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Social Responsibility: A Year in Review

Kristen
by Kristen Gilbert

December 31, 2018

4 minute read

We've wrapped up our volunteering for the year and the totals are in! Read on for the year-end tally and to learn what we did in 2018 to make sure we are making a positive impact in the places where we travel.

The Final Tally

And now the moment you've been waiting for-our final numbers for the year. We logged over 6,500 volunteer hours for the year. We provided 500,000 meals in 2018 for a combined total of 1,349,380 over the course of our One Million Meals campaign.

Knysna Education Trust

In Knysna, South Africa, providing nutritious meals every day to the students of the Knysna Education Trust is something we've been doing for years. This program is meant to incentivize the children to attend school and provide them with the nourishment they need for learning. In 2018 we provided a daily meal to 100 children for 199 school days. We are very proud of what our partners at the Knysna Education Trust are able to do for the students who attend their school and are happy to support their efforts.

Impact Moments on Explorations Tours

Our newly launched Explorations brand of tours feature impact moments. We've added visits to social enterprises as well as ways to make a positive impact on the places we visit to most of our Explorations tours. These tours include impact moments such as:

  • Engaging in activities like Reaching Out in Vietnam where we celebrate the work of disabled artisans during an immersive lantern-making experience.
  • Paying a visit to Sheroes Café in India where victims of brutal acid attacks find the support they need to live fulfilling lives while serving up tasty food with a side of hope.
  • Sowing Seeds of Change in Kenya where deforestation has run rampant across the beautiful landscape. To counteract this, people in Kenya have developed "seed balls" which are golf ball sized orbs of seeds and fertilizer. Our guests participate in scattering them across patches of deforested land.

CEPIA

Our partnership with nonprofit association Culture Education and Psychology for Infants and Adolescents (CEPIA) benefitted 80 girls around Guanacaste, Costa Rica. For 10 months, we supported clubs for girls who are considered to be at high-risk for sexual abuse, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school. The girls received weekly 2-hour workshops about girls' rights, the importance of education, health and nutrition, financial management, community participation, personal wellbeing and preventing pregnancy.

All the girls who participated are living in poverty or vulnerable situations. They range in age from 9 - 12 years old and each group per community consisted of 20 girls. The goal of these workshops was to support the girls in their personal development. The hope is that with the right tools, the girls will grow up to be empowered women who believe in themselves, prioritize education and free themselves and others from what has been a vicious cycle for girls and young women in their community.

Ecuador

The contributions we make in Ecuador are among our largest. We supported what is called Nutrition Rehabilitation treatment which includes meals, medical checkups and food supplements to help combat malnutrition. There is an additional Prevention and Education component that provides nutrition classes for the parents of at-risk children. We also assisted the community in building a garden that benefits 380 families by providing them with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Looking ahead to 2019, our guiding philosophy of doing good in the world will lead us forward in our social responsibility initiatives to support communities across the globe who are striving to create better futures for themselves, their children, and the planet.

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