Each year, AFAR partners with No Barriers Youth to sponsor expeditions abroad for school kids from under-served communities around the United States, a program named Learning AFAR.

AFAR’s mission is to encourage experiential travel, to enable travelers to have deeper and more meaningful travel experiences; through Learning AFAR, we can help bring the life-changing potential of travel to young people who might otherwise never get such an opportunity.

Over the past several years, Learning AFAR has provided travel scholarships to hundreds of students; this year, for example, students from schools in Oakland, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City traveled to China and Costa Rica.

But the program is more than just a cash handout: Before, during, and after the trip, students participate in education that focuses on leadership skills, the importance of cross-cultural exchange, and the need to “give something back”—both abroad and at home—so that wider communities can benefit from their opportunity. On their return, participants produce a travel magazine—based on the AFAR model—for themselves and their community that outlines their trip, what they learned, and how it changed them.

Of course, Learning AFAR could not happen without your generous assistance in helping us raise the necessary funds and promote the project. Every donation makes a difference, and the more money we receive, the more lives we can impact.

This holiday season is the perfect time to give: Thanks to the generosity of a donor, all donations made between now and December 31, 2014, will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $10,000that’s your gift, doubled. So please join us now in helping to change the lives of under-served school children around the United States by giving the gift of experiential travel.

For more information on Learning AFAR and to make a donation, see our Crowdrise campaign.

Learning AFAR from AFAR Media on Vimeo.