THE TreadRight Foundation has announced four Tread the Pledge Fund recipients will each be awarded a US$2,500 (RM10,688) grant to help them continue their efforts in supporting local communities around the world.
Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit supporting the sustainable development of tourism through the funding of leading organisations through the foundation’ three pillars: Planet, People and Wildlife.
In November 2019, The TreadRight Foundation sent a call to TTC’ Travel Directors (TD) representing the TTC brand from Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Costsaver to nominate projects they were personally involved with.
Insight Vacations CEO Ulla Hefel Bohler explained: “Our Travel Directors see first-hand the impact of the travel industry on the environment, wildlife and communities, and they are deeply passionate about TreadRight and TTC’s mission to make travel matter.”
Trafalgar Travel CEO Gavin Tollman added: “Each time I have the opportunity to meet with our Travel Directors, they are always eager to share an update of the incredible projects they are personally invested in, and we knew as an organisation that we had to find a way to say thank you to them. We decided to create an annual grant to support these smaller organisations close to the hearts of our team members, which don’t necessarily qualify for ongoing TreadRight funding.”
The inaugural fund recipients are spread out globally, with some on the frontlines of the Covid-19 response. TreadRight and TTC are thrilled to award the 2020 Tread the Pledge Fund to:
-> RPJ Helping Hands in Cape Town, South Africa nominated by Insight Vacations Travel Director Mark Moresby-White. RPJ Helping Hands is a not-for-profit dedicated to feeding the homeless and hungry twice a week, averaging 2,000 meals per month. Due to Covid-19, their beneficiaries have increased six-fold, and they’re on the frontlines to ensure more than 3,000 meals are being served at a time.
-> Smiling Children Italia, Kenya was nominated by Insight Vacations Travel Director Karin Kollarova. Smiling Children Italia sponsors children in Kenya, enabling them to attend either primary or secondary school, and is started by Kollarova’s colleague at Insight Vacations. Lorena Schiavon, who is a Travel Director for Insight Vacations, initiated this charity and personally contributes much of her free time to provide the children with school material, clothing, books, and arranging transportation during the holidays between their home and school.
-> Clean and Proud, in Mzuzu, Malawi, nominated by Collette Engstrom, Travel Director for Trafalgar and Costsaver. Clean and Proud collects and upcycles single-use plastic waste into handicrafts along with unique, locally sourced fabrics, which are then distributed to tourists in Malawi and wholesalers in Europe. In response to Covid-19, they’ve developed hygiene packs that include face masks. They are also investigating potential solutions to the challenge of accessing reliable and clean electricity in Malawi’s rural communities.
-> Walkers4Water/Charity Water (global), nominated by Aryan Taefi, Travel Director for Trafalgar and Costsaver. Walkers4Water helps bring clean water to thousands of people in remote communities by raising funds, 100% of which goes to the project which donors can then directly track online. Its most recent project was in Mali.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, one in 10 jobs worldwide are supported by the travel and tourism industry. This means the current ‘pause’ in global travel has directly impacted millions of people in its workforce, with 75.2 million job losses projected.