip is to show our children the wider world beyond our small corner of London. We want to show them both natural and manmade beauty, different religions and culture. However, it is impossible to see all the good bits without coming across some of the bad bits, and it is knowing how to explain some of the uglier aspects of humanity that concerns me.
Do you teach children aged 8, 6 and 4 about the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge? My instincts say no, but I am sure there are people who would disagree. However, there are other issues that we will not be able to avoid, such as children begging on the street.
Our children are very lucky, they have every opportunity to grow up happy, healthy and well educated. But not all children are as fortunate as ours. I want mine to understand both how lucky they are and also that there are things they can do to to help others who are not so fortunate.
We already try and involve them in our charity giving, for example at Christmas we made a donation to Send a Cow, which does exactly what it says. We let the children choose one thing each from a ‘shopping list’ which included bee hives, goats, fruit trees and chickens.
On this trip, particularly in SEA, we are bound to be confronted by poverty. I don’t want us to just see it and walk away, I want to show the children that there are things they can do to help. One thing we might do is to raise money as before we leave to take to a charity in a country we visit. A fantastic example of this is the Kiwi family whose children raised money to print a children’s book in Laos, a country were few books are published, let alone for children.
If this trip helps our our children grow up to be thoughtful, philanthropic indiviuals, then I will be very happy indeed.