Community Development Programmes
Throughout the world many people give freely of their time and skills to help those suffering hardship brought about by either war or natural disasters. We, as travellers and tourists should be aware of these organisations and help in some way. How many of us have been cocooned in an aluminium tube known as an aircraft, and hurtled across lands at 10,000 meters or more, when below a war or famine rages. How easy is it for us to order another drink, or refuse yet another meal.

This writer has gazed down upon the Balkans at war whilst skimming along the Adriatic coast, and looked down upon the desolate lands of Afghanistan whilst who knows how many are struggling below.

AID programmes that we can all be involved with can be as far reaching and sophisticated as some shown on this page.

Or, as simple as the following........
The result could be as brilliant as the one British Airways employees came up with that's now universal: relieve passengers of heavy foreign coins by passing them on, via the airline, to UNICEF. The "Change for Good" program is a stunningly simple, practical idea that contributes to the children's fund and enables airlines to play a responsible civic role. Today, several airlines supply coin collection envelopes for various aid organizations. They donate millions every year at virtually no cost.

How do you volunteer? What are you looking for and what are community development programmes looking for? Read this.


We all need to be wary of the many traps set for well meaning foreigners! Many people who are keen to help people and animals, in less developed areas of the world, do so with good intentions. Sadly, many believe 'up front' what they are told and read. You must really investigate before you commit any money, or effort. Many of us believe that by by-passing NGO's you ensure more money gets to the local project. A good thought, but is this the reality? Yes an NGO uses a percentage of your donation for management costs, but in the end perhaps this ensures more of your personal contribution actually does benefit a project rather than the pimps who control the scams? Community Aid tourism has become a commodity. In Europe millionaires have been made from travel business offering 'Gap Year' packages with include the obligatory week at a project. Partypackers help absolve themselves with short periods of 'hands on' at community development projects. But do these, 'flit in flit out' experiences really help - read Tom Perry's article?

In Nepal many orphanages are run as businesses. They are filled with children who have families, but who are kept and used to bring in funding from foreigners. Activists say many are not orphans and some end up as victims of child-trafficking.

Al Jazeera's Subina Shrestha reports from Kathmandu.

The Child Orphanage scam is alive and well in other parts of Asia. This fine piece of investigative journalism by Tom Perry brings detail to the surface. Download his article.

Recent Articles on Volunteer tourism: Refreshing to see these insightful words from the younger generations as they wake up to the falsehoods of many 'Gap Year' and 'Volunteer Excursions'.
Why Volunteering Abroad is Dangerous ~ Not the Reasons You Might Think

Voluntourism - the good the bad and the ugly..

Sadly animals have also become the a honey trap for well meaning westerners. One lady has brought this to our attention through one of Melbourne's local suburban newspapers. I can assure you this editor did not know this happened!


African Music Safari
Community Development

Passport Travel has been along term supporter of the radio station 3PBSFM. Together we had a tour in Africa escorted by the host of their African Music show, Stani  Goma. Africa Combining music, culture, wild animals and a visit to a community aid project. We visited St Judes School in Tanzania. ABC's Australian Story.  Click Here for details.

Gemma, Stani & Brent at PBS info session

Dear Brent and Stani

I just wanted to say on behalf of the Visitors Team and all at St Jude’s thank you for taking the time to come and visit. I hope the group all arrive home safely and with lasting memories of their time in Africa. We really enjoyed having them stay at the school and it gave us all the chance to watch some great performances from the kids on the last night at the school! Stani, the chocolates were an AMAZING gesture and much appreciated by the whole team!  If at all possible can you give a radio announcement suggesting all visitors to St Jude’s should donate chocolate to the hard working visitor team!
Thank you so much,
Ellie Draper Visitor Team

Sri Lanka - Post Tsunami

A project we were pleased to associate with.. Sri Lanka Medical assistance - practical help.

Community Development Organisations supported by Passport Travel

Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) is a secular, non-profit NGO running projects to help break the cycle of poverty in the Battambang region of Cambodia. They provide practical, long-term support to some of Cambodia's most vulnerable people.

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Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctors Without Borders:

Hopefully this name is known to you. If not visit their web site to see what work they do. Consider a donation, or if you have skills they require consider volunteering. It is not just doctors they want.


foodwatershelter incorporated (fws) is a not-for-profit organisation: an Australian, non-denominational, non-governmental organisation that builds and manages eco-friendly children's villages with education, social and health facilities for vulnerable women and children in developing countries.

Our first children’s village is Kesho Leo, which is located in the village of Sinon in the Arusha region of Tanzania, East Africa.

fws was established in late 2005 by five Australian women on their return from professional volunteer placements in Tanzania as social workers, sponsorship co-ordinators and teachers. The women soon found themelves five Aussie blokes to help share the load.

Seeking to create a humane and sustainable world for all animals, including people. Through education, advocacy and empowerment, particularly in developing countries worldwide, we seek to forge a lasting and comprehensive change in human consciousness and behaviour; to relieve animal suffering; to  prevent animal cruelty, abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and to protect wild animals and their environments. Help stop dancing bears in India!

Children First Foundation was established in 1999 to support and expand the humanitarian work of Moira Kelly, AO.

