How can you have a big impact in the communities you visit? Simply by using a small amount of space in your luggage to pack supplies needed by community projects around the world. The idea is simple, no? This is exactly why we work with Pack for a Purpose in the Solomons.
What is Pack for a purpose?
Pack for a Purpose is an initiative that allows travelers, like you, to make a lasting impact in the countries you visit. It allows you to make a meaningful contribution to the destination you visit. We are fortunate enough to travel and have the chance to visit really remote areas. The communities who welcome us often have very little. So by bringing something, it is a way of expressing appreciation for the experiences and hospitality you will enjoy.
Pack for a Purpose works with hundreds of businesses, travel agents and tour companies across the globe. These partners identify local challenges in the countries they are. These might be related to the environment, health, children welfare, animal welfare, senior welfare or socio-economic development. The partners can then choose to support existing structures (like helping an orphanage) or create their own project (planting new trees for example).
What about you the traveler?
You, as a traveler, diver, and tourist can help! Simply head over to the website and select your destination. You will then be able to see and find an accommodation and/or tour company in your chosen area and see its project.
Choose the supplies you wish to take from the specific items requested and make space in your suitcase. It does not have to be big or heavy! Once you are in the country, just drop off the items and they will be delivered to the project. There is no rocket science to it! But your contribution can make a difference and may mean the world to someone else. If you can spare just a few kilos of space in your suitcase to take supplies for schools or medical clinics in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of local children and families.
And then what about Pack for a Purpose in the Solomons?
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose and support the organisation in the Solomons.
All of our itineraries in the Solomon Islands include a visit to at least one local village school. You will get the chance to meet the Solomon Islanders and get a feel of how they live. Due to their remote, isolated location, the Solomons have limited access to school supplies and books. This unfortunately results in low literacy rates.
You, visitors to the Solomon Islands who are interested in responsible tourism, are presented with a wonderful opportunity to give back to the community during your vacation. Through our partnership with Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions, our local operating company, you can help support the Solomon Islands Literacy League. If you are joining us for a cruise on Solomons Master, you can help by bringing books and learning materials with you.
The Solomon Islands Literacy League
The Solomon Islands Literacy League is committed to bringing books and learning materials to communities throughout the Solomon Islands. With limited public reading facilities, and reading materials often not present in the home, it is no surprise that literacy rates in Solomon Islands are under 20 percent.
Outside the capital of Honiara, books and magazines become even more scarce, with everyone even treasuring newspapers no matter how many weeks old they may be.
This is the situation that drives the passion of literacy advocate Joyce Boykin. Originally from the USA, Joyce has been living and working in Solomon Islands for the past 22 years, firstly as a teacher, and then as a developer of education programs. In 2014 she coordinated many projects, such as distributing 36,000 school readers, sourcing 19,000 primary school books, and creating the Literacy League to assist teachers use the new resources.
Making literature available to all is no small task for a population geographically spread over more than 900 islands. The READ SI team, a mix of Solomon Islanders and foreigners living in the country, is now taking on an ambitious project – to build and stock libraries right across Solomon Islands. Solomon Islands Dive Expeditions is proud to partner with READ SI to bring books and learning material to communities throughout the Solomon Islands.
So what can YOU do?
Nothing could be simpler. Save a few kilos in your suitcase when you are heading onboard Solomons Master and add anything from the lists below. Once onboard, hand your trove to the crew and they will deliver it on your behalf. Alternatively, you can also deliver them directly to the village school you visit.
List of specific items needed:
Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction (‘How-To Books’, Biographies, Books to Inspire, Educate, Open Minds, Help with Enterprise Development, etc.), Children’s Storybooks, Early Childhood Development, ‘Learning-to-Read’ Books, Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction, and Young Readers and Teenage Fiction
(Current) Atlases, Dictionaries, (Current) Age Appropriate Encyclopedias on CD, and Thesaurus
Ballpoint Pens, Book Pockets for Date Issued Cards, Clear Packing Tape, Clear Sellotape, Date Issued Cards, Date Stamp and Inkpad, Due-Date Slip (to remind readers when to return books), Erasers, Paper-Cutting Knife, Plastic Covers for Books, Retractable Pencils, Ruler, and Scissors
Support Pack for a Purpose in the Solomons on your next trip.