On the ground in Tonga
The Sonder Youth Global Changemaker Program is designed to be a life-changing experience for young people. From the moment your child arrives at the airport in Sydney they will be cared for by their Sonder Youth leaders. All aspects of travel in Tonga are organised prior to departure and you will have a copy of the complete itinerary including accomodation, activities and day plans, as well as contact information for Sonder Youth Leaders during the program.
Sonder Youth leaders travel with the Global Changemaker group throughout the program, taking part in all activities and facilitating all aspects of the program in Tonga. Sonder Youth leaders ensure the safety and wellbeing of all group members at all times. They will ensure all aspects of the program run safely and smoothly, and will be contactable at all times.
Sonder Youth's in-country leader, Mercy Kafalava, is a youth worker and conservationist in Tonga who is coordinating the in-country logistics of the program. When he was 17, Mercy spent over 2 years sailing throughout the pacific with an international crew, promoting ocean conservation and traditional navigation. Now father to a beautiful two year old, Mercy is sharing his experience and passion for the natural environment with the next generation in his work.
Who is Sonder Youth?
Sonder Youth is a not-for- profit originally founded in 2017. Sonder trains young people to create positive change in their lives and the world through conferences, workshops, the Changemakers Program and travel. In the past two years Sonder Youth has worked with over 300 young people from Kiama to Eden, empowering young people and facilitating youth-driven change.
Avalon is the founder of Sonder Youth and has worked in youth leadership and development for 8 years. 5 years ago she took her first job overseas and hasn’t stopped travelling since. Avalon has lived and worked in 9 different countries, facilitating, coordinating and training in youth development.
Avalon's work with young people overseas has included:
Planning, coordinating and leading programs taking groups of young people to India, Thailand and Vietnam for volunteering and youth development programs.
Responsible for all aspects of these programs and the care, safety and wellbeing of every participant.
Providing training, counselling, practical and medical assistance for participants.
Working with parents, teachers and youth leaders to develop programs, and select and train participants.
Working closely with the staff and communities in each overseas location to ensure appropriate, enduring and beneficial outcomes for the local communities.
Avalon's qualifications and experience include:
Leading International Youth Development Programs with the Global Volunteer Network.
40K Globe team and project leader in India
Current Working with Children Check
First Aid training and certificate
Mental Health First Aid training and certificate
International Studies Degree from the University of Wollongong, minoring in business management
Crisis management training
Represented Australia in Malta at the Commonwealth Young Leaders conference, 33sixty
Youth Camp Leader in the UK
In planning and coordinating youth development programs, Avalon believes in the importance of working with parents to ensure the participants are prepared for the challenges of the program, and their well being and safety is prioritised. As a result, Sonder Youth encourages collaboration in all aspects of youth development and values involvement from parents in all aspects of Global Changemaker preparation and progress. So don't hesitate to contact us with any and all questions or comments you have!
What can parents expect pre-trip?
While we understand that planning an overseas trip can be difficult, at Sonder Youth we do everything we can to ensure the lead up to your child's trip is simple. The Global Changemaker Program includes a pre-departure period. This is a minimum 12 weeks of preparation for the trip, with the help of your Sonder Youth leader.
During this period (and prior) your Sonder Youth Leader will be available to you every step of the way with all aspects of travel including:
Selecting travel insurance
Consider your Sonder Youth Leader as your personal travel specialist. If you have any questions about any aspect of your child's travel, don't hesitate to contact us.
As well as help organising your travel, this period will include pre-departure briefings and information regarding:
Conduct and expectations
An introduction to Tonga
Preparatory information on what to expect on the trip
Parents and participants will receive a pre-departure information package containing:
All relevant safety information
Emergency and General Contact Information cards
Written notes for our pre-departure briefings.
Parents are a key part of our program and it is our goal that parents are involved and informed through both the lead up and the program itself. We will be available to both participants and parents for all aspects of preparation for the trip!
If you have more questions about pre-departure or travel in general, CONTACT US now!
Sonder Youth has a thorough Risk Management Plan and Risk Assessments for the Global Changemaker Program. Our risk management plan focusses on identification, assessment, mitigation, control and management of risks on the program. Risk assessments are carried out for all activities on the program ensuring the safety of your child at all times.
As a part of our pre-departure process, parents and program participants will undergo a safety briefing to ensure complete mutual understanding and adherence to our safety procedures.
Throughout the program participants will be reminded and expected to follow ALL safety procedures. They will carry an emergency contact card at all times, detailing Sonder Youth leaders', emergency and accommodation contact information.
While on the program participants will have 24 hours access to first aid trained staff.
What can Parents expect during the trip?
While the Global Experience program trains and empowers its young participants, we want parents to be as much a part of the adventure as possible. While your child is in Tonga here is what you can expect:
24hr emergency contact with your Sonder Youth Leader.
Program updates via email at a minimum of every two days detailing trip activities and progress.
Wifi access so your child will be contactable from Australia in mornings and evenings.
Photos and videos uploaded to the Sonder Youth Facebook and Instagram pages so you can share the adventure from home!
At Sonder Youth we understand that financing an international trip is a significant commitment and we want to be sure you feel secure doing it! We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your payment. You can ask us right now - contact us right below this section!
Sonder Youth is an Australian owned and operated not-for-profit. Our ABN is 634562520.
To secure your child's position in the program we require a $200 non-refundable deposit. Up to 8 weeks before the commencement of the program the remainder of any fees paid can be refunded (excluding your non-refundable deposit). 8 weeks prior to the commencement of the Global Changemaker program a cancellation fee of 450 applies. This is equivalent to 25% of the total program fee. You can read our complete refund policy here.
The good news is, this year we have one scholarship position available. Details of the application process will be advertised shortly and we encourage your child to apply to be considered.
The program cost can be paid via direct deposit to the Sonder Youth bank account. Payment details will be made available upon your child's acceptance into the program. If required, we are more than willing to work with you to develop payment plan to make the process as easy as possible. Chat to us to work out what works best for you!
0403 652 303