Blue Mountains News
Christian Fellowship Tours’ New World Vision
During some trips, donors would have the opportunity to meet World Vision program recipients and learn about their circumstances and needs.
Christian Fellowship Tours (CFT) guided trips to remote World Vision First Nations projects in Australia will give charity donors firsthand insight into how their donations are spent, with half the profits of each tour going to World Vision to fund its community development work, along with 50 per cent of profits from all CFT international tours.
The first tour will be a 26-day trip to Oberammergau for the Passion play, which is staged once every decade, and foodie trail throughout Europe in July 2020.
Also in July will be a trip from Broome to Darwin with a visit to remote World Vision projects in the Kimberley.
CFT managing director Jason Cronshaw said the initiative will help reduce the perceived distance between charity work locations and donors and personalise the cause to givers.
During some trips, donors will have the opportunity to meet World Vision program participants and staff, learn about their circumstances and see firsthand how their donations are making a difference.
Each tour will have a Christian tour leader, daily devotions and Sunday worship, along with sightseeing and activities, with accommodation, most meals, airfare and transfers included.
Such tours align with the CFT philosophy of travelling with purpose and offer travellers a more meaningful holiday with like-minded people, Mr Cronshaw said.
He had the idea for a World Vision partnership 10 years ago, and it began to take shape when he heard Platinum Foundation’s Joshua Nicholls speak about his high profile One Van One Child sponsorship project.
That prompted Mr Cronshaw to instigate the One Bus One Child program under the World Vision umbrella, through which CFT and sister companies Fantastic Aussie Tours and Blue Mountains Explorer Bus sponsor 14 children in Zambia.
While the company has long given 10 per cent of profits to charity, charitable works became part of the company’s official business strategy when Mr Cronshaw began to study a Masters in Business Administration (Social Impact) at the University of NSW.
The course has helped him identify initiatives and expand the company’s social impact potential, which is a large part of his Christian faith.
"We were doing stuff out of the generosity of our heart more than weaving it into the business model," he said.
The first step is the World Vision partnership, which will help both organisations expand and diversify their charitable capacity.
Mr Cronshaw said he was pleased to see that philanthropy is becoming a larger part of Australian business culture, particularly among young entrepreneurs who are now likely to make ethics and cause-based decisions.
"Any business out there can do something. You don’t have to be an established business. If every business did a little bit it would help society enormously."
World Vision Australia Strategic Alliances acting manager (private funding division) David Towill said the CFT partnership makes sense, given the shared philosophies and goals of the organisations to care for all people regardless of race, gender and creed.
Teaming up with CFT is also a creative way of encouraging charitable support in a growing pool of worthy causes and visits will encourage staff working in remote areas in challenging circumstances, he said.
While World Vision was the first such partnership for CFT, Mr Cronshaw hoped it would lead to many more relationships with like-minded businesses, of which he had several on his wish list.
"It's certainly not an exclusive deal. I believe in this model, and if we can get it right with World Vision we’ll be able to get it right with everybody else."
- The 26-day Oberammergau & a Taste of Europe tour will depart July 7, 2020. Highlights of the international World Vision partnered tour will include the Oberammergau Passion Play as well as food and sightseeing activities in Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France.
- The 16-day Visionary Top End tour from Broome to Darwin will depart July 22, 2020. During the trip to the Kimberley, passengers will meet the inspiring people of the region, visit with World Vision staff and learn more about programs the tour helps to support. They will also be awed by the spectacular Outback landscapes and thrilled by unique experiences along the way.
Bookings and information: 1300 635 358.
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