As a company we look to be responsible in all that we do, from the recycling programme in our UK office to carbon offsetting all flights for staff and passengers to supporting charitable projects around the world. This commitment to being responsible relies on the support and engagement of every individual who works in the Explore family; office staff, agents, tour leaders and guides. When it comes to finding worthwhile causes and initiatives overseas, it is our tour leaders and agents who have the passion and knowledge to find the projects that really make a difference.
In 2011 we wanted to help our leaders support the causes that they feel strongly about, so we ran the ‘Responsible Tourism Project Competition’. This was open to all tour leaders and agents around the world and allowed them to nominate a project, charity or initiative that they felt deserved our support. The winning project was given £1,000 and two runners up were given £500 each. We also looked to find ways to incorporate these with our tours to ensure we continue to contribute to these great causes.
The Cooperative Orthotic and Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) was the overall winner. This is a not-for-profit organisation based in Laos. They provide rehabilitation, prosthetics, training and support for those who have lost limbs. One of the primary roles of COPE is to ensure that those who cannot afford to pay for treatment can access these services. Our £1,000 will be spent on buying materials for prosthetics to be constructed in the COPE workshop. Our money will buy the materials to make at least 20 limbs.
Please visit www.copelaos.org for further information.
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