Everyone deserves the chance to travel. Yet, all too often, seeing the world is a privilege reserved for the global elite. At Elevate Destinations, we bridge the divide. Our goal is to connect local youths to their own environments, as travelers and as stewards.
Through our innovative Buy a Trip, Give a Trip model, your trip purchase creates fun new travel opportunities for local kids. For the first time, they experience nearby natural and cultural wonders. They see the sites, have fun, and make the kind of travel memories that we take for granted. Here’s just one example of Buy a Trip, Give a Trip in action:
25 young men, aged seven to seventeen, from the Noguchi Child Development Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This group was chosen due to the lack of resources and opportunities available to them.
Accompanied by a few staff members from the organization, the group of 25 youth from the Noguchi Child Development Center set off on a day trip to touristic highlights that locals in Sri Lanka often don’t have access to. They visited the Cultural Triangle, including the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks.
At 4:00 am, the 25 young men and three staff members set off on the five-hour bus ride to Sigiriya. Despite the early rise, they didn’t miss a beat and passed the time with a singalong and breakfast en route!
Upon arrival to Sigiriya (also known as Lion Rock), the weather was perfect to hike to the top! Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s most treasured sites. In the 5th century, the site was home to King Kashyapa, who built the fortress and the 1200-step climb to its top. Today, visitors marvel at the panoramic views of green plains and dotted villages below. The skeletal layout of the ancient city within the fortress is a clear reminder of the complexity of urban planning in Sri Lanka even back then, and it served as a wonderful cultural learning opportunity for the youth as they explored.
Lunch was taken at a nearby restaurant where the generous owner and restaurant staff gifted the group a box full of much needed stationary items! Over the moon from their morning explorations and their gift, the group enjoyed a peaceful lunch.
In the afternoon, the group ventured to Kaudulla National Park – an area famous for its elephants – for a game drive. The boys had never seen elephants before, and it was their first time in a Jeep. Spirits were soaring high!
For the first hour, the elephants remained elusive but suddenly, the group came upon ten elephants from a safe distance! An extraordinary experience for youths and staffers alike, the game drive lasted three hours before the group returned to Colombo.
Partner Organization: Noguchi Children’s Home
Noguchi Children’s Home fosters 25 boys aged seven – seventeen from the Colombo area. The youth that reside here were abandoned by their parents or came from families who had difficulties caring for them. The program helps these boys gain access to necessary resources and become successful as they move into adulthood.
This trip was made possible by the hard work and generosity of our ground partners in Sri Lanka, Khiri Travel.