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Aussies to trek Vietnam on adventure holiday for a good cause

While some of us are still recovering from post-holiday blues, two ChildFund supporters are planning their next getaway.

West Australian couple Vikki and Chris Toia will be embarking on an incredible adventure later this year – one unlike any other they have experienced before.

Two inspired Australians are going on a trek

The trek in northern Vietnam will take them through remote villages, stunning mountainsides and lush rice paddies. Vikki and Chris will also be able to visit the children and communities that their fundraising efforts are helping.

In September, they will be taking part in a five-day trek to raise money for ChildFund Pass It Back, a program that uses the power of sport to help transform the lives of children in some of Asia’s poorest communities.

An adventure holiday to help children in need

“We hadn’t planned a holiday for 2020 and we do like to have a bit of adventure on a holiday and not just laze by the pool, so the ChildFund Pass It Back Vietnam trek ticked the boxes: go to a country we haven’t been to, add a bit adventure, be active, and at the same time be able to help children in need,” Vikki says.

“It seemed like a win-win situation for everyone.”

Vikki expects the ChildFund Pass It Back trek to bring about plenty of smiles, and push her and Chris outside of their comfort zones.

“I haven’t been to Vietnam before; I’m excited to explore part of the country on foot,” she says.

“We haven’t done much trekking in the past, but that is why we are doing this – to challenge ourselves.  “The highlight will be meeting the kids and playing rugby with them. Just to see the smiles on their faces when they are playing sport.”

Vikki and Chris Toia with their sponsored child Nulu in Uganda 2009. The couple from Western Australia will be trekking the ChildFund Pass It Back Vietnam trek in September 2020.

Long-time child sponsors

Vikki and Chris have been sponsoring children through ChildFund since 2006. Currently they sponsor three children – who they regularly write letters to – and they also support ChildFund’s Global Community program in Laos.

In 2009 they visited one of their sponsored children in Uganda. “It was the best,” Vikki says. “You really do form a special bond after meeting them. The family is so grateful for your support, it brings you to happy tears.

“After meeting them, your letters to each other become more meaningful, because you really do understand their situation.”
Their decision to sponsor children through ChildFund was easy, and came about after reflecting on their own childhoods.

“We both had a pretty good childhood and just want all children to be able to be kids without having to take on adult responsibilities before they should,” Vikki says.

“We did research ChildFund before starting with the organisation. We believed ChildFund’s values aligned with ours, so we didn’t have to look into other similar organisations – we knew ChildFund was the right one for us.”


How the Toias will fundraise

Fourteen years on and Vikki and Chris are now calling on friends and family to get involved and help them raise funds for ChildFund Pass It Back.

“When we saw the opportunity to travel to Vietnam and fundraise for the ChildFund Pass It Back trek we had no hesitation in signing up,” Vikki says. “Regular donations and sponsorship are great, but to actually go and see how the money is helping these young ones develop is priceless.

“The trek will be a challenge, but meeting these kids face to face at the end of it will be a truly amazing experience, not just for them but us as well!”

Vikki and Chris will run sausage sizzles, movie nights and organise a fundraising page to collect donations.

“We will also ask people to forgo a coffee a day for a week and donate the money they saved to our cause,” Vikki says.

For anyone who is considering the trek through Vietnam, Vikki says do not hold back. “Don’t be a ‘someday’ person, as that day may never come,” she says. “Register, then start training for it. The kids are counting on you.”


Don’t be a ‘someday’ person, be inspired

Don’t be a ‘someday’ person. 

On an inspired adventure through the Vietnamese countryside, you’ll refocus and learn more about who you are, and what’s important in your life. As you walk, reflect and grow, you’ll be supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

If you’ve thought about becoming a child sponsor, you may like to sponsor a child in Vietnam and use the trek as an opportunity to meet them. Learn more about our child sponsorship program here.

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