HEART & SOLE
At RWH Travel, we appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. In addition to our Charitable Trust, which works mainly with projects in the UK, we also have a scheme called Heart & Sole, managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit.
For many years, our clients have made informal donations to places they visit with us but now, through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long-term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. Heart & Sole offers direct financial aid and much-needed support to projects and charities in the UK and overseas, dealing with both large issues such as animal welfare as well as small, and more personal, ventures such as providing schools equipment to the communities we visit as part of our holidays.
By travelling with us, in addition to experiencing the joy of visiting new places, you can help us make a difference in these communities. You’ll find just some of the great projects we currently supporting below, and we welcome suggestions from your travels for new projects we can look into helping. In destinations where we contribute to local projects
Toilet Twinning provides people in the poorest communities on the planet with a decent toilet, clean water and all the information they need to stay healthy. It’s the key to helping whole communities break free of the poverty trap. One of our own toilets at Lemsford Mill has been twinned!
We are delighted to be working in partnership with Water-to-Go. Water-to-Go’s mission is to protect travellers’ health by offering safe, healthy water anywhere in the world and to protect the planet by offering an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic bottles. We look forward to helping them with their aim of changing the world, one bottle, one person at a time. Visit the Water-to-Go website to learn more and benefit from our exclusive 15% discount on your reusable Water-to-Go filtration bottle when you use the code ‘RWH16’
Digswell Place Group – Riding for the Disabled
The Digswell Place Group is a small charity based in Welwyn in Hertfordshire, which provides riding sessions for those less able and for all ages – giving happiness and fun to around 100 disabled riders a week. It is a purpose-built, voluntarily run riding stable where both adults and children benefit both physically and mentally and offers exercise in the open air. It increases strength and self-confidence, and also gives riders the opportunity to meet and socialise with the voluntary helpers.
One of our Heart & Sole team members, Julie, volunteers at the stables which makes this venture even more important to us! Click here to find out more about the RDA’s work.
Cockermouth Mountain Rescue
This volunteer team is responsible for rescuing people and animals from Buttermere (where our property Hassness Country House is located), Ennerdale, Lorton and the Loweswater valley areas of the Lake District and north-west Cumbria. Every booking on our Hassness holidays will mean a direct contribution to this charity. We have a number of 3 to 7-night departures throughout the year offering something for everyone. To find out more about Cockermouth Mountain Rescue, click here.
SOS Children’s Villages
This charity provides help for 78,000 children in 125 countries who have been orphaned through AIDS, poverty or disasters of war. They provide the children with a family and a home in a purpose built village, where they are cared for by an SOS mother until they are an independent adult. We are currently sponsoring villages in Cape Verde, Greece, Morocco, Costa Rica & Malawi. Click here to read more
Hayden Hall, Darjeeling, India
Hayden Hall is a private, non-profit relief and development association based in Darjeeling, India. Their aim is to identify and solve the issues that women, their families and communities face by ensuring their basic needs such as housing, healthcare and education are met while offering training and study to ensure future self-sufficiency.
Monchy Primary School, St Lucia
RWH Travel has joined forces with our hotel partner in St Lucia, the Bay Gardens Inn, to provide funds for the continuation of the Breakfast Club at Monchy Primary School on the island. Ms Patrick, the manager of the Bay Gardens Inn hails from Monchy and on a visit to the school some years ago noted that some students were starting the day without a good breakfast. In additional to financial aid to the school, RWH Travel also supply clients on the St Lucia Adventure holiday a list of teaching aids needed by the school so that they can directly help.
Bhero Kakar Primary School, Rajasthan, India
We visit the Bhero Kakar Primary School on our Majesty of Rajasthan holiday, when we stay in the village of Narlai. Our groups deliver much needed items to the children such as jumpers, school bags, shoes and text books, all sourced locally where possible. Before each group leaves the UK, we contact the headmaster to ask what is needed at that time.
SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) is an international animal welfare charity, aiming to improve the lives of working animals around the world. Millions of families in developing countries depend on horses, donkeys, mules and camels to help them earn a living; but many animals have no access to veterinary treatment and can suffer with preventable illnesses and injuries. SPANA’s centres across Africa and the Middle East provide free veterinary treatment for hundreds of thousands of sick and injured working animals every year, plus they offer education & training and emergency response. Their education programme teaches children and owners respect and compassion for animals.
During conflict, drought and natural disaster, their emergency programme gets help to animals and the communities who depend on them, whenever and wherever they’re needed. Heart & Sole is especially involved with SPANA’s work in Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
Andros Routes, Greece
Andros Routes is the name of a long standing, non profit organisation on the Greek island of Andros that combines research and actions for the environment & culture and for
the sustainable evolution of the island. They record, maintain and promote the traditional hiking routes, as well as record oral history. They aim to involve local residents and visitors in their venture. In addition to making a financial contribution, we also engage one of their guides to walk with us on one day, on our Tinos & Andros holiday, to help us immerse ourselves in island life.
Kilimanjaro Orphanage, Tanzania
The Kilimanjaro Orphanage is located in a small village called Moshi in Tanzania. The orphanage was founded by a local mountain guide called
Edward Lazaro who saw the need for a loving home for children who have lost their parents to HIV and Malaria. With local financial backing, Edward started the orphanage with one small building and through international help it has grown, and now offers schooling, dormitories, a small play area, toilets & showers and they even have their own farm!
One of the Heart & Sole team, Gemma, recently visited the orphanage and donated supplies that had been collected by the RWH office staff and in 2014 Heart & Sole made a donation that enabled the orphanage to buy school uniforms for the children. We visit the Kilimanjaro orphanage on our From the Serengeti to Zanzibar holiday and you can learn more here.
St Joesph’s Hospital, Cape Town
Founded in 1935 by the Pallottine Missionary Sisters, St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children in Cape Town provides holistic healthcare to children from disadvantaged backgrounds to ensure survival and wellbeing. They empower children and their families to look after their health to prevent readmissions to hospitals and so to improve their quality of life. Please click here to learn more about the hospital.
Royal Drakensberg Primary School, KwaZulu Natal
The Royal Drakensberg school was set up by the owner of the Cavern Drakensberg Hotel in 2007 to enable poorer families to send their children to school. The school currently has 48 children in grades 0-5, from different backgrounds and capabilities. To find out more about this fantastic community school Click here to read more.
YODEP is a non-profit making community based youth organisation in Zomba Malawi, whose aim is to address socio-economic conditions encountered by all members of the community affected by HIV/AIDS. YODEP is self sufficient by growing and selling maize to support their programme as well as operating eco-tourism visits to their community.
As part of our visit to Zomba on our Malawi & Zambia holiday we include time in the village community where you can learn more about the group’s work, enjoy a village walk and meet the villagers. In addition to contributing to the community project through our visit, Heart & Sole also provides the RWH group leader with funds to buy items locally that the villagers need such as blankets, sugar and school packs.
Our ground agent in Malawi, Responsible Safari Company, coordinates many community projects throughout the country and you can learn more about them and YODEP here.