No Pain, No Gain! Stray does the Ultimate Challenge for a Worthy Cause

Get… set… go! They issued the challenge and we accepted, even if that meant a whole lot of pain! Call us crazy, we even offered to pay them for it – but it was all to raise funds for a worthy cause…  

On Saturday 2 August, some of the crew from our Stray Auckland office joined forces with Specforce Fitness, the International Travel College, Auckland Bridge Climb and Auckland Adventure Jet to help raise funds for Manurewa High School’s upcoming Humanitarian Aid Leadership Programme.


It was an intense one hour training circuit – or as some of the participants called it, “the hour of pain” – including bear walks, push ups, pull ups and squats, and finished with an icy cold crawl in the school’s swimming pool.

Mel Bear crawl

The training circuit was just one of the initiatives Manurewa High has undertaken to help raise funds for the trip, which will see 23 students travel to Southeast Asia next month.

Taxi makes a splash

The kids will be travelling through Laos the Stray way, which means getting off the beaten track and into the real Southeast Asia. They’ll get to know friendly locals at our Stray exclusive village homestay in Ban Lad Khammoune and stay overnight with a host family. They’ll visit a Bear Rescue Centre, learn about the Unexploded Ordinance from the Secret War, and meet local Laos children at the Lone Buffalo Foundation – a non-profit organisation that teaches English and offers training for careers in business or tourism. Plus they’ll spend time at an orphanage and help plant trees along the Mekong River.

Deputy Principle of Manurewa High, Phil Muir, is the brains behind the initiative. He has worked alongside Stray, the International Travel College and MFAT New Zealand to plan this life-changing experience for the students, who have sometimes been considered by New Zealand society as under-privileged themselves.

The 2013 Manurewa High Humanitarian Aid Trip group in Cambodia
The 2013 Manurewa High Humanitarian Aid group in Cambodia

All money raised from the high school’s fundraising initiatives are going towards supporting the non-profit projects they’ll take part in whilst in Laos, and a donation will be made to the orphanage. To follow their journey through Laos, you can read this blog by Melissa Fey, who is accompanying them on the trip.

Stray runs Southeast Asia’s Guided Network for Adventurous Travellers. Read more about Stray’s Responsible Tourism initiatives.

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Emily is a native creative nerd. This creative crew member's favourite stop is Bay of Islands.

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