8 Social Adventurepreneurs set on making the world so much better.
At Much Better AdventuresÂ HQ we spend a lot of our time scouring the world for inspiring projects and changemakers that offer â€˜adventure holidays with a purposeâ€™. These are the kind of people that make us want to do what we do.
Hereâ€™s a list of some of the most inspiring people who have stuck it to the man and made it their lives work to harness the spirit of adventure for social good.
1. Alexander Souri, Relief Riders International
Alexander Souri lives possibly one of the most enviable and honourable lives that we know of. The philanthropist and ex-film producer set up Relief Riders International to run horse ride expeditions with a difference. Their trips run as a way of routinely delivering medical, dental and cataract surgery to isolated communities in Indian and Turkish outbacks. The project has had an incredible impact already and has earned him a very deserved UN Positive Peace Award.
2. Chris Baker, One Seed Expeditions
When at Yale University, Chris conducted research in the Nepali Himalayas and never looked back. Chris and his team spotted an opportunity to offer walking holidays as a way of investing in regional community projects and micro-entrepreneurs, particularly women. All OneSeed expeditions are led by local guides who are carefully protected and looked after. He is taking important strides to raise the bar in the trekking holiday industry. We understand heâ€™s keen on singing in Nepalese, so if you meet him on one of his tours, make sure to ask for a rendition.
3. Afzaal Mauthoor, The Great Projects
Afzaal is a hard man to keep up with. With fingers in many exciting ecotourism-related pies, Afâ€™s array of â€˜Projectsâ€™ offer intelligently put together volunteering holidays around the world in a bid to save many of the worldâ€™s most endangered species. His passion for responsible tourism and animal conservation has won his company fabulous recognition by the travel industry at large, not least ourselves. This man is raising the standards in the voluntourism world, one inspiring project at a time.
4. Mike Brcic, Sacred Rides
Mike runs Sacred Rides and Bikes without Borders – itâ€™s fair to say he quite likes bikes. A pioneer of â€˜responsible ridingâ€™, Mikeâ€™s trips are now international with guided trips available in Guatemala, Patagonia, Nepal and Croatia to name but a few. With an attached charity set up aimed at keeping biking ‘sacred’, Mike and his guides operate to ensure that your time spent on the bike has a positive long term effect on local communities. This guy will go far – both on his bike and with his awesome project.
5. Daniela Papi, PEPY Tours
Daniela set up PEPY Tours, and sister NGO, PEPY, after riding across Cambodia in a fundraising mission and having being inspired to make some positive changes. PEPY offer educational adventures including their flagship cross-country ride through incredible parts of Cambodia. Daniela is currently honing her skills in social entrepreneurship and responsible tourism at Oxford University. She has and will continue to make big leaps in creating positive adventures that have a lasting effect.
6. David Aabo, WAVES for Development
After much globetrotting (and surfing) David decided to create a charity that used surfing as a means of community development. Him and his team have put together some amazing Surf Voluntourism options for people looking to get involved in hands on environmental conservation sustainable development projects in some of the worldâ€™s best surf spots. His projects contributions and future plans for ethical surf travel are epic to say the least.
7. Gopinath Parayil, The Blue Yonder
Gopiâ€™s passion for conservation led him into sustainable tourism and the founding of a multi-award winning adventure holiday operator, The Blue Yonder. He set up the adventure and community tourism company as a means of facilitating sustainable development for his native Kerala region in India. It has since grown to offer unique trips in multiple destinations and his responsible antics have seen him dubbed one of the top social entrepreneurs in India. Watch this space.
8. Polly Alford, Reef Conservation International
Polly quit the big smoke and a comfortable job at IBM in 2003 to follow her passion and set up a marine conservation project. Itâ€™s since become her mission to offer divers of all abilities the opportunity to contribute towards marine and coral reef conservation in as much time as they can offer. Now living the dream in Belize, her team at Reef CI offer opportunities to dive with them in the warm waters of the Caribbean, experience true island life and contribute towards important work. Amazing.
Who else should be added to the list? Give them a shoutout in the comments below.