As a passionate team of travellers, we know just how important it is to do our bit to preserve and protect the places we visit. Why do we bother? Well, we truly believe we can make travel more meaningful, making sure the destinations we sell benefit from travellers visiting them. To aid this endeavour, £5 from every booking will always be donated to our local projects. The best bit? 100% of all of the money we raise goes directly to the chosen charities.
Whether it’s supporting anti-trafficking organisations in Vietnam or performing arts initiatives in Cuba, our Meaningful Travel Warriors have carefully chosen local projects close to our hearts. To top it off, you can even drop in on some of them on your travels. Like when our Travel Specialist Ross visited the Casa de Santa Ana in Brazil or when our Meaningful Warrior Jennifer visited the Rainbow Centre in Sri Lanka.
For those who love number crunching you’ll be pleased to hear that thanks to our amazing customers (aka Rickshaw Ramblers) in 2017 we’ve raised £2,216! – a massive thank you to everyone who donated!
Here’s a roundup of the most popular projects supported in 2017:
Music Fund for Cuba
As music is such an important part of Cuban culture, we support Music Fund for Cuba, a UK based charity that was established in 2001. They support education and development of music and performing arts in Cuba. The project was set up in memory of the singer Kirsty MacColl who was inspired by Cuban music and fell in love with the Cuban culture and its people. The project provides much needed support and equipment for children and young Cuban musicians, dancers and artists through the island.
Tree of Life Rescue Center in Costa Rica
In Costa Rica we support the Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center, who provide a safe haven for animals in need of refuge. This might be due to loss of habitat, injury in the wild or by humans, such as victims of the pet trade or from hunting. Many of the animals are nursed back to health and released into the wild again. Those who are permanent residents are provided with the most natural habitat possible.
“I visited Tree of Life while in Cahuita and was so impressed with the love and care they have for the local wildlife, such a worthy project who need our support!”— Cami Todd, Marketing Manager
Blue Dragon Foundation in Vietnam
Blue Dragon Foundation is a grassroots charity that reaches out to children in crisis throughout Vietnam. Blue Dragon kids are from very poor families and are often victims of human trafficking and slavery. They aim to break the poverty cycle by offering education and opportunities to those most in need. So far they’ve rescued 276 girls from the sex trade and forced marriage, opened a new reintegration shelter for trafficking survivors in North Central Vietnam and organise regular learning days for local kids all over the country.
Project Peru is a small, lively, totally voluntary UK-based charity. They offer food, clothes, shelter, education and fun to those who live in their children’s refuge in the desert shanty towns of Lima. Their refuge in Zapallal, cares for over 40 children and offers real opportunities to children and staff alike. During 2017, Project Peru have managed to build a blimmin’ 100 houses in Las Laderas (North of Lima), isn’t that amazing? That means 600 local people were re-housed after the 2017 floods.
Apart from our local projects, we also like to carry out little in-house fundraising events ourselves, like in the pictures below when we raised funds for RSPB and The Orangutan Foundation.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our meaningful update and look forward to more fundraising adventures in 2018! In the meantime, you can always read a bit more about all the different projects we support, and learn more about our Make it Meaningful policy.