Traveling with Ker & Downey Changes Lives
We want to thank you for your support this year. Whether you traveled with us or donated to one of our fundraisers, we were able to give back in a significant way in 2023. A portion of every trip booked with Ker & Downey goes directly back to the communities we travel to. Because of you, we were able to fund our annual medical mission trip to Uganda and contribute to the Grootbos Conservation in South Africa, the Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation in Ecuador, and hospitality scholarships in Asia. We also sent money to aid in the recovery efforts in Türkiye and even brought on a new philanthropy in Egypt!
To learn more about ways Ker & Downey is giving back and how your travels directly help others, read more.
Ker & Downey for Africa
The 2023 annual medical mission trip to Uganda set off in February and visited three villages. Volunteers and local Ugandans were able to distribute 6,000 mosquito nets — 2,000 per village — and treat 4,780 people with medical needs. The money fundraised was used to hire 50 Ugandans to make these medical outreach days happen, including seven doctors, one dentist, three clinicians, seven nurses, and two lab technicians. The rest was spent on mosquito nets, medications, and surgeries for those in dire need. Traveling with Ker & Downey helps fund these annual mission trips, and we are grateful that clients continue to support this philanthropy.
Additionally, the Ker & Downey team adopted 12 students through the Ripples Foundation who receive financial support for schooling, uniforms, computers, and other needs to support their education.
The Grootbos Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming communities and promoting conservation in South Africa. Additionally, they develop sustainable livelihoods through ecotourism, enterprise development, sports development, and education. Over the years, Grootbos has expanded and diversified their female sports program which offers positive engagement, mentorship, and life skills to youths in the community to help them stay on a positive path. Some programs include hockey, netball, female rugby, cross country, athletics, water safety, surfing, and canoeing. The surf therapy program called Shewana teaches water safety and resilience, supports mental health, and encourages female empowerment and awareness of gender-based violence to help stop the cycle. Young women are also given free access to disposable sanitary pads to avoid missing school each month, an issue which often widens the gender gap with male peers.
Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation
The Galo Plaza Lasso Foundation was established to improve the educational, environmental, and socioeconomic wellbeing of the Zuleta community and outlying areas within Ecuador’s Imbabura province. The Condor Huasi Project, which protects and rewilds endangered condors, saw the birth of a new female named Huagcha. Now nine months old, she weighs 18 pounds and is healthy and thriving. Funds donated from Ker & Downey will be used to create bigger and stronger enclosures, platforms, and nesting areas to aid the condors in their growth.
Additionally, the foundation has started their first music program, which allows students from the Zuleta community to express themselves creatively through the power of music.
As travel to southeast Asia continues to increase, ABOUTAsia Travel has been diligently working towards building a scholarship program in partnership with École d'Hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule for students to obtain higher education in the hospitality and tourism industry. Graduates will be able to secure jobs in Siem Reap with greater earning potential, thus trickling down to uplift their families and communities. These skills also give students the chance to work with ABOUTAsia Travel in the future, benefiting both the organization and local graduates of the program.
Thanks to our clients, Ker & Downey contributed over $4,000 to Project HOPE, an organization that is helping the recovery and rebuilding efforts in southeastern Türkiye after the devastating earthquakes in February.
Introducing BrookeUSA Foundation
Ker & Downey is excited to expand our giving program to include the Brooke USA Foundation which raises funds to support a wide variety of worldwide programs whose aim is to improve the lives of working horses, donkeys, and mules, and the people who rely on them. For 600 million people in some of the poorest places in the world, 100 million working animals are their means of making a living. The goal is to see healthy, happy people and equines that work in partnership to achieve economic independence and prosperity.