There is a lot of need in the world and it takes a special person who willingly gets on a plane to aid communities that can use a helping hand from added resources (monetary and otherwise) to expertise, to volunteering. While traveling for good is on the proverbial bucket list for many, more thought should go into how simply being present in indigenous communities sometimes leaves unintentional impressions, ecological footprints, as well as unfair travel practices.
Luckily, there are more NGOs, social enterprises, and businesses that are taking better tourism practices into consideration and incorporating them into their volunteering and travel opportunities. One such NGO that is doing this is United for Hope that works in India. United for Hope is an NGO with the mission to transform rural India into a place of opportunity and prosperity through a Smart Village approach.
United for Hope launched their model Smart Village in Tirmasahun, in the District of Kushinagar, in Eastern Uttar Pradesh, and are currently running several projects in the areas of education, social enterprises (including social tourism) and community services.
One of the latest additions to their education projects is menstrual hygiene awareness and gender sensitivity workshops, targeting both girls and boys in 100 Government Schools in the area where they operate.
United for Hope’s social tourism opportunity offers travelers the chance to get an authentic Indian experience while providing economic benefits for the community. Watch more about United for Hope’s work in India and contact them at www.unitedforhope.org/contact-us.
Another social enterprise, Visit Natives, has a mission to support indigenous peoples through small-scale tourism and homestays. At the moment they have two destinations where travelers can book a stay either with the Sami reindeer herders in Norway or with the Maasai in Tanzania. All visits are sustainable and respect local cultures and people.
Starting on April 26, Visit Natives is launching their first-ever social good campaign to raise funds to cover school fees for Maasai, and when they finish studies, Visit Natives will give them a job. Their mission is to involve indigenous people in fair tourism which takes place in their ancestral lands.
Contact Visit Natives at www.visitnatives.com.