Published on Monday, December 22, 2008
Online travel insurance provider WorldNomads.com-¬™s social responsibility programme, Footprints, has announced that it has now raised $500,000 from more than 180,000 micro donations since its inception. And despite the economic slowdown, the generosity of people is increasing.
Footprints is an 'opt-in' donation programme that allows its online customers to make micro-donations (starting from $2) to a selected list of participating projects that help alleviate specific poverty-related problems across the world.
World Nomads Community Relations Manager, Christy McCarthy, says the programme-¬™s philosophy is to -¬Ë-get involved and make a difference-¬™. -¬---When you travel to far out places you can often receive generous and gracious hospitality from local people, even when they experience severe shortages of basic needs such as food, water, housing, health and safety,-¬~ says Christy.
-¬---We believe there is a moral obligation to give back to the communities in which we travel and we believe that is an ongoing responsibility, not just today.-¬~
Footprints has funded 34 projects in 18 countries, changing the lives of thousands of people living in poverty, often with seemingly tiny contributions that have disproportionately positive impact in local and often remote communities.
"The contributions, while often small, are growing and today we have a 90% 'strike rate' from World Nomads customers," says Christy.
"It's said that people are becoming "charity fatigued" but we've seen no evidence of that whatsoever with 'Footprints' ; the fact that we ensure 100% of monies raised goes directly to the projects provides people with lots of peace-of-mind.
"Very few social responsibility programmes can make that claim."
Examples of recent projects include the building of a primary school in Pha Ao Village, Cambodia, in conjunction with Oxfam, which was provided AUD$24,154 by 9,187 people and funding the Children-¬™s Safe Home Programme, in Rajbari, Bangladesh, in conjunction with Save the Children Australia, to the tune of AUD$28,963 by 11,381 contributors.
Footprints raises funds on behalf of other organisations and does not run any projects directly. Footprints does not fund projects with any significant 'administration' overhead so that they have a real effect in the communities for which they are intended.
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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.