How much does the average trip cost?

The trips vary in price according to location and season.  The single biggest cost is airfare, which is often more expensive during the peak travel seasons.  Here’s a rough estimate on prices: Latin America- $2000-$2300, SE Asia- $2400-$2800, Africa- $3500-$3700.  A portion of the money included in these costs help purchase sand, gravel, cement and other court supplies to make the court project possible.

What is included in the cost?

The price includes all costs while traveling, including airfare, food, lodging, transportation in-country, water, cultural activities and trip insurance.  Depending on the specific trip, a portion of the court costs and supplies are sometimes added to the individual costs as well.   The only costs not included are passports, immunizations, and spending money while on the trip.

Can I fundraise for the trips?

Courts for Kids is an officially registered IRS public charity under tax-code 501(c)(3).  All donations to Courts for Kids are tax-deductible.  In order to comply with IRS regulations, all donations are given to Courts for Kids for a specific project rather than to an individual.  In order to participate in the project, each person is required to raise/donate a certain amount of money.  However, the money is ultimately given to Courts for Kids for the project, not to the individual.  Fundraising is strongly encouraged, as often times friends and family members are very eager to support participants.  The most effective way of fundraising is sending out support letters.  Other options work, as well, but we encourage people to start with the letters.  People who send support will receive a tax-donation receipt.

What age groups can come?

Most trips are designed for high school age and older.  Younger participants are allowed to participate, but only if an adult comes who is solely responsible for them.

Is there an incentive for an adult bringing students?

On some trips, adults will receive money towards their trip costs for every three students they bring.  Check with the trip leader to find out if this applies for the one you’re interested in.

Where do you get the balls for your program?

We are currently looking for partners for basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs and basketball rims.  Please contact info@courtsforkids.org if you can help.

How are the courts built?

The prep work is typically done before the arrival of the team.  Then, when we arrive it is our group and the local community loading sand, rocks, cement and water into a small concrete mixer and unloading it over and over again for 4 days!  The normal procedure is to hire a local construction company and to work alongside them.  We have standards that have been set by American engineers to ensure longevity of the courts; however, the local contractor is in charge.  This helps stimulate the local economy, but also is very helpful considering building procedures are different depending on materials available, climate, etc.

What is involved with a typical trip?

Normally, the first few days are spent working long hours.  As you can see from the answer above, each court requires quite a bit of manual labor, and this is our team’s specialty!  While the court is drying, we take part in other cultural activities, where we seek to learn more about the culture and appreciate the people and the natural beauty. Finally, on the last day, we usually have an opening day ceremony on the court.  The team will also have time each day to debrief together.  Lodging and food vary by location, but we normally try to stay as close as possible to the community we are working in…and we try to eat as much of the local food as possible!

How are the courts paid for?

Normally courts are sponsored by businesses, foundations and/or individuals.  If we are planning a specific trip for your group, your group will be responsible for a portion of the costs of the court, unless otherwise communicated.  You can either divide this cost among the individual participants, or a trip leader can work with Courts for Kids to approach local businesses or individuals who could potentially be sponsors.

What if I raise more money than the trip costs?

There are several options if you do raise additional money for your trip.  You are not able to receive the money back, since we are a non-profit organization and the donations are tax-deductible and must go towards furthering our exempt purposes.  However, you may be reimbursed for passport and immunization costs.  Or, you can choose to use the extra money to go towards the court costs, athletic equipment for the project, or to help out someone else who is coming who is having a harder time.  The final option is the money can be stored for a future project with Courts for Kids.  You must take another trip within 2 years, though, if you choose this option.

What are the safety concerns for traveling?

Safety is one of our most important concerns for each trip.  We do our best to take all precautions necessary to ensure that everyone comes home safely.  The biggest asset we have is our local community who is hosting us.  Since we are so connected to a community, and are not random tourists, we are very carefully looked after.  Also, most incidents in traveling occur when people are by themselves late at night.  We have policies in place, where people are not allowed to leave the place of lodging at night, unless it is with our entire team.  Finally, in case something does happen, we have an insurance policy for each trip which includes medical coverage, up to emergency evacuation for every trip participant.  One final note, often times our media can tend to cover events that only show other countries in a negative light and places can seem more dangerous than they are.  With that said, there are several countries that we will not take teams to.  However, the places we choose to travel to are relatively safe and we are doing all things in our power to make sure.