The first Roots Global Travelers (RGT) survey report is in for summer 2011! So what’s all the fuss with all this survey bizness? Well I’m collaborating with dynamo diva Negarra Kudumu, and all those of you interested to launch a new social network with the goal of connecting our personal global allies amongst ourselves to facilitate global community building. We can’t do it without you.
Dear friend–You are the network! So, please keep reading, or go straight to our pre-launch network site to get connected.
RGT wanted to hear from friends and friends of friends who might be interested in creating a network of diverse travelers and community groups among our diasporas. We wanted to find out what our communities thought about “voluntourism” and how this network could be a resource to everyone.
The priorities identified reflect the some common values that Roots Global Travelers share and carry with us when we experience the world beyond our national borders.
Nearly 100 people chimed in and voices collectively pointed towards 5 top priorities when it came to transnational travel:
1. Authentic cultural experience
2. Giving back to the community
3. Sharing talents and skills
4. Supporting socially responsible goods and fair trade
5. Protecting and enhancing the environment
Social beings that we are, many people followed the top 5 by saying it was important to have “a personal contact” and connect “with folks who share my social interests” when they travel.
The social connectivity in travel can help foster the authentic experiences and opportunities to give back to that community wherever we are. RGT peer network members can support one another with helpful recommendations, contacts and advice based on our own experiences in a particular country.
Some of the visions people shared for their ideal purpose-driven travel included:
* “Working with children and women around education and self-esteem workshops would be ideal, in exchange for a safe place to sleep/live without having to pay or search for lodging.”
* “Ideally I would enjoy volunteering with LGBT groups in Brazil.”
* “I would like to meet anyone improving the lives of others through art.”
* “I’m a Doula, will love to volunteer in helping mothers to be.”
Other interesting items that made it into over half of the respondents “Nice to Have” list, included travel carbon offsets, meeting friends of friends, traveling in groups, staying with a local family.
Roots Global Travelers is an emergent social network with the mission to connect and mobilize a network of racially/ethnically diverse world-travelers, who support sustainable development and social justice through community voluntourism.
The network’s primary objectives are two fold: 1) to serve as an information portal reporting on global social justice and sustainable development initiatives worldwide and 2) to be an interactive platform where members can seek out organizations working in their area and region of interest and curate a voluntourism experience where they work with their chosen organization and engage with the communities that it serves.
Like-minded members can spread the word on inspiring social and creative spaces that are the spice of life around the world. As volunteer travelers in their own diasporas, as well as other communities they frequent, our members leverage network connections to organise and share authentic, community-building experiences with friends, fellow travelers and global allies. For more information on our initial efforts, please click here.
You can also contact organizers C. Sala Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or Negarra Kudumu at email@example.com.