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Life-Changing Community Project Initiatives For The Social Traveler

BY MARY MUSOLINO

Travel is a luxury that many can’t afford. But those of us lucky enough to jetset around the globe, exploring new places, know that it is the experiences themselves that make us feel rich.

Travel can give us so much. We experience impressive sights, different cultures, interesting food and amazing people. We then use these experiences to drive us, shape us and motivate us to become better people. So, how can we pay those life-changing experiences forward? How can we give back to a place or community that gives us so much?

SEE ALSO: A Photographer’s Experience Inspiring Us To Volunteer Travel

Here are just a few ways that you can get the ball rolling to support locals and communities by giving where you go!

1. The Lucky Iron Fish (Cambodia)

Many Cambodians suffer from iron deficiency, which can lead to a variety of preventable conditions, such as anemia, weakness, impaired cognitive ability, compromised physical development in children and various other illnesses. The Lucky Iron Fish is a unique little product designed to help families combat iron deficiency. One Lucky Iron Fish product can provide an entire family with up to 75% of their daily iron intake for up to 5 years, simply by adding it to a cooking pot of boiling water when preparing a meal. The heat of boiling water instantly adds the vital mineral to food, which is a simple, affordable, and effective solution to a very serious issue. Be sure to take some of these with you on your next trip or donate online to a family in need.

Facebook Lucky Iron Fish

Facebook/Lucky Iron Fish

2. Detroit SOUP (Detroit, USA)

Heading to Motown? Then do a favor for yourself and the locals by heading to Detroit SOUP, a dinner celebrating creative community-based projects by awarding grants to innovative ideas on how to improve and uplift Detroit neighborhoods. For $5 you will receive soup, salad, bread, and a vote. You will hear from four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology, and more. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea and fields four questions from the diners. The pitch with the most votes takes home the money collected that night to start their creative venture!

Facebook Detroit SOUP

Facebook/Detroit SOUP

3. Little Sun (Africa)

Little Sun is focused on getting clean, reliable and affordable solar-powered energy to the 1.1 billion people worldwide without access to electricity. A compact LED solar-powered light, this savvy device is helping brighten the lives of children across Africa. With even a small donation you can provide a child with the light they need to read a book and further their education, even after the Sun goes down.

4. Uplift Project (South Pacific)

Ladies, stop burning your bras and start donating them! Uplift Project collects new and second-hand bras for women in disadvantaged communities throughout the South Pacific. For women living in these countries, a comfortable and supportive bra is often unobtainable or unaffordable.

To find a collection point, donate funds or to run your own fundraising ‘bra drive’, check out the Uplift Project website and help support women in need.

Facebook Project Uplift

Facebook/Project Uplift

5. Social Bite (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Not your average sandwich bar, Social Bite is a growing food chain in the UK employing homeless people with little or no history of work. A cause-driven business, Social Bite was established to tackle social issues concerning inclusion, homelessness and employment. If that wasn’t impressive enough the organization also donates all their profits to charity. If you happen to be in town be sure to stop in for a bite and a chat!

Facebook Social Bite

Facebook/Social Bite

What do you think of these social travel ideas? Let us know in the comments.

Mary Musolino contributor profile Taipei

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