This weekend, I took part in the Little Travellers Seoul Scavenger Hunt. I had heard about the scavenger hunt years previous and really didn’t know much about the organization that hosted it other than that they held a yearly scavenger hunt and as I do love a good competition, I signed up.
Little Travellers is a group originating in South Africa in 2005 with the aim to “ease the burden of HIV/AIDS and poverty in Africa.” It all started with a volunteer from the University of Manitoba who upon returning home after volunteering in South Africa found a small handmade doll, affectionately named the Little Traveller, in his bag and saw an opportunity to raise money using these dolls for a need. The dolls are handcrafted by women living in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. These women are either infected or affected by HIV or AIDS and 100% of the proceeds from these dolls go back to people infected or affected. Half of the money raised goes to provide income for the crafters of the dolls themselves and the other half goes toward the Hillcrest AIDS Centre. This particular area has one of the highest prevalences of HIV infection in the entire world.
The scavenger hunt was not only a great way to raise awareness and get people involved, but it was also a great way to spend a Saturday with friends. It cost W15,000 to participate with W5,000 going toward the purchase of a Little Traveller doll, W5,000 toward a donation to the Hillcrest AIDS Center, and the final W5,000 going toward food at the after party. Fifteen teams competed against each other to solve clues and riddles to get points as well as take pictures of their Little Traveler completing missions. This event was proudly sponsored by Beer O’clock in Sinchon, Korea4expats.com as well as having prizes sponsored by 10 Magazine, Green Turtle and Wang Thai.
I would go into more detail about the missions, but there is another scavenger hunt set to be hosted on August 25th that will use the same clues so I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that the event starts at 1:30 and goes until 5:30 and if you start late you’re risking losing it all. That said, my team started 20 minutes later than everyone else and we still won, but that’s solely due to the fact that we have a combined time in Korea of about 15 years and know our way around the city well. It also doesn’t hurt to have some Korean skills, but none are necessary to take part. You can be a little creative with your photos and the running around, literally running the whole time, made for a great Saturday event.
So far, over 50,000 dolls have been sold and over $250,000 has been raised to support people battling with HIV/AIDS. There are numerous ways to get involved with this great group, so check out their website or the nearest volunteer center to get involved. They currently have Little Traveller HIV/AIDS Initiative Chapters in Winnipeg, Canada, Toronto, Canada, Vancouver Canada, North Carolina, USA, and Seoul, South Korea.