Himalayan school student, Footprints networkEight years and A$1.7m in micro-donations later, The Footprints Network, founded in 2005, has just launched its 100th charity project with founding partner, the Australian Himalayan Foundation (AHF), to raise A$25,000 for the AHF’s Teacher Training and Quality Education program in one of the poorest regions of Nepal.

Creator Simon Monk, Executive Director, Online and Innovation at World Nomads Group, said more than 725,000 people have made micro-donations to Footprints through member e-commerce sites.

“I am delighted with how far Footprints has come over the years,” Mr Monk said. “To have reached our 100th project is a huge achievement.”

Carolyn Hamer-Smith, General Manager at the AHF, says Footprints donations have enabled the training of 800 teachers in 137 schools throughout the Lower Solu Khumbu region where over 20% of children are out of school.”

Footprints is an Australian not-for-profit association working with websites such as Worldnomads.com, Travel Insurance Direct and SureSave.

Its technology is available for e-businesses to integrate into their web sites, for more information please visit http://footprintsnetwork.org/.

Mr Monk said it costs nothing, is placed in the booking path, and has actually been proven tom increase conversion rates.

The 100th project will aim

Simon Monk, , says Footprints was founded in response to the devastating Asian Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and strives to make a tangible difference to the lives of the people living in impoverished communities.

“With two billion of the world’s population living on less than $2 a day, we saw an opportunity to encourage many people to make small donations which, collectively, could make a huge difference for disadvantaged communities around the world,” says Monk.

“I am delighted with how far Footprints has come over the years. To have reached our 100th project is a huge achievement. It is only fitting that we are working with the AHF as we reach this milestone, as they were one of our founding partners.”

Since 2005, more than 725,000 people have made microdonations to Footprints through member e-commerce sites, raising over $1.7 million across 99 projects in the process.

Carolyn Hamer-Smith, General Manager at the AHF, says that the Foundation is extremely proud of how far AHF and Footprints have come.

“This innovative program has raised substantial funds for the AHF’s Teacher Training and Quality Education Program in the Lower Solu Khumbu region where over 20% of children are out of school. With ongoing support from the Footprints program, we have trained over 800 teachers in 137 schools and provided over 16,000 children with a quality education that can change lives. Footprints has also supported the AHF to select and train over 50 key teachers who have in turn gone on to train their fellow teachers,” says Hamer-Smith.

The AHF’s project has gained accolades in Nepal, with the Nepalese Department of Education citing the program as the best of its kind in rural Nepal, in addition to recognition from the Australian Embassy in Nepal.

Over its eight years in operation, the Footprints Network has funded a variety of projects including a clean water project in the Mentawai Islands, a project to end forced marriages in Indonesia and a project to keep children safe in schools in Vanuatu, just to name a few. Footprints also provides donors with updates, news and results on the projects that they contribute to.

Monk says that the company is looking forward to the next stage for the Footprints Network.

“It’s a great feeling to be giving back to the communities in which we travel and to know that what we are doing is making a real difference to people around the world. Everyone involved should be very proud of the footprints we are leaving, our project has already moved beyond our initial hopes,” says Monk.

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