Here's how you can give back to the community while travelling at the same time.
Money is not the only way to give back to the community. How about giving back to the community while travelling? Here are some ways you can do so.
1. Donate your baggage space.
We are talking about carry-on baggage here. Each person is normally entitled to bring one main item of carry-on baggage and one other small item with a combined weight of about seven kilograms (depending on the flight you are taking). However, how often do we actually use up all of that baggage allowance?
You can turn this into a blessing for others, by using the extra baggage space to pack needed supplies for local communities. Before you leave for the country, make sure to do some research online regarding the type of supplies you can bring and the locations of drop off points. If you are unsure or feel sceptical of the communities you have found, websites such as Blessings in a Bag will be able to connect you to trustworthy communities under their umbrella.
During my trip to Cambodia last July, I brought an extra 20kg checked-in luggage on top of the carry-on baggage space that I was entitled to. I collected 20kg worth of donated clothing and toys from Blessings in a Bag store a week before my Cambodia trip. I later dropped it off at Sunshine Cambodia. If you're worried that you might not have time to drop by the office, the non-profit organization can even arrange for a pick-up at your hotel.
2. Bunk in at hotels supporting social causes.
Many people do not know that there are actually many hotels that support social causes. While enjoying the comfort of our stay, we can also do something meaningful.
One prime example is Pippeli Pensione, a luxury boutique hotel located in Siem Reap, a proud member of the Goodwill Globetrotting Network. They are also an official supporter of several charities that help the locals. You can drop off any items in the wish list of these organisations at Pippeli Pensione and be guaranteed that your donations will reach the people who need them. I stayed with them during my trip to Siem Reap and I was totally in awe by the service rendered by their staff.
Of course, there are other accommodations that also have excellent service and mission. Simply do a tad more research.
3. Support social businesses.
In many places worldwide, you will find tourists who end up turning into social entrepreneurs, to help improve the lives of the local people. More often than not, they set up cafés or restaurants that also have a social mission. Some of these places include Sister Srey Café in Cambodia, Free Bird Café in Thailand and Bizlink Café in Singapore. Although all the social enterprises are supporting different causes, they have a common purpose.
There are also many other ways in which we can play a part to give back to the community. If you know of any, share it in the comments below!
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