Congratulations to our winners of the 1st Travel2change Idea Challenge!

We would like to thank our community members for participating in our 1st Travel2change Idea Challenge! The interest and support for travel2change and its mission has been great. It is inspiring as well as reaffirming for us to continue with our work.

We are impressed by the number of project ideas that were submitted during the idea contest between the end of April to early July, receiving over 60 ideas. Project ideas ranged in possibilities and locations – from Sweden to Sri Lanka, Peru to Nepal, the Virgin Islands to Kenya – and all of them had a different take on the theme of water.

Many of the projects had some truly great ideas that would have had a lasting impact on the communities they were meant for. Others were original in the concepts and far-reaching in their goals. And all wanted to make a difference in the day to day lives of someone – making it all the harder to decide where to start. All the submissions and the quality of ideas made the selection of the winning projects extremely challenging. Here is how we ended up selecting the four winning ideas that will be realized in the coming months (August-October 2011).

Selection Process

We studied all the submitted ideas and evaluated the discussions that revolved around them. We pre-selected 16 projects based on our evaluation criteria of creativity, effectiveness, impact, feasibility and sustainability. These projects where then presented to our jury of experts. Their expertise ranges from sustainable tourism, social responsibility, water resources and water management to a background in development and humanitarian aid.

Together with the idea submitters we thoroughly discussed issues such as local support for the project, funding and the feasibility of travel. As our collaboration principle suggests, project ideas that show strong local support and where the project promises to be well integrated into the local community have a stronger and longer lasting impact. Accessibility to the destination or recommended travel times to a respective location due to potential monsoon seasons or other factors were taken into consideration. It was a further necessity that the chosen project has all required funding necessary for the project idea to be implemented.

Our jury evaluated the projects and narrowed down the list to the finalists which were then discussed in the jury meeting we held on July 14. We are excited and happy to announce the winning ideas as follows:

SEP – Soccer, Education and  Prevention in Oyugis, Kenya

WAVES of Voluntourism in Lobitos, Peru

Getting Kids Pumped for School in Horana, Sri Lanka

AmazonArt at the Combu Education Center, Combu Island, Brazil 

Please stay tuned for further information soon – we will keep you updated on the status of each of the projects. For those who did not win during this first challenge, we strongly hope that you continue to be an active part of travel2change and help us continue our efforts. We aim to announce the next travel2change challenge in the autumn after the winning ideas are realized.

Again, thank you to all travel2change members and all of your great and valuable contributions! Let’s keep rethinking travel and realizing your ideas!

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