How Travel Can Make a Difference


”It began with a commitment to preserve whatever we found, wherever we went.”  Thus begins the introduction to a new Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy web site, which showcases opportunities for travellers to become involved with 50 pioneering projects worldwide. 

 

“As travel increasingly becomes about the things money cannot buy – shared experiences and treasured memories – more and more of our guests want to make a personal connection and a positive contribution to the places they visit,” says Abercrombie & Kent Vice Chairman Jorie Butler Kent, who guides Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy. “We hope to use this new web site to multiply the impact of what our guests have started.”

Working through A&K’s offices around the world, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy identifies and supports proven grassroots organizations. Guests who want to give something back can contribute to one of these local projects with a tax-deductible donation which can be made directly through the secure AKP web site. 100% of all donations go directly to the chosen project.  Guests travelling on many of A&K’s small group escorted journeys, private Signature itineraries or Tailor Made programs can visit projects in person, learning more about their destination through the work of its most dedicated people. Examples include:

Friends of Conservation – Masai Mara, Kenya
Every year nearly 6000 acres of primary forest in Kenya disappears due to cutting for firewood, agriculture and human settlement.  Working with Conservation Clubs, schools, individuals and local communities, AKP and our guests have helped to plant more than 250,000 trees in the Greater Mara region.

Deepalaya School –  New Delhi, India

A quarter of a million children living in the slums and on the streets of Delhi do not attend school.  Deepalaya provides education and vocational training for many of these children, focusing on girls whose education is often neglected. AKP has helped to educate 50 children this year, providing tuition, books, uniforms and a daily meal.

Sam’s Brothers Clean Water Project – Siem Reap, Cambodia
The lack of clean water for drinking, cooking and bathing is one of the gravest problems facing Cambodia’s rural population.  Over half of the country’s deaths stem from waterborne diseases.  Support from AKP has dug more than 300 wells, supplying clean, bacteria-free water to more than 6,000 people.

Bwindi Community Hospital –  Buhoma, Uganda
In Uganda, 15 out of 100 children die before the age of 5 from malaria, malnutrition, tuberculosis and AIDS.  HIV infection was once a death sentence; today Bwindi Hospital provides anti-retroviral treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child. 

For those interested in a more in-depth philanthropic experience, AKP has designed journeys focused on conservation – both cultural and ecological – and on humanitarian relief efforts:


Enrichment Through Service in Southern Africa (October 4-12, 2009)
Participate in your choice of social programs, including renovating a learning/play space at the Mohau Nursery School and assisting a mobile healthcare provider with cleaning, cooking and distribution of care parcels. Learn about the important work done to address human-wildlife conflict from Living With Elephants on a bush walk in the Okavango Delta. Nine days from $5572. $500 donation required.

Conservation Consciousness in the Galapagos (Oct 22 – Nov 1, 2009)
This is a landmark year in the Galápagos Islands: the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth, the 150th anniversary of the publication of “On the Origin of the Species” and the 50th anniversary of the founding of Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation. Join author Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great-grandson, on a commemorative cruise aboard ‘M/V Eclipse’ to benefit the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the Charles Darwin Foundation.  Eleven days from $6850. $1000 donation required.

Fighting Climate Change in Antarctica (December 7-20, 2009)
Travel with Dr. James McClintock, Professor of Polar and Marine Biology at the University of Alabama - Birmingham, who has been conducting research in polar waters for 25 years. Visit Palmer Station to present a remotely-operated Hyperspectral Irradiance Sensor to measure the impact of global warming on phytoplankton. Fourteen days from $7595. $500 donation included. 

Kilimanjaro: To the Summit on a Mission (December 28, 2009 – January 8, 2010)
A team led by Richard Wiese, former President of The Explorers Club, will support the third in a series of weather stations needed by the Kilimanjaro National Parks Service to monitor the climate change on the mountain.  Twelve days from $7795.  $1200 donation required.

East Africa Conservation Safari (January 9-19, 2010)
Experience the wildlife and culture protected by conservation efforts that began more than 25 years ago. Enjoy Big Five game viewing while learning about what it takes to preserve this delicate balance. Visit the field camp of noted researcher Dr. Charles Foley and the Tarangire Elephant Project. Join Community Scouts on a foot patrol in the Masai Mara. Plant trees with school children at Gijedabung Primary School. Accommodations include Sanctuary Olonana, an award-winning tented camp on the banks of the Mara River, and the newly renovated Sanctuary Swala Camp. Eleven days from $9995. $500 donation required.

About Abercrombie & Kent:

Abercrombie & Kent is committed to providing the most fulfilling and rewarding travel experiences in the world, while assuring guests that their journey helps to preserve some of the world’s most extraordinary places for future generations.  Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a highly respected company dedicated to conservation and environmentally intelligent tourism,” A&K’s contributions were recognized at the Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Congress and earned the World Travel & Tourism Council Green Award for Corporate Social Leadership and the ASTA/Smithsonian Environmental Award. 

Go to www.akphilanthropy.org to learn more about these projects and how travel can make a difference.

100% of your charitable gift to Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy goes directly to support local projects worldwide. Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy is established in the United States as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your charitable gift is tax deductible as provided by law.

Source: Abercrombie & Kent

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".