The Wandergive Project: Making a Change

written by local expert Anna Faustino

Anna is a co-founder of Adventure in You and has been traveling the world for the last 9 years. She has spent time living in Thailand, Mexico, Indonesia, and Spain and is our local expert in these areas. Her expertise on travel, gear, and building businesses have been featured on Foundr, Business Insider, Yahoo Travel, and more.

It started with an idea. We knew we couldn’t change the world, but we knew we had to do something. The concept behind The Wandergive Project started when Tom opened up to me on how he wanted to help small communities while we were on the move.

As soon as we got around to starting our first project, everything came as a whirlwind of events. As soon as we visited the community and saw the projects of Young Focus, we knew we had to do everything that we could to help.Initially, we had set our goal to $600, with the aim of supporting 20 malnourished children throughout the month.Within a couple of hours of our campaign, the donations started pouring in.

smokey mountain under the bridge

After the first day of our initial visit, Tom and I left Smokey Mountain very emotional. We both couldn’t get over the living conditions of the people there. We left the place with a complete change of perspective towards everything. On the evening of our visit, I remember ever so clearly sobbing together at 3 in the morning as we saw the donations trickling in. For the first time, we felt like we were traveling with a purpose.

Read: A Photo Walk around Smokey Mountain

Two weeks later, our campaign had ended. With the generous help of everybody, we were able to raise a little over $1000. Together with 10 volunteers, we went back to Smokey Mountain to see the community and once more connect with the wonderful people at Young Focus. We wanted to show everyone what we saw on the day of our visit and hopefully begin a spark to encourage people that they can give back in their own little way.

READ and GIVEBACK via: The Wandergive Project: Feed a Child Campaign

wandergive project

The Wandergive Project
Photo Source: Marge Gavan

Where Will the Money Go?

The money that we raised will go towards to Combat Malnutrition Program of Young Focus. This program was designed to help the impoverished children in the community receive healthy meals through the donations of various organizations and people. Our initial goal of pledging our support to feed 20 children for a month started growing and growing until we raised enough funds to support 40.

The people that we took to Smokey Mountain that day all left rather emotional like us. Despite living in Manila all their lives, we saw that everyone left changed. Some left saddened by what they saw, some left in disbelief.  People responded in different ways, but no matter what we experienced, everybody left a little more grateful and a lot more willing to do their part to help.

The money donated will help Young Focus continue to provide healthy meals throughout the day for the children in their programs. Not only that but more mothers will be trained with the know how to provide cheap yet nutritious meals for their children.

As soon as we ended the campaign, Tom and I looked at each other and asked, “What now?” Have we really done everything that we could to help? The answer was simple. No. Despite the funds that we raised, thousands of people will still be living amidst trash.

smokey mountain slums

Their kids will still get respiratory illnesses due to the poor air quality and many will continue to starve and live below the poverty line. We went there knowing that we couldn’t possibly manage to turn things around overnight. Despite that fact, we felt that at least we did something to help. We know that as we travel, everywhere we go, we will encounter poverty.  We’ve seen it everywhere in Asia and we will continue to see it as we make our way around the world.

Our first project taught us many things like how to be more compassionate to those that need it the most. It changed our perspective. It made us believe again in the generosity and kindness of people. As we end our very first The Wandergive Project, we end it with nothing but gratitude. Gratitude for the experience, gratitude to those that gave, but more importantly, gratitude for the opportunity to be in a position to help others.


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