Haliburton’s Graham Borgdorff said his family is starting to get excited as they make the final preparations for a twoweek mission trip to Colombia and Guatemala.

Graham and wife, Rebeka – a teacher at Haliburton Highlands Secondary School – are taking their children Annabelle, 16, Isaac, 14, and Gideon, 13, to South and Central America next month.

“Knowing that other cultures do not have the same educational opportunities and government support as we have here in Canada… [we] desire to teach [our] children more about how others live, and about how to become more empathetic and generous as global citizens,” Graham said.

In Colombia, they will work with impoverished children in daycares and orphanages – teaching ESL, bringing school supplies, assisting with a local food program, and participating in some building and repair projects, Graham noted.

In Guatemala they are partnering with Water Ambassadors Canada – the brainchild of Highlands residents Barry Hart and Heather Alloway – to drill a well for a small community outside San Antonio Palopo in need of clean, safe drinking water. Money for the $14,000 build was raised at an event in Haliburton last October.

Graham pegged the Borgdorff family’s costs for the trip at about $19,000. To date, they’ve fundraised approximately $13,000. A benefit concert is being held Saturday (Jan. 20) at Lakeside Church in Haliburton to help the Borgdorffs reach their goal.

Local musicians Drew Allen, Benton Brown, and Laren Main are performing, along with Highlands-based band Upriver Draw. The performance begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person, $60 per family, and $25 for students and can be purchased through the Water Ambassadors Canada website. There will be baked goods and snacks for sale, alongside a raffle.

The Borgdorffs leave Feb. 10, returning to Haliburton Feb. 24. Rebeka said it’s a trip she and her family will remember for the rest of their lives.

“Helping people who perhaps are not as fortunate as we are is a remarkable, life changing experience,” she said.

“We want to show our kids how others live in the world, what their needs are, and how they can help. We want to do what we can to spread some love around the world.”