The holidays are a time to be grateful for what we have, like good health, warm clothes, food on our table, and loved ones around it. They’re also a time to consider others who may not enjoy those same blessings.
While we embrace the joy of this holiday season, it’s also important to reach out and help others. Many people make holiday giving an annual habit around this time of year. It’s a wonderful way to extend our blessings to others, and share a little joy with those less fortunate.
Here at Discover Corps, we love to combine travel with giving back to the world we explore. Donating to charities around the world is a great way to celebrate travel, even if we’re staying at home this holiday. Consider these great charities from different countries around the world this holiday season.
The Q’ewar Project, Peru (Peru)
This social work initiative, based in the rural highlands of the Andes Mountains in Peru, enables local men and women to craft dolls, doll clothing, and other material articles. The workshop provides locals with the opportunity for self-growth, creativity, and valuable skills.
The project was started by Julio Herrera and Lucy Terrazas in 2002, and they have been helping the local community to create these beautiful, hand-crafted dolls ever since. They also provide yarn to local women who can craft sweaters in their home.
Tide Belize (Belize)
The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment is based in the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. They help promote responsible use of the region’s resources, from the mountains to the oceans.
Tide organizes projects that bring people together with nature, promoting the importance of caring for the local environment. For example, The Freshwater Cup combines sport and environmental education by hosting a football game that students can participate in, only after completing an environmental education class.
To help support the biodiversity of Southern Belize, you can donate here.
Tuleeni Orphans Home (Tanzania)
Many of the children who come to Tuleeni have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS. The Tuleeni Orphans Home provides them with hope, encouragement, and care, as well as a place to call home. There are currently 80 children who call Tuleeni home.
When the founder, Mama Faraji, first opened her home to orphans in Tanzania, she used her own small salary to support them. Now, Tuleeni relies on the generosity of donors to provide the children with the resources and comforts that will help them thrive in life.
You can support the Tuleeni Orphans Home by donating here.
Save Elephant Foundation (Thailand)
Everyone loves these massive creatures with their dark, intelligent eyes and their long, silly trunks. But the Asian Elephant is often captured and mistreated. Lek Chailert started Save Elephant Foundation to rescue and rehabilitate captive elephants, while educating the community and helping to support the survival of this endangered species.
Elephant Nature Park is where the elephants make their home after being rescued by Save Elephant Foundation. Tourists can visit Elephant Nature Park for an educational experience with the elephants without exploiting them, which so often happens in elephant tourism operations.
To help support the humane treatment of elephants in Thailand, you can donate to Save Elephant Foundation, here.
Pretoma (Costa Rica)
Pretoma is a marine-conservation and research organization based in Costa Rica. They promote sustainable policies for fisheries to protect the ocean’s resources. Pretoma has led many ground level initiatives to protect Costa Rica’s oceans, including a public campaign against shark finning, direct conservation projects to protect sea turtles, and educational programs to inform students about environmental issues.
To help protect Costa Rica’s precious ocean resources, you can donate here.
Forjando Alas (Costa Rica)
This after-school program is based in the Bahia Ballena community of Costa Rica. Forjando Alas provides arts and crafts, games, education, English practice, and even surfing lessons to kids of all ages. The mission of Forjando Alas is to encourage children to become positive members of the community and steer clear of drugs and other negative influences.
It’s important to keep kids busy after school while their parents are often still occupied with work. Forjando Alas provides a safe and supportive space for them to gather and learn together.
You can help support the children of Forjando Alas by donating here.
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (South Africa)
You can help ensure the survival of cheetahs, wild dogs, blue cranes, ground hornbills, sable, antelope, or rhinos through the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center in South Africa. They focus on the conservation of endangered and vulnerable species through breeding, rehabilitation, education, ecotourism, and more.
Adopting an endangered species is a great gift for the animal lover in your life.
Care for Wild Africa (South Africa)
Care for Wild Africa was started by Petronel Nieuwoudt, a passionate woman with twenty years of experience in caring for wild animals. She concentrated her efforts to develop a center in South Africa to care for and rehabilitate the region’s many animals. Petronel specializes in the care or orphaned and injured rhinos.
You can help support Care for Wild Africa’s rhino sanctuary by donating here.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of The Peace Corps — a national organization that connects committed volunteers to projects around the world for 27 months. Peace Corps volunteers work directly with communities on pressing issues and help to inform the global perspective of Americans back home, all while participating in life-changing work.
You can support the National Peace Corps Association by making a donation that will help fund Peace Corps projects, from educating girls around the world to improving water quality and sanitation.
If you find an organization that touches your heart this holiday season, spread the holiday cheer by supporting their efforts with a charitable donation. And if these global charities are inspiring the wanderlust in you, you might want to consider visiting one of these great locations in the new year!