i-to-i Teams With World Vision to Set Students Overseas Aid Challenge

September 27, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Leading meaningful travel provider, i-to-i, has teamed up with World Vision to give students up and down the country a unique opportunity to put their entrepreneurial caps on in a challenge that could see them working alongside a developing community in a bid to generate sustainable solutions to poverty.

‘Mission Gap’, which launches in sixth forms throughout the UK this month, challenges students to create a viable and innovative business idea which, through engaging an overseas community in enterprise, could help them work towards alleviating some of their basic needs. By working in partnership with the community, the task is to create and grow a small business venture that not only has the potential to provide a sustainable income, but also generate future local employment.

“Good development is about partnership,” says World Vision’s Rudo Kwaramba. “By bringing people together with different skills, ideas and resources, lives can be changed for the better. Good development is really about connecting people fighting poverty.”

The ‘Mission Gap’ concept follows on from Channel 4’s latest big budget documentary ‘Millionaires’ Mission’, which sees i-to-i founder, Deirdre Bounds, along with seven other UK entrepreneurs, travel to Uganda tasked by World Vision, with the challenge of bringing blue sky thinking to development work.

Inspired by her own experiences and the success of the projects developed during the show, Deirdre, along with leading development agency World Vision, have thrown down the gauntlet to teams of sixth form students to think outside the box and come up with their own inspirational ideas.

Deirdre comments, “My experiences in Uganda proved to me just how big a part corporate enterprise can potentially play in the developing world - when done well. The key for me was community engagement. It’s not about marching in and dictating – but about empowerment and helping communities work towards self sustainability – something which has always been at the heart of i-to-i.”

With a budget of £500, students will need to submit an innovative business proposal outlining their key aims and ideas. The top 10 teams will be invited to a “Dragon’s Den” style session at the i-to-i head office to present in front of the panel including four entrepreneurs from Millionaires’ Mission and a leading development expert from World Vision. The winning idea will be the one that is judged to have the greatest potential impact on the local community.

The winning team of students will be given a hands-on role in putting their idea into practice, with an all expenses paid four week trip to the location and invaluable guidance from Deirdre Bounds. The start-up kitty of £500 will also be provided by i-to-i for the winning team.

Deirdre continues, “Involving young people through Mission Gap is not only a chance for these students to generate great ideas and potentially see them in action, but it’s an ideal opportunity to raise awareness about these issues, something which is crucial, particular among our young people.”

All potential entrants will be able to view Deirdre and her fellow entrepreneurs in action and gain an insight into the dilemmas, frustrations and challenges of setting up enterprise projects in the developing world by tuning into ‘Millionaires’ Mission’ on Channel 4 on Wednesdays at 9pm.

Students can find out more about Mission Gap at www.i-to-i.com/mission-gap.



For further press information or photography, please contact Jo Little on 0113 205 4569/jo.little@i-to-i.com


1. i-to-i is a volunteer travel and TEFL training organisation based in Leeds, UK; Denver, USA; Melbourne, Australia and Co. Waterford, Ireland. Each year it sends around 5,000 volunteers to work on 500 projects in 30 countries worldwide and trains a further 15,000 people to teach English as a foreign language.

2. i-to-i is a founding member of the Year Out Group, associate of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign, member of the Federation of International Youth Travel Organisations and has training accreditation from the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council.

3. World Vision is a Christian, international relief, development and advocacy organisation which works with the world’s poorest children and empowers communities to tackle poverty and the causes of poverty. World Vision has more of its own staff operational on the ground than any other international development NGO, with over 24,000 staff working in 100 countries around the world, 97% of whom are working in their countries of origin. Find out more at www.worldvision.org.uk.