< Part of Visit a Project (DEEP Exposure Experiences)
Yes! TEAR’s Christian partners are doing phenomenal work in really difficult places around the world. It is an amazing privilege and opportunity to have the chance to see their work in the flesh and is sure to inspire and challenge you and take you deeper in your faith and justice journey.
But... visiting TEAR’s partners has a real impact on the time they can spend doing their community development work and so the main way that our committed supporters can visit TEAR’s work overseas is through our scheduled Development Education Experience Programs (DEEPs). We negotiate well in advance with our partners what is the best time to visit their work and give them opportunities to shape the structure of the visit so it is a blessing and encouragement to them and their project communities, not just the trip participants.
TEAR’s Exposure Experiences are about going DEEPer in your faith and justice journey. Going DEEPer with TEAR’s partners, seeing their amazing work for yourself, hearing stories of hope and challenge directly from marginalised but resilient communities, and allowing God to speak to you about what it looks like for you to make a response to poverty and injustice in your own context.
TEAR’s DEEPs will NOT require you to build something, paint something, run a children’s program, visit an orphanage, preach a sermon or fix something. The main tasks you will be doing on a DEEP with TEAR are listening, learning, praying and asking God how He is calling you to respond.
Our trips have a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 participants.
Accommodation will be the equivalent of 2-3 stars, but will be safe and secure. It will depend on whether you are in a city or village as to what is available. Participants will generally share rooms with 1-2 other participants of the same sex, but married couples will usually be able to have their own room. You may not have air-conditioning in summer or heating in winter. In some situations you may be hosted in a family's house in a village.
TEAR is committed to do all we reasonably can to ensure the health, safety and security of DEEP participants. But it’s important to be aware that DEEPs are active programs and can involve rough and ready excursions in difficult conditions. They are also designed to be personally challenging programs. And they’re usually held in developing countries where there are numerous water-born and food related bugs that can cause Australians to fall sick.
We ask all participants to meet with their GP prior to going on a DEEP to ensure that you are physically and mentally well enough to cope with these conditions and potential stressors and that we do all we can prior to travel to ensure that your health will not be adversely affected by the DEEP. This includes getting the necessary vaccinations, prophylaxis and medicines to take away with you. We also require all participants to take out travel insurance that will cover any costs associated with medical care that you need to access while on a DEEP.
But we can reassure you that you will always be with TEAR staff and/or TEAR partners who will look after you and make sure you can access medical help and supplies to get better quickly if you do fall sick.
We are so encouraged by the large number of young people who are passionate about TEAR’s work and are fundraising and educating their communities about issues of poverty and injustice. It’s amazing! At this stage, our DEEPs are designed for people 18 years or older, but we are willing to consider situations on a case-by-case basis where a parent wants to go on the trip and take a teenager with them. If that is your situation, please email or call us to discuss it.
We are considering whether we can run a DEEP trip specifically for families in the near future, so keep an eye out for that.
Participation in TEAR’s DEEPs is a great privilege and opportunity. We ask all DEEP participants to fundraise for TEAR’s projects in the country of their DEEP trip prior to departure. Fundraising may be a daunting request for many of you considering going on a DEEP, but we believe it is an exciting way to get tangibly involved with TEAR’s work and contribute to the transformation of the communities that you will have the privilege to personally visit. It is also designed to encourage you to tell your community about the DEEP and to invite them in to your journey of learning and growing through the DEEP.
We will provide you with resources, support, an online fundraising page, tax deductible receipts, regular encouragement and much more to help make this a stress-free and enjoyable process! Fundraising can be done on an individual or group basis too. We’re sure that you will all come up with creative and fun ways to raise even more than you’d planned for TEAR’s amazing projects.
Response from a previous participant:
The most compelling reason to go on a DEEP trip is because it will stop you feeling apathetic about injustice. Obviously to be interested in the trip you're probably already highly motivated to seek goodness, but a DEEP will kindle within you a deep desire to enact real, meaningful change. You might not immediately feel like it has changed you but from experience I think it did. You will be more inclined to act against the injustice on your doorstep in Australia. I can't concisely put into words why it’s important to go but I encourage anyone thinking about it to just go for it, because it really will change your life.
Response from previous participants:
Honestly, this feels like a very valid concern and I've found this a tough one to wrestle with! From my personal experience I would say that although I was already incredibly passionate about international development and did have a heart for justice, there's no possible replacement for seeing it first-hand. What we saw went far beyond any of my naive assumptions about what poverty was. There's a huge difference between seeing it in a picture and meeting a person who has stories to tell that would exceed your every expectation. Confronting some of these issues face to face will shock you, and upset you, and make you angry in a way I had never before thought possible.
It certainly is a lot of money and it's not a financial commitment to be taken lightly, but it's worth pointing out that the education you receive on InDEEP on every topic from Indian History to Women and the Indian Legal System is quite incredible. It's excellent quality education taught in an intimate manner which you wouldn't get in a classroom in Australia! It's an investment in yourself, your own learning and understanding and your education as well as a chance to further seek out God's heart for justice. It's also an investment in EFICOR and the amazing work that they do. Although it was a large amount I do not for one second regret it, as it is by far the most formative and valuable experience I've ever had.