Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Umoja?
A: The word Umoja itself is a Swahili term which means “to build and live in unity within families communities and nations around the world.” We use it to refer to a process of self-discovery that renews your relationships with others—people, places and things— around you.
Q: What is the Umoja Journey?
A: The Umoja Journey is an actual travel experience designed to spark an internal process of selfdiscovery in you as you participate in it. The journey essentially changes your view of the world and challenges you to examine your perspective on what you see, touch, smell, hear and feel around you.
Q: How is the Umoja Journey different from other adventure tours?
A: Umoja journeys are described as “Adventure with Purpose”. Participants in the Umoja journey are invited on a luxury tour of several typically exotic locations in various countries around the world. This, the “adventure” component of the journey, is designed to inspire participants to enjoy the fruits of their labours by appreciating the beauty—both natural and man-made beauty—around them. The journey also takes participants off the beaten track to witness life as it is lived in impoverished communities where people struggle with nutrition, health, education and other social justice issues. This, the “purpose” aspect of the journey is designed to inspire participants to apply their energies and resources to support sustainable development initiatives that are designed to alleviate the effects of poverty, change lives and transform communities.
Q: How is the money that Umoja participants contribute to sustainable development projects used?
A: The money that is contributed by participants in Umoja journeys as well as contributions from other Umoja supporters is used by International Needs Canada to support a wide variety of sustainable development programs in several countries around the world. In fact, one primary “purpose” of visiting the programs as part of the journey is to conduct an audit of the progress that is being made on each project, ensuring that the value that donors believe they are contributing with their gifts is actually being created. For detailed information on projects—schools, clinics, agriculture programs etc.— currently supported by International Needs Canada, visit www.internationalneeds.ca.
Q: World travel is an expensive proposition. What is the target audience for Umoja? Who is the Umoja Journey designed to attract?
A: The target audience for Umoja—the process of self-discovery—is everyone. Everyone can find value in of examining his or her relationships with the people, places and things around them and try to improve connections to people and communities around them. Everyone can appreciate the tremendous social value of sustainable development projects that alleviate poverty and provide hope, education, nutrition and health care to vulnerable children and sources of livelihood for adults. Most people can make contributions within their means to support these initiatives.
Q: The Million Dollar Umoja Journey includes road trips to various communities in Canada and the United States. What are these journeys designed to achieve?
A: Umoja Journeys through communities in developed countries—Canada, United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand—are designed to engage various audiences in supporting sustainable development initiatives in poorer countries around the world. A variety of events are designed at strategic points throughout the tour to raise awareness and public build support for Umoja and sustainable development initiatives. This support is then used to transform lives and change communities in Africa, Asia and South/Latin America.
Q: Who are Umoja Journeys designed to engage?
A: Umoja Adventure Journeys are designed to engage individuals of high net worth who are seeking to move beyond mere financial success as a life goal toward leaving a legacy of greater social significance by supporting sustainable development projects focused on alleviating poverty, providing education, nutrition and health care to orphans and other vulnerable children and supporting initiatives that promote social justice.
Q: How effectively does Umoja engage the wide variety of cultures and communities around the world?
A: Umoja was designed to support the work of International Needs Canada which has established a 40- year track record of success in changing lives and transforming communities around the world. International Needs was founded by Ray Harrison in 1974. He originated an approach to community development (widely used among charitable organizations today) that relies on empowering indigenous leaders to bring about effective change in local communities. This means providing financial and other resources as well as the skills training required to bring community inspired visions to fruition. Umoja participants have the privilege of experiencing life as it is lived in communities of need and engaging directly with people and hearing their stories. However, community transformation is always lead by local indigenous visionaries with Umoja support.