Travel is an invaluable gift. One that continually opens our eyes to the world and its infinite beauty. One that opens our minds and enriches our worldview of cultures and cuisines different from ours. Travel metaphorically erases borders and makes us global citizens.
And the beautiful irony of this gift called travel is that it is a gift we give ourselves. We start weaving travel into our lifestyles in small ways – from changing our mindsets to investing in our very first passports at a young age.
That is exactly what the wonderful and innovative Passport Party Project (PPP) aims to do. To help young girls start weaving travel into their life by helping them secure their first passports, involving them in the process of discovery through activities and virtual assignments, as well as taking them on their first international trips to open up the world to them.
In a nutshell:
The Passport Party Project is a National Geographic award-winning initiative providing first passports, online global awareness training & first-time global travel experiences to underserved American girls 11-15 in an effort to help create responsive and responsible global citizens that travel with heart.
Since its inception, PPP founder, Tracey Friley, was named 2013 National Geographic Traveler of the Year after gifting 100 girls with their first ever passports through the project.
During the first phase (Phase 1), The Passport Party Project gifted 100 underserved girls passports during an 18-month traveling campaign through 10 cities with six girls taking their first international trip to Belize and volunteering at Liberty Childrens Home.
During the second phase (Phase 2), I was honored to be brought onboard as one of several advisors. Six girls traveled to Toronto, Canada, as their first international trip and donated children’s books to The Planeterra Foundation’s Community Library Project in Egypt.
Now in its third phase (Phase 3), I am also honored to be an active travel mentor to 12-year old Elan from Maryland. We’ve been exchanging emails weekly like virtual penpals, and I’ve been encouraging her to learn more about the world. During this phase, the girls will be traveling to Toronto, Canada.To find out how you can support the project, click over to its “How You Can Help” page for additional details including sponsoring a girl, buying a passport, and monetery donations.
Special thanks to the following Phase 3 sponsors who will help 15 girls during this phase embark on their first international trip and start their journeys towards becoming global citizens:
You can follow The Passport Party Project progress on Facebook and Twitter #PassportPartyProject. All my involvement with this project is done voluntarily because I truly believe travel and the awareness it brings is one of the more important gifts we can give our childen.