Do you want to make an impact while you travel by helping the people living in the country you visit in your own little way? Is it one of your goals as a traveller to add value to somebody’s life and do something of significance even while travelling? Then here are 8 ways that you can support social causes in the country you are visiting and make your travel journey even more impactful.
Give Physical Donations:
Before travelling you can speak with your friends and family who do not have a need for some of these items listed below. Gather these items together, get them shipped or take them along with you when travelling.
1). Medical supplies and First aid kits
In some parts of Africa and Asia, simple medical supplies like first-aid kits, sanitisers, disinfectants, pain relief medications, and thermometers are in shortage. You would be surprised to know that some community clinics lack these simple supplies, and where are available, they are in short supply. Think about how much value this type of donation will bring to them.
2). Books, Stationaries and Learning Materials
I know you have books from high school lying around the house and I am sure you have no use for them anymore. Someone somewhere might have a need for them you know? If perhaps you don’t have any books that you dont need because you gave yours to charity last year, you can ask your friends or family if they have books, stationeries, or art and craft materials that they have no use of. By the time you go around your friend and family, I am sure you would have more than enough learning materials that some kids somewhere will appreciate having to learn with.
You don’t have to limit yourself to old items you don’t need anymore. You can also go all out and buy new stationaries because usually, learning materials such as exercise books and textbooks are supposed to be used as new ones. It is even better if you decide to buy them because you have the option to buy the books and stationaries right in the country you are visiting while you are there.
3). Clothes, Toys and Electronic Gadgets
You can give items such as clothes, kids’ toys, and old gadgets that you or those around you have no need of. It might not be useful to you but will be very useful to some other people.
Giving financial assistance to locals can help them address certain challenges they might have in their communities. You can decide what area or project you want to finance. It could be towards renovating a part of a primary school, setting up a borehole to make water available to locals, buying groceries for children in the orphanage and so on.
4). Set up a fundraising campaign for a specific project
Depending on the pressing needs of the locals you can set up a fundraiser to support or execute that need. It could be that the local school needs new chairs and desks for the children to sit on, or they do not have a restroom making it difficult for students to relieve themselves while in school.
Another project you can finance is to provide a computer lab for students to learn the computer skills needed to thrive in today’s technologically-inclined world. Other projects you can finance could be setting up a borehole and drainage system to provide water for local communities and farmers.
5). Buy groceries and baby items for Children at an Orphanage Home
Orphanage homes are non-profit organisations that cater to the physical and emotional needs of orphaned or displaced children. They rely heavily on donations from individuals or corporations to meet the needs of the children. They need to clothe the children, feed them, give medical treatment to the sick ones, provide educational support among others.
Your support of baby food, diapers, foodstuff, clothing and cash donations will go a long way in meeting the needs of the children.
6). Give Financial support to NGOs
You can support a cause in the local community you are visiting as a tourist by making a cash donation to a trusted and well researched NGO in the community that you are certain have a good track record of making an impact in the society, and are accountable. Your donation will definitely help them in their work and projects.
For instance, The Lagos Food Bank Initiative is an NGO based in Lagos Nigeria with a mission to put an end to hunger and food insecurity in the region. Their goal is to ensure that there are food banks spread across Nigeria that caters to providing food to the poor in the community and preventing child malnutrition and deaths due to hunger.
Another way to give when you travel is by volunteering in any capacity in the country you are visiting. You can render help as an expert in various fields such as a nurse, engineer, business consultant, or doctor. You can also take train the teenage kids or adults on some vocational skills such as woodwork, tailoring, drawing, painting, baking and so on.
There are some recognised international organisations that you can reach out to if you want to volunteer. You can also reach out to people that have had experience volunteering. They will guide you on the best way to go about volunteering.
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8). Support Local Businesses
You get to support local communities directly, by patronising the local business. The best way to support local businesses is to buy items from the local markets, take a local tour guide, take the local transportation to move around and even buy the street food.
On a final note, beware of those who will take advantage of your goodwill. Do your due diligence by researching on organisations or individuals you want to support. Ensure that your support gets to the people it is meant for.