There is no “over there”

Delhi, India

Street corner in Delhi

Why I support Passports with Purpose

As a spiritually inclined travel writer with a strong idealistic streak, I often wonder how I can contribute positively to the world I live and travel in. My first six-month trip to India, back in 2005, opened my eyes to the reality of life on this planet in a way no other experience had. It was on that trip I became a global citizen. I can no longer comfort myself with delusions of poverty and social inequity happening “over there.” There is no “over there.” We are all one global family; and further, part of one life-force consciousness.

So, when I heard that Passports with Purpose (PwP) was raising funds to build a village in India in 2010, I jumped in and did as much as I could to spread the word, procure a prize, and raise funds. It was a natural fit because PwP was started by four female travel bloggers, and it gave me a way to do some good. So please read on and find out about this worthwhile organization and how you can both contribute to a good cause and win SERIOUSLY fabulous travel prizes — like tours, spa vacations, luggage, cruises. You won’t believe it until you see the lineup of prizes. And you won’t believe what a bunch of impassioned travel bloggers have accomplished either. You have until December 9, 2013 to enter the contest, so don’t wait!

Donate to a good cause, win fab travel prizes!

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It takes a village: Building a village in India 2010.

Passports with Purpose is a collaborative online fundraiser created in 2008 by four Seattle-based travel bloggers: Debbie Dubrow, Pam Mandel, Michelle Duffy and Beth Whitman, the bloggers behind Delicious BabyNerd’s Eye ViewWanderMom, and Wanderlust and Lipstick. This is from the PwP website:

“PwP was founded as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to the places we, as travelers, visit. In 2009 we added one more member, Meg Paynor, who serves as PwP’s public relations representative.

In our first year, Passports with Purpose raised $7,400 for Heifer International. In 2009, Passports with Purpose blew past its initial goal (which was to raise $14,000 to build a school in Cambodia) raising nearly $30,000 to add improvements to the basic school. The school, built through our partnership with American Assistance for Cambodia is now complete.

In 2010, with overwhelming support and assistance from the travel blog community, we raised $64,128, over 25% more than our original goal of $50,000 and built an entire village in India.

In 2011, through our partnerships with the participating bloggers, we raised $90,000 to build two libraries in Zambia through a partnership with Room to Read.

In 2012, Passports with Purpose raised over USD $110,000 for Water.org through the collaborative efforts of more than 200 travel bloggers and 1,242 individual donors who bid on one or more of the 143 prizes on the PwP site from November 28 to December 11, 2012.”

Passports With Purpose: The mandate and the achievements

This year, 2013, Passports with Purpose Goal is to raise $115,000 for BuildOn to construct three schools and fund three adult literacy programs in the Sikasso region of southern Mali, Africa. You can read all about this organization and this project here. And if you want to know how PwP chooses projects, who can read their criteria here.

DONATE NOW! Click here to see the long list of great prizes and to donate. You donate in increments of $10, and for each $10, you get to choose which prize you want to win. Don’t wait, do it now.

I promise you will feel great when you find out what your money accomplished, how many people’s lives were helped, improved, saved. And you might find yourself being lifted in more ways than this: you might also be jetting off somewhere 🙂

Thanks for reading! I will leave you with a photo that has the same effect on me that travelling in India does. It’s by photographer Andrew Adams. You can read the story behind it here: The Soul of India.

Photo from India by Andrew Adams, Katha Images

Photo from India by Andrew Adams, Katha Images

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5 Responses to There is no “over there”

  1. Renuka November 26, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    This sounds something nice, but I would like to know more about it…Well, I am not sure I would like to participate, but I would like to understand it better and support the cause.
    Renuka recently posted..The Resonance Of UdaipurMy Profile

  2. Andrea November 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    We love what PWP are doing – such an amazing cause
    Andrea recently posted..Win Two Nights In Tallinn At the Hotel Telegraaf: Passports With Purpose 2013My Profile

  3. Gopi Krishna January 7, 2014 at 5:12 am #

    Hello!

    How do I know you are not another poverty porn peddlers like the utterly disgusting Hollywood/Bollywood/Danny Boyle/Slumdog Millionaire types?( Your photos above made me say this)?

    If you care so much, why don’t you unpack your bags here in India and settle down for good, instead of coming back again and again and again?

    Bye.

    PS: India is full of dubious Indians having contacts with dubious NGOs. I know there are good ones too, and I hope yours is one of them.

    • Mariellen Ward January 7, 2014 at 10:10 am #

      Gopi, Just read my blog and I think you will realize that my heart’s in the right place. I am not interested in exploiting anyone. I’m a travel writer with curiosity and I hope sensitivity about the world, with a special love for India.

      I have family here in Canada, which is why I travel back-and-forth. Otherwise, I just might settle down there. Maybe I will one day …

      Thanks for commenting.
      Mariellen Ward recently posted..How to find vegetarian food in CanadaMy Profile

      • B. Gopi Krishna January 13, 2014 at 8:06 am #

        Hello Mariellen!

        I apologize if I came across as rude and sarcastic. I am an unmarried man, so sorry about overlooking the whole family angle.

        Good luck with all future endeavors

        From the heart

        Gopi

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