Global Youth Service Day
Here at VIP Journeys, giving back has always been a part of our company culture. In fact, it’s in our DNA. Since the very beginning, we’ve donated 5 percent of our profits to charity partners primarily working with children based in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. This is because our co-owner, Mike Eiseman, lived in Brazil as the Vice President of the Brazil Tour Operators Association and, while there, headed an NGO focused on empowering at-risk youth and ending the cycles of violence and poverty. Given our dedication to service, one of our absolutely favorite days of the year is Global Youth Service Day (GYSD)!
GYSD was founded in 1988 to mobilize and celebrate young people around the world in their efforts to improve their local communities through service. It connects young people with not only their community but also with companies, non-profits, governmental organizations and many more to address our planet’s most pressing challenges. Although it’s called Global Youth Service Day, the event is actually multiple days celebrated in late April every year. This year, GYSD is being celebrated April 21 through the 23 in more than 135 countries. This makes the annual event the largest (and the longest running) globally– and, ANYONE can participate!
Not sure how to get involved? You can get planning tools and project ideas on the GYSD web site, but we also have some ideas!
Some of our favorite nonprofits working with disadvantaged, at-risk youth in Brazil include:
- Art Conciente
- Youth Arte Haven
- Ong Acasa
- Circo Picolino
- Projeto Dida
- Projeto Axe
- Projeto Cultural
While you can certainly donate at any time, we also encourage our clients to “leave a footprint” when they travel, if desired, by getting involved on a more personal level and dedicating a day or more to visiting the above groups or those like them located across Latin America. In so doing, you’ll get direct opportunities to support programs of volunteerism, scholarships and social change. What could be better?!
Some examples of adding a service component to your next vacation include:
- Bring school supplies, hygiene items or clothes and shoes to donate to local children
- Help build a playground or deep water well in a local community
- Volunteer at a local youth-based non-profit
- Read books at a local children’s home and leave them for their library
- Get involved at the local school– many schools have lots of much-needed projects
If you’re ready to get out there and give back, contact us today to begin planning not only your dream vacation but also a bit of service in honor of Global Youth Service Day.