We believe the first step to a student being a socially aware citizen is to see and respect the world as it is. Our Ground staff not only deliver invaluable local knowledge, professional support and assistance on the ground, they know best what their communities need.
We work towards protecting the environment, both locally and globally, by using resources in an efficient, fair and responsible way. Our programs are designed to limit the negative physical impact on our planet. We work hard to protect the human rights of our staff, travelers, suppliers and local communities, as well as other stakeholders impacted by our business, treating all with fairness and respect. We support and encourage fair employment practices. Our programs are designed to ensure that all wild and domestic animals that our projects engage with are protected, and we never offer or promote venues where animals are exploited. We actively encourage customers, staff and local communities to be animal friendly travellers.
Our research and relationships with the communities that we work with ensures that all our projects truly benefit the local community. All our programs also align with the UN’s Global Sustainable Development Goals. We ensure ongoing support for communities and longevity of projects. We listen to the needs of communities first and foremost.
Engaging For Sustainability
In recent years ‘voluntourism’ has become extremely popular among those wishing to spend time in a different country and give something back at the same time. However, in some cases, despite the good intentions of those wishing to donate their time and skills, the intentions do not always match the outcomes.
Time spent abroad volunteering is not a replacement for a ‘traditional’ holiday. Although rewarding, volunteering is a very challenging experience. So, how do you ensure that your experience is truly ‘sustainable’? By asking yourself the following questions, you will be able to decide on the right program to help your team and the community work together sustainably.
- Do my team’s skills match the project?
- Is there any evidence that the project is based on local need and is there a transfer of skills between volunteers and local people?
- Do you know how and where your team’s money will be spent?
- Are you provided with evidence of how the program benefits local people and the local environment?
- Will you be provided with pre-trip training on local customs and culture that will enhance the experience for your team and locals alike?
- What level of support will be provided to your team if something goes wrong?
At GROUND, we have two clients on every program – our communities and our groups. Our approach means that we balance everyone’s needs and requirements, ensuring not only that our community projects are sustainable but also that our groups experience and truly transformational journey.