Business Travel Choice Humanitarian

A CHOICE Opportunity in Kenya

In September I had the opportunity to return to Kenya with CHOICE Humanitarian and help build a school house and desks. This trip was more unique than any other I had been on as it was the first time I’d ever led an expedition. More importantly, it was the first corporate expedition I’ve ever been a part of; I had six coworkers with me.

Christopherson Business Travel and its employees participate in CHOICE Humanitarian’s Corporate Partnership Program. This program is a way for us to do our part in the global initiative to end poverty. The ability for us as employees to contribute through an automatic payroll deduction, which Christopherson then matches 2 to 1, allows each of us to make a larger impact than we could have on our own. As part of this program, Christopherson has also elected to fully fund 4-6 employees to go into the field together each year to work and better understand firsthand the poverty and situation of those we seek to help with our donations.

CHOICE is unique to many non-profits in a few ways:

  • Everything they do revolves around the notion that enabling self-reliance is the best way to end poverty.
  • They don’t approach people and tell them what they “need.” Villages located in the regions in which CHOICE works approach CHOICE for help.
  • CHOICE stands for Center For Humanitarian Outreach and Inter-Cultural Exchange. As I’ve found, CHOICE expeditions are as much about what I learn and receive from those I’m helping, as they learn and receive from me.

My first CHOICE Humanitarian expedition was to Bolivia in 2003. I have since traveled to Bolivia again, Mexico, Kenya twice, Nepal twice, and Guatemala with this amazing group. Still, I have yet to experience anything that has had a more profound impact on my life than that first week in Bolivia’s Alto Plano.

The benefits are certainly ten-fold. And for Christopherson, we find our partnership with CHOICE to be just one more way for us as an organization to build not only a corporate environment of team members and business associates, but a family. Please feel free to contact me, or CHOICE, with any questions you may have on how you can get involved and/or implement a similar program at your company. Without question, it will be worth every second.