As a travel blogger, I am always looking for new ways to give back and just last week at a conference I learned about a fabulous organization called Passports with Purpose. Passports with Purpose was founded in 2008 by four travel writers, Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Beth Whitman and Michelle Duffy as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to places travelers visit. Each year, Passports with Purpose holds an annual fundraiser during a two-week period in November and December for a new charity.
Past Passports with Purpose fundraisers have benefited such fabulous NGOs and initiatives as Heifer International; the Passports School with American Assistance for Cambodia; a village in Tamil Nadu, India for 25 Dalit families with Land for Tillers’ Freedom; two libraries in Zambia with Room to Read; five wells in Haiti with Water.org; two schools and two adult literacy programs in Mali with buildOn; and, in 2014, five communities in Honduras with Sustainable Harvest.
This year, Passports with Purpose is working to bring digital reading to five libraries in Kenya with Worldreader, a US, European and African-based nonprofit organization that provides e-books, reading and literacy in the developing world. Their mission is to unlock the potential of millions of people through the use of digital books in places where access to reading materials is very limited.
It is a fact that literacy is transformative: it increases earning potential, decreases inequality, improves health outcomes and breaks the cycle of poverty (UNESCO). Yet there are 740 million illiterate people in this world and 250 million children of primary school age who lack basic reading and writing skills (UNESCO). Books are necessary for the development of these skills, and still 50% of schools in Africa have few or no books at all (SACMEQ II). Worldreader is on a mission to bring digital books to every child and her family, so that they can improve their lives
The funds raised in 2015 from Passports with Purpose will bring digital reading to five libraries in western Kenya. The e-readers will provide an estimated 6,250 children, teachers and parents with access to more than 50,000 books. Each library will get 50 Kindle e-readers, containing both English and Swahili fiction and non-fiction for all ages, as well as Kenyan textbooks. The Worldreader program also includes comprehensive training for the librarians, as well as a field-tested and proven solar solution that will keep the e-readers charged if electricity is scarce.
When it is:
From Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST to Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. EST each $10 you donate gives you a chance to enter to win from their catalogue of prizes ranging from a resort vacation to a camera to a stylish new suitcase.
How it works:
First you browse the prize catalogue and decide what you would like to win, then you make a donation. After you make a donation, you are able to bid on prizes. For each $10 you donate, you get one chance to win a prize. So if you give $100, you can bid 10 times on 1 prize or 1 time on 10 different prizes or however you want to break it up.
All profits from the online auction and all donations will go to Worldreader. To donate and participate in the auction, please click here.