There are tonnes of good ideas that can change the world. Regular readers of RESET will already know of a few. Every month, we will choose one idea that stands out thanks to its impact and innovative approach. Our favourite project in July: TeachSurfing, a platform that helps travellers do some good during short stays.
When you’re on holiday or travelling, it can be difficult to make a meaningful contribution to the places that you pass through. A classic, long-term volunteering commitment means having weeks, if not months, to spare. And on short trips it can be difficult to make contact with local people, without the help of an organisation. That’s where the platform TeachSurfing comes in.
The platform, which is free to use, simplifies the process of giving back. Users sign up and provide details about their travel destination, interests and skills. The idea isn’t necessarily to only offer professional knowledge, meaning travellers can also use their native language or hobbies as part of their engagement; everything from IT classes to singing lessons and playing football can be offered. Organisations looking for volunteers with specific skills or knowledge can also post their requirements on the site. Crucially the platform provides an avenue for exchange and building cultural understanding by bringing people from various cultures and backgrounds together, helping to foster connections and provide possibilities for visitors and residents to learn from one another.
TeachSurfing launched in May 2015 and since, 1500 potential TeachSurfers as well as 163 organisations worldwide have signed up. The platform’s founders are now looking to make it useful on a localised level, too, which would see schools and community groups brought together with local volunteers and experts.
Take a look at all our favourite projects: Thumbs Up!
Translated, in part, from this article by Sarah-Indra Jungblut that appeared on our German platform.