Sikh Youth Travel Exchange

I was just emailing with a friend from England who wants to come to the Summer Solstice camp here in Espanola. She had expressed that being "a student (and hence broke most of the time!)" can’t come. An idea that has been mulling in my head since I was in England popped in my head. Not many of us youth can afford to travel international very often without saving up for a long while. I myself was very fortunate to be able to travel to England last year. My airfare and travel wasn’t paid by a Gurdwara, rich person, or SikhNet. It was in fact paid by some Chardikala Singh’s/Kaurs, who are in students themself. I didn’t realize it till I got to England that 4-5 Sikh students all pitched in money and paid for my ticket to come to England. It was very inspiring and heartwarming to have this done for you by someone, and then to be able to have such a beautiful experience during my stay in England was awesome. It was a true gift that I will always be thankful for. Ok, so here I am thinking of all my friends here in Espanola that are longing to go out and connect with other Sikh youth in different parts of the world. At the same time, there are lots of Sikhs in other parts of the world that would love to visit Espanola, or other communities here in the USA. Over the past 30 some years there has not been so much "bridging" between Sikhs of Eastern and Western origin. The cultural differences and whatever other things maybe were too big of a jump for my parents generation. The world these days is so much closer and the youth are more open and accepting to differences. I think the timing is great for Sikhs of different backgrounds to start to merge and become more intertwined. The Sikh youth I think are the key to making this happen. So, my idea is that if youth in different cities around the world were to all pitch in some money together they could "sponsor" another Sikh youth from another cultural background (USA, South America, Spain, Mexico, etc) to come to their area. And vice versa. Each community has youth who would love to learn and have new experiences. This will help our two "worlds" collide and bridge, and at the same time allow us to learn from each other and dissolve boundaries. So, I guess that means I have to take my own idea and start rallying up a fund here in Espanola for someone to come out here. I’m curious to know what you all think about this idea and if you would want to do something like this in their area. International travel can range between $800-$1300…but split by a lot of youth over some period of time it could be very possible to raise the funds. Well…the idea is out; rest is up to those individuals who are inspired to connect and share with brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Feel free to email me if you want to become part of the "Sikh Youth Travel Exchange" and are going to get involved in your city raising money for this. We can then co-ordinate details on who…where..when…etc.