Here at On The Go Tours, we’ve been fortunate to send thousands of people around the world in search of ancient wonders, spectacular landscapes and cultural experiences. Yet what has remained an important part of our ethos is that travel should be rewarding not only for you, but for the local communities we encounter along the way.
For the last few years, we’ve been running our Change For Children Programme in India. And we’re delighted to say it’s been a big success. So here’s a closer look at the project and what we’ve been able to achieve in 2018.
What is Change For Children?
Our Change For Children initiative uses donations from our travellers to support and provide classroom materials to two schools in the colourful state of Rajasthan. And for those exploring India on two of our group tours, you get the chance to visit these schools for yourself.
On our Taj Traveller group tour, we visit a local school in the Abhaneri village whilst journeying from the vibrant city of Jaipur to Bharatpur. Back in 2016, we were able to help construct a girl’s toilet block here. A facility that was gratefully received by both the headmaster and female students.
Travellers on our Taj Express group tour spend a night at Bhanwar Vilas Palace in Karauli. This stunning heritage hotel is owned by Karauli’s royal family, who also run a school for physically challenged children in Karauli village. At both schools you get the chance to meet the children and hand out any educational materials you may have bought with you, an experience that brings smiles all round!
What have we done this year?
After speaking with each of the headmasters, we discovered that both of the schools would benefit from being supplied with more durries. These are large rugs measuring 15×12 ft and spread on the floors of classrooms or used for school functions. As children sit on the floor in schools in India, these rugs mean that they can be seated more comfortably and not be affected by the cold.
Last month we were pleased to not only supply stationery such as pens and pencils, but a total of 10 durries to each school. Visiting Abhaneri village school on November 10th, our very own Thomas Fleming from our reservations team in Australia was able to take part in the event:
‘The energy and enthusiasm that just radiated out of the kids kept a permanent smile on your face. They didn’t have a lot in regards to supplies – the durries we donated meant they would now have more than a thin sheet separating them from the concrete floor – but you would never know this from their happy faces. We saw the bathroom that the donations had already helped build and it was absolutely wonderful to see the tangible difference that the Change for Children program had made in their lives.’
Being able to give back to the local community was a great experience for our travellers, as well as the children! And following this success, we’re excited to see the programme continue.
Find out about our other sustainable travel initiatives operating across our destinations.