Each time we try something new, we take risks. Stepping out of your comfort zone incurs risks. Travelling to a rural village poses risks. Taking risks is always part of experiential learning. At Buffalo Educational Travel, as many of our groups participate in the village stay which might be a world away from what they have at home, we strive to eliminate the risks involved to make their stay a pleasant one.
As groups will share homes with local families, we need to ensure that selected homes meet our required standards in terms of location, facilities, cleanliness and, above all, low levels of risk. In rural communities, most of the villagers do not pay enough attention to fire prevention and an immediate evacuation plan in case of emergency. At our initial meeting after selection, we talk about the importance of safety during the group’s stay; especially when most of our groups are students and safety always comes first.
From discussion to action, each home commits to set up ladders at certain places around their house for evacuation and Buffalo Educational Travel provides them with in-house fire extinguishers with clear instructions. However, villagers have little to no chance to familiarize themselves with the fire extinguishers. Believing that practice makes perfect, we find it necessary to organize hands-on training for all host families on how to use the fire extinguishers properly. The villagers share their excitement and feel confident that our groups will stay safe in their houses.
Empowering communities and strengthening their capacity has always been BET’s top priority. Through training, we are able to raise awareness of the villagers not only about welcoming guests but also staying safe and strong in their everyday lives. From families to communities, we believe everyone deserves to live in a safe environment. Their knowledge can also be passed on to visiting guests and other villagers as not everyone is master at taking action during a fire and other emergency cases.