As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, halting the global tourism industry, local communities who rely on tourism for income are being severely impacted.
Working with some of the most impoverished communities in the world, G Adventures’ non-profit partner is releasing emergency grants to those most in need across its 85 projects, which support the livelihoods of 65,000 individuals globally.
Calling on travellers and organisations around the world to offer their support, Planeterra has launched the ‘Turn Travel into Impact from Home’ campaign, with the goal of raising C$50,000 ($54,575) to help communities in immediate need.
The campaign has already raised C$15,000 ($16,373) in the past two weeks, allowing the non-profit to transfer grants to six of their partners to help support basic community needs, including food and medicine.
Among the first to receive funding is the AidChild Leadership Institute (ALI) in Uganda, which sees 50 per cent of its operating budgets generated by tourism initiatives, including a cafe and guesthouse rooms.
The grant was allocated immediately to provide food for the 67 HIV-positive orphans in the institute’s care.
Despite facing hardship, many communities are demonstrating kindness and resilience, with project members utilising their skills to offer support and services to others during the crisis.
In China, the Jia Community Restaurant, which supports rural women and children by providing meaningful job opportunities, has transformed into a delivery and distribution centre for masks and thermometers for nearby villages.
In Zambia, the team at Tribal Textiles, which supports local artisans outside South Luangwa National Park, are using their workshop to sew 1,500 masks for local healthcare workers.
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Our Turn Travel into impact from Home campaign has reached nearly $20,000! We have given out over 13 grants around the world, helping our projects and their communities to access food and medicine. Thank you for being a part of our COVID-19 response! Planeterra’s @Crystallbrowne and @Alannafwallace are recapping all of the grants that have been given out so far through our emergency relief campaign Live here on Instagram at 11 am EST. We will also be answering your questions, we hope to see you there!
Planeterra president Jamie Sweeting said fragile communities need the support now more than ever to ensure they are protected and can continue to offer life-changing experiences when travellers return in the future.
“Our global team is working overtime to support our projects, with grants to purchase food and medicine already going out to communities in Morocco, Belize and Botswana,” he said.
“We’re encouraged by projects that are helping one another and their communities, and we hope this fund will provide some relief and help to ensure jobs and organisations remain intact for when travellers inevitably return.”
Those wishing to donate can do so here.