Travel tip #6: Give back to the community you’re visiting

I’ve just watched a play at by Macha Productions called Entitled that discussed how welfare cuts are affecting and will continue to affect millions throughout the UK and Northern Ireland. The play also featured a guest speaker Lynn Carvill who discussed how reforms like these disproportionately affected women and children.

The play was nothing short of powerful and incredible, giving me a good kick up the arse to do more for the communities I visit. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, so what better time to start than now?

Walking around London last month and then Belfast this month, I’ve seen homeless people all around. One man in Belfast was kicked out of his home by the police for coming home one night dressed as a woman.

It’s easy to get lost in the bright lights of big cities and ignore the homeless struggling to make it through the cold. I’m referencing the homeless because they’re the most obvious effects of a broken welfare system.

Of course not every country has a welfare system to begin with, and the UK does have a far more advanced one than Malaysia, but the need here is also really prevalent. If there’s a need, there must be some way I as a tiny female solo traveller can satisfy it. And the good news is, I can. I just need to get creative.

From the play, I’ve learned that I can donate food to a whole bunch of food banks. Google will tell you the nearest food bank in your neighbourhood and the foodbank’s website should show you want the urgently need and what they have more than enough of.

Another thing I’ve learned from the play is that people usually take taxis home after collecting their food because it’s freezing outside and carrying 3 bags of canned food home is not an easy task.

I wonder if people have tried raising money for cab fares home. Now there’s an idea…

“What do you need? How can I use what I’ve got to help you?” –  at the 2016 Web Summit in Lisbon.

It’s time to put down those selfie sticks and Go Pros and get a real raw and honest look at the world.

via Daily Prompt: Aware

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2 thoughts on “Travel tip #6: Give back to the community you’re visiting

  1. I love this, Nicole, and I’ve been thinking the same thing lately – a bit tired of just coming and going without leaving much more of a mark than (hopefully) passively making someone’s day brighter/better? I worked in food bank fundraising in the US for a bit and it’s often far more effective to donate money to food banks rather than actual food, as the organization may have connections where they can buy food in bulk or much cheaper than the average consumer. Not always so easy to do while you’re traveling – so I like the idea of helping people carry groceries home, or there’s always a need to box up/package/sort things. And I’d love to see this play!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really true what you say about the monetary donation instead of actual food. It’s a conversation I’ve had so many times with people who don’t trust non-profits. It is so difficult when you’re convincing people to part with their money for a cause their unfamiliar with. Anyway, hope you’re doing well Kelsey!!!

      Like

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