The Foundation's mission is to transform the lives of children who need us most by giving hope, exceptional care and pathways to a brighter future. To achieve this the Foundation operates two programs, Miracle s Miles and Between the Gaps.

We also supported the gECHO project (getting Every Child's Heart Okay) which was conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research. This screening project endeavoured to identify Aboriginal children in Northern Australia living with undiagnosed rheumatic heart disease.

Our Miracles Miles Program brings children to Australia from developing countries for life saving/life changing surgery. While they are in our care we provide a caring and homely environment at our Farm in Kimore where the children prepare for and recover from surgery. We endeavour to link visiting children to communities in Australia so that they can maintain their cultural indentity during their stay.

With the generous support of hospitals, surgeons and other medical and allied health practitioners who partner with us, children's lives are transformed.

Through our Between the Gaps program, we have provided ancillary medical assistance to disadvantaged Australian children. The Foundation has established collaborative relationships with other organisations with a view to enhancing programs that can set children on pathways to a better future.


BasicNeeds believes that mental health is a right, not a privilege. For millions of mentally ill people around the world, this is not the case. For them, mental illness is a world of poverty, stigma and isolation. BasicNeeds transforms lives by working with mentally ill people so that together, we can build a world that mentally ill people feel proud to live in.


Seen at the Melbourne Cultural Festival 2006

An uplifting performance by this 42 strong children's choir from a remote collection of Tanzanian villages. Support this group and help build their new school. Click here to view website. 

An amazing story and an amazing result for struggling Sudan.

This web page writer has been to Sudan many years ago.

Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-government organisation that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorised into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development.

The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.

Rural men and women irrespective of age, who are barely literate or not at all, and have no hope of getting even the lowest government job, are being trained to work as day and night school teachers, doctors, midwives, dentists, health workers, balsevikas, solar engineers, solar cooker engineers, water drillers, hand pump mechanics, architects, artisans, designers, masons, communicators, water testers, phone operators, blacksmiths, carpenters, computer instructors, accountants and kabaad-se-jugaad professionals.

With little guidance, encouragement and space to grow and exhibit their talent and abilities, people who have been considered ‘very ordinary’ and written off by society, are doing extraordinary things that defy description.

Zala a project of Zanzibar Island

This organisation was started and is still part managed by a friend of the owner of Passport Travel

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Within many struggling societies financial empowerment to the woman can ensure an improvement in what seems to be an ever lasting circle of poverty. Support, both financially and with labour, of organisations targeted to this area does help.

International Women's Development Agency is an Australian based non-government organisation which undertakes projects in partnership with women from around the world, giving priority to working with women who suffer poverty and oppression.

The development which IWDA promotes is the equitable growth of people and communities, and the just distribution of basic resources and respect for human rights.

Projects supported by IWDA are devised and managed by the women who live and work in their communities which helps to ensure relevance and effectiveness to those women and their communities. IWDA projects will achieve at least one of three things:

* bring tangible socio-economic benefits to poor people
* provide women with definable and needed skills
* oppose injustice or exploitation of women.

IWDA is a member of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid (ACFO)


No matter what you think about Microsoft software you gotta like these comments by Bill Gates.

Microsoft mogul turned global healer Bill Gates has had some harsh words for Mark Zuckerberg's plan to improve humanity's lot by expanding internet access into the developing world.

In August, Facebook supremo Zuckerberg published an extended screed [PDF] online in which he described the need to get everyone in the world online as "one of the most important things we all do in our lifetimes." At the time El Reg was somewhat cynical about the scheme, and it seems we're not alone in our assessment of the behoodied one's plans.

"As a priority? It's a joke," Gates told CNBC in an interview. "I certainly love the IT thing. But when we want to improve lives, you've got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition.

"Take this malaria vaccine, [this] weird thing that I'm thinking of. Hmm, which is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine? If you think connectivity is the key thing, that's great. I don't."

The remarks – which CNBC reports Gates' PR handlers tried to get stricken from the interview – aren't the first time the Microsoft chairman has clashed with some of the more fanciful schemes put forward by some in the technology industry to save the world.

Gates was also scathing in his assessment of Google's dream to bring the internet to the world's unconnected population by floating hundreds of weather balloons equipped with solar-powered radios – a scheme dubbed Google Loon by the Chocolate Factory, apparently not in the spirit of irony.

"When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you," Gates observed at the time. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that."

There's no harm in using a technological mindset to sort out the world's problems, Gates said in the CNBC chat, but you had to look at fundamentals. He details how a better understanding of science and technology issues was helping his charitable foundation's attempts to eradicate polio and malaria, along with the estimated $4bn a year he contributes to such efforts.

Gates described how, in the case of polio, fixing the problem came in understanding how to drive the cost of vaccines down to 50 cents per dose and finding the right equipment to keep the serum cool enough not to spoil.

Applying these lessons, and using his position as the world's richest man to sway over supporters, has helped eradicate polio in India and knock it back in most of the rest of the world – rather than equipping data centers to process Facebook cat videos or launching floating 3G connections.

"Fine, go to those Bangalore Infosys centers, but just for the hell of it go three miles aside and go look at the guy living with no toilet, no running water," Gates said. "The world is not flat and PCs are not, in the hierarchy of human needs, in the first five rungs."