Passports with Purpose 2013: Help Build Schools in Mali, Africa

Passports with Purpose 2013: Help Build Schools in Mali, Africa

It’s that time of year again. Today Passports with Purpose kicks off their 6th annual fundraiser.

Last year they hit (and even exceeded) their ambitious goal of $100,000 to fund 5 water wells in Haiti through, and this year there’s a new project:

Raise $115,000 to construct three primary schools and fund three Adult Literacy Programs in the Sikasso Region of Mali, Africa through buildOn.

But we need your help.

Just what is Passports with Purpose?

Passports with Purpose is an annual travel bloggers’ fundraiser, which began in 2008 when they raised $7,500 for Heifer International. While many of us travelers donate and volunteer on our own time, it is a chance for hundreds of like-minded travel bloggers to unite for a great good, and to give back as a collective to areas of the world that need it most.

Each year the campaign has grown significantly, both in the number of participants and with the target goal, and this year is Passports with Purpose’s largest one yet.

And who is buildOn?

The 2013 Passports with Purpose beneficiary is buildOn.


For more than two decades buildOn has mobilized rural villages in some of the poorest countries on the planet like Mali, Malawi, Senegal, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Nepal. In these countries, building schools to educate children is vital to long-term economic growth and sustainability. Research shows there would be a 12% drop in global poverty if all students in low-income countries left school with simply basic reading skills, something that many privileged Americans like myself take for granted.

The 5th poorest country in the world according to the UN’s Human Development Index, Mali also suffers from one of the globe’s lowest literacy rates at 31.1% and only 20.3% for females. To date, buildOn has completed nearly 200 schools in the region, with more than 24,000 children attending buildOn schools in Mali on an annual basis, which is why together, we are working to build 3 primary schools and fund 3 Adult Literacy Programs in the Sikasso, Mali.

So, what’s this about prizes?

This fundraiser wouldn’t be possible without the help of our wonderful donors (that’s you guys), so of course we want to reward them for their efforts.

For every $10 donation, you will receive one entry in a drawing for your prize of choice. The prizes include everything from travel gadgets to hotel stays to even week-long vacation packages. Prize values will range from $100 to those in the thousands of dollars.

So whether you donate $10 for one chance or $200 for 20 chances, it all helps to bring us closer to our goal of $115,000.

My prize…? Well, uh, unfortunately due to my crazy work schedule and time spent finalizing press trips, I was not able to secure a prize for you. Lame, I know. But, while I promise to have one for next year, I still wanted to participate this year by getting the word out for this awesome fundraiser. So in the meantime, go and check out some of the other fabulous prizes procured by other travel bloggers. You can find a full list of prizes in the convenient prize catalog on the Passports with Purpose’s website.

Once the fundraiser ends on December 9, 2013 at 11:59pm EST, a winner will be randomly selected among the bids for each prize. The full list of winners will be posted on the Passports with Purpose main site, and the individual bloggers will notify the prize winners once the draw has been completed.

How To Donate and Bid on Prizes

To participate in Passports with Purpose, you can donate one of two ways.

The first way is to hit the “Donate Now” button at the end of this post.

The second way is to head over to the Donate Landing Page after checking out the prize catalog on the main PwP site. Again, the fundraiser runs from today through December 9, 2013 at 11:59PM Eastern Time. At any time, you can check progress of the fundraiser on the widget in my sidebar, as it will update daily with the current funds raised.

And last, but certainly not least, I just wanted to thank anyone who donates to this amazing cause, as well as the big sponsors who help make Passports with Purpose happen each year: ExpediaDK Eyewitness GuidesRough Guides TBEXHomeAwayHostelBookersGo With Oh, and Eating London.

Now get bidding!


Disclaimer: Images above from Mali are courtesy of buildOn.



  1. December 15, 2013 / 5:11 pm

    Very inspirational, I’m glad you’re promoting such a good cause!

  2. November 26, 2013 / 9:28 am

    This it truly amazing what you’re doing here. I’ll spread the word on my social media channels. Hope it will help!

    • Beth Williams
      November 26, 2013 / 10:36 pm

      Thanks Agness! It’s for a really great cause :)