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The team of travel experts at True Travel have been using their time away from the office to launch a crowdfunding initiative known as Travellers for Travel. The aim is to raise vital funds for non-profit organisations who are being hit by the lack of tourism in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The idea of Travellers for Travel came about as we started to observe Covid-19 spread silently across the globe, claiming lives, jobs and life as we knew it for the foreseeable future. As a group of travel experts, we could not just sit back and let this wretched virus rob communities and charities of their only means of survival – which in this case was funding from tourism. One camp manager in Zimbabwe told us that over 30 families relied on income from the camp alone. As we entered our first week of furlough, we put our heads together and decided on three charitable organisations that we felt most urgently needed our help, and Travellers for Travel was born. Our goal is to make a positive impact and raise urgent funds for these non-profit organisations who are suffering immensely from the lack of tourism.
We have chosen three brilliant organisations who are working tirelessly on the ground and desperately need all the help they can get:
1) Imire Rhino + Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe are dedicated to protecting some of the last black rhino left in the country, amongst other precious wildlife. They strongly believe that rural communities and conservation programmes can successfully thrive side by side. Yet right now, starvation is a massive issue the country is facing and poaching wildlife for bushmeat is at its peak. These rangers and communities are needing all the support they can get to keep on moving forward in a positive and meaningful manner.
2) Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo was created in the aftermath of the Second Congolese War, when animal poaching increased drastically. The centre provides a safe place for orphaned primates to recover physically and physiologically from their ordeals.
3) The Mudita Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Myanmar. Mudita School is a monastic school and an eco-complex, providing over 250 underprivileged and orphaned children with a place to stay, an education and access to healthcare. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we as Travellers for Travel are raising funds to provide food and to improve sanitation and hygiene for the monastery and the children under their care.
While travel companies and tour operators themselves have of course been impacted by the downturn in bookings during the pandemic, a decrease in tourism presents a deeper problem for the many organisations and communities supported by tourism in their region. Due to the sharp decline in travel, a major source of cash flow to some of the world’s poorest countries has been completely cut off. Tourism to these countries is about much more than exploring; responsible travel brings a major level of funding to these countries contributing to vital wildlife conservation, environmental conservation, and local community initiatives and livelihoods. Without tourism, these communities will suffer the loss of this funding.
So now what can we as responsible travellers do? We can support the communities who need us most to survive. We have worked hard to find local non-profit organisations who rely solely on tourism funding and need our help most – where a little help will go an astronomically long way. So far, we have raised £2,000, with a goal of reaching £3,000. Anyone can donate to Travellers for Travel’s fundraising efforts on our crowdfunding page. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook. We will share amazing stories and updates from the three organisations on our social media pages over the next coming months and ask very kindly for your support.
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