Nowadays, we tend to give the word “footprint” a negative connotation, probably because we relate it with the ecological, carbon or water imprint we leave in our Mother Earth. On the Internet, many are the articles and websites with tips and tricks on “How to reduce your carbon footprint?” or to help you calculate “how many planets does it take to support your lifestyle?”. But... What if you could change your perspective on this? What if you could leave a positive and purposeful impact while traveling abroad, discovering a new country and its local community?
This was exactly what Rita Marques, one of Impactrip’s founders, dreamt about, after travelling solo around Asia: creating a project which joined her strong will to change for good people’s lives, her passion to travel and also her life purpose of leaving her positive mark in the world. So that, after partnering up with Diogo, another intrepid traveler and dreamer, Impactrip was born!
Since 2015 that, along with an A-Team, they’re developing International Volunteering Programs for those who want to enjoy a new destination while having a life-changing experience, not only for them but also for the local communities with whom they interact.
By enrolling in one of the International Volunteering Programs Impactrip offers, that range from working with people with special needs to helping with the conservation of endangered marine species, volunteers will not only have the opportunity to support the important mission of non-profit organizations in many different fields but also to develop countless soft-skills and get to know people from all over the world.
Currently operating in four European destinations – Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and Split – Impactrip has already received people from over 60 different nationalities and contributed with 50.000+ hours to support a network of 350 non-profits. In addition, Impactrip is fully committed to contribute as much as it can to be a force of good. So that, the company makes great effort to encourage all of the volunteers, staff members and partners to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives, such as consuming responsibly and local, avoiding plastic waste, using water sparingly, etc.
As you can see, Impactrip is always thriving to improve and to become a company that is constantly up to date with the current need from the communities not only with whom it directly works with but also with the World. We live in a true “global village” and we need, more than ever before, to be working along the global agendas to contribute to a sustainable development for all.
That’s why Impactrip’s International Volunteering Programs (IVP) are aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, to contribute to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change until 2030.
All of the Volunteering Programs have the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly, to all of the goals, but we would highlight that the major contributions fit in with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 – Good Health and Well-being - because within our Special Needs Support volunteers give vulnerable people quality care, compassion and a sense of hope and with the SDG 4 – Quality Education because through our Youth Support and Teaching program we ensure equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Moreover, the IVPs are also focused on pushing for Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), while supporting productive activities, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation and for Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10). In the programs, especially in the Creative Technologies, Special Needs and Youth Support ones, volunteers cooperate with non-profits that help people live equally and as full citizens in all aspects of social living.
Furthermore, these concerns don’t stop here. Besides the social-related issues, Impactrip’s IVPs also cover environmental problems.
Animal and sea lovers can become part of a worldwide movement of passionate people dealing with the global challenge of litter and the impact human development is having on the oceans in the Marine Conservation program, while actively contributing to the SGD12-Responsible Consumption and Production–and13–ClimateAction– because they’ll help achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, by significantly reduce their release to water. Besides, we have to mention that this program also protects Life below Water (SDG 14), by developing activities that prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds.
Likewise, Life on Land (SDG 15) is not forgotten: the Animal Care program aims to improve the lives of cats and dogs cats and to promote the understanding of the importance and value of animal welfare for a harmonious society.
Last, but not the least, all of the IVPs are a bold example of Partnerships for the Goals (Goal 17) since Impactrip, as a company and intermediary, and volunteers, as direct contributors, join causes dedicated to achieving a sustainable development for all.
However, we should bear in mind that tourism has also its downsides, and each one of us ought to become, day by day and step by step, a more conscious traveler, citizen and sustainable development advocate. By choosing to travel responsabily you are already spending your time making a long-term positive contribution to the world and, as you could see, there are also many ways of leaving a positive footprint where we pass by.
Impactrip, as a sustainable and responsible tour operator, is more than pleased to encourage and help people to travel in a more meaningful and positive way. On top of this, Impactrip ultimate goal is to create everlasting changemakers, this is, Impactrip aims for people to take home all of their inspiring experiences and continue to give back to their communities.
Written by Maria João Gens
Maria João Gens is a young professional from Porto, Portugal.
She has studied Foreign Languages and Business Relations and is passionate about other cultures, travelling and (good) food.
A full-time dreamer (and hard-worker!), she's trying to be the change she wishes to see in the world through path of Sustainability, Education, Responsible Consumption and Personal Development.