IDEA & OPPORTUNITY > Helping travelers help local organizations
Travelers have the potential to bring much-needed supplies to underfunded non-profit organizations around the world, but usually they don’t learn about those needs until it’s too late to pack for them. StuffYourRucksack hopes to solve that problem by showing travelers--before they leave on their trips-how they could help out in a particular region.
The site was recently founded by BBC presenter Kate Humble, who recognized how often travelers end up thinking, ‘If only I had known!” She explains: “How many times have you been traveling and visited a school or community or local charity that you would love to help? The school needs books, or a map or pencils; an orphanage needs children's clothes or toys. All things that, if only you'd known, you could've stuffed in your rucksack. But once you get home you forget, or you've lost the address, or worry that whatever you send will be stolen before it even gets there.”
The concept is simple: local organizations around the globe can visit the site to register what they need, as can travelers who have been there and discovered the need first-hand. Travelers planning a trip can then search to see what they can bring along to help. There are no fees to be paid on either side, and a feedback section of the site allows for the exchange of tips and advice.
StuffYourRucksack is still in the process of getting off the ground, so there are no listings yet for many countries. One look at the listings that are there, though, shows how easy it could be to help. An Indian school for street children, for example, needs children’s clothing. An educational charity in Tanzania needs pencils and used mobile phones. Nice example of a grassroots initiative using the internet to help small-scale aid find its way around the world.
Spotted by: Susanna Haynie
Content courtesy: www.springwise.com