Intrepid to pledge $1m for local communities in 2024

Intrepid to pledge $1m for local communities in 2024
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Intrepid Travel is pledging $1 million to local communities around the world in 2024, through its not-for-profit arm, The Intrepid Foundation.

    As part of the pledge, Intrepid is matching public contributions from 1st January 2024, up to $1m. By ensuring contributions go twice as far, Intrepid aims to empower travellers to give back to the 45 grassroots non-government organisations (NGOs) chosen by its local teams in the destinations they visit.

    In 2023, The Intrepid Foundation raised over $2.7m for a diverse range of community projects and appeals across the globe – the foundation’s most successful fundraising year to date, since it was established in 2002.

    2023 Landmark Achievements:

    1) Morocco Earthquake Appeal:

    • 108 tonnes of emergency supplies were delivered to 69 villages in 48 municipalities, directly supporting 3,872 families through its local partner, High Atlas Foundation.

    • Water restoration projects were initiated to support communities where safe drinking water supply had been damaged.

    • Short-term schooling, accommodations, supplies, clothing and free counselling support, as well as direct funds were established to rebuild permanent homes for 250 impacted students through its local partner, Education for All.

      Education for All – The Intrepid Foundation

    2) Blue Dragon Marathon Fundraiser:

    • Intrepid communities raised $328,000 through marathon events held in several cities including Melbourne, London, Toronto, Osaka and Singapore.

    • Contributions will support human trafficking victims through the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Vietnam, providing essentials such as emergency accommodations, supplies, psychological support, job support, cooking sessions and art therapy.

      Blue Dragon Marathon – The Intrepid Foundation

    • Funds also enable prevention workers to provide student scholarships, organise career education, and offer medical care and cyber safety training for disadvantaged and high-risk communities.

    3) Travel Industry Collaboration:

    • In a major cross-industry collaboration highlighting how travel can serve as a force for good, Eurail partnered with The Intrepid Foundation to further its impact on communities and NGOs across Europe.

    • During their November Promotion, Eurail donated €10 (AU$16.51), for every Eurail and Interrail Pass sold, to The Intrepid Foundation’s seven local NGO partners. The Journeys That Make A Difference campaign contributed $430,000 to community causes including Cooperativa Coraggio in Italy, Humana Zagreb in Croatia and REFOOD in Portugal.

    Reflecting on the impact made by the Intrepid Travel community following the earthquake in Morocco, Intrepid’s managing director of EMEA Zina Bencheikh, who is based in Morocco and was in the country at the time of the earthquake, reflects on the new matching initiative:

    “Here in Morocco, I witnessed our teams rally together to provide comfort in a time of incredible loss. The needs of communities like those of the High Atlas Mountains are the reasons why this foundation exists. By introducing this new matching initiative, we aim to assure our travellers that any amount they’re able to give will go a long way,” Bencheikh said.

    Morocco devastation – The Intrepid Foundation

    With its local connections and expertise, Intrepid can identify the most pressing social and environmental issues concerning a particular region and support small community-based NGOs already doing the work to address them. This ground-up approach focuses on empowering local communities to face the challenges they care about, while improving access to global donors.

    “We consistently hear from travellers who want to do more for the local communities they visit,” said Biheng Zhang, GM of The Intrepid Foundation. “While giving back, our host communities must lead the way. By introducing customers to these local initiatives during their Intrepid trips, we hope to bridge an important gap, and do more for the communities that have become like family through our travels,” she added.

    Beyond the $1 million company donation, The Intrepid Foundation is aiming to raise a further $2 million through travellers’ contributions in 2024.

    To learn more or contribute to The Intrepid Foundation’s efforts, click here.

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