Start by educating girls

Intrepid Travel SAMAIntrepid Travel campaign supports gender equality

Intrepid Travel has always been a leader in terms of promoting responsible travel and sustainability. However, I am particularly taken by one of their latest campaigns, called SAMA, which supports gender equality in developing nations by emphasizing education for girls. In my interview with Katy Rockett, Marketing & PR Specialist with Intrepid Travel Canada, she explains the project, the objectives and, most importantly how you can help.

1. What does SAMA mean, why did you choose this name for the project?

SAMA means “equal” in Indonesian. As the main objective of the project is to support gender equality in developing countries, it was a natural fit. 

2. Why did you choose to focus on education for girls?

First and foremost, Intrepid wants to bring about change and recognises that, as a global company, we are uniquely placed to do so. Inspired by Plan’s I Am a Girl campaign and the book Half the Sky, there was a great feeling that as a company with roots in several developing countries, it was time we stepped up and took a more active role in supporting gender equality. Intrepid believes it is important to support early childhood education projects, with a particular focus on girls, because we recognise that the right to education is a fundamental right. Education is one of the most effective development investments and is key to building the capacity of individuals, families, communities and nations. Educating children, and their families early, helps to give children the best start in life and is one of the most effective ways to counteract barriers that keep many children, particularly girls, from school.

3. How did you choose Laos for the first project; and what are your plans for the rest of the three years?

Three years ago, preschools did not exist in Laos and many children – especially those from minority backgrounds – are extremely disadvantaged when it comes to education, particularly education conducted in their own dialect. In 2012, Intrepid wanted to focus on one project to ensure it is up and running successfully and, with feedback from employees across the globe, Laos became a logical place to start. Over the next three years, SAMA will be supporting a series of PLAN global projects in developing countries, with a focus on early learning centres.

4. What do you hope to achieve?

Intrepid’s main goal is to use education as a means to combat gender inequality and improve the lives of communities. We will conduct a three-year plan with an objective to raise funds for early learning programs in several locations. SAMA has been outlined as a project aimed at benefitting girls, boys and communities around the world, and Intrepid is committed to supporting projects that can be sustained in the long term.

5. What can people do to help? Is there a sustainable tourism aspect to this project?

Keep an eye on the SAMA web page for ways that you can help out. For now, you can support us through Facebook, tweet us using the hashtag #SAMAHi5 or High-$5 us!

Thanks Katy, it’s a wonderful project and I hope people will jump on board and support it.

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One Response to Start by educating girls

  1. Janelle April 12, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Howdy! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers!

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