Make YOUR Impact

You can make an impact through unique service projects focused on the 17 UN Development Goals

Worldwide Navigators gives groups an opportunity to engage in sustainable, purposeful travel to make an impact through unique service projects focused on community engagement. These service projects fall within the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, which are the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for people and the planet. At the heart of each of our itineraries is a component to add impactful projects to each of our trips.  Below, browse the many impacts Worldwide Navigators gives groups on all of our international trips and choose yours! Go. See. Be. Worldwide.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

While extreme poverty has decreased significantly since the 1990s, around 10% of the population today experiences extreme poverty. This population lives on less than $1.90USD a day. It is estimated that more than half of the extreme poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa, totaling 413 million people living on less than $1.90USD a day, majority of which live in rural areas, are poorly educated, employed in the agricultural sector and under the age of 18. Access to education, health care, clean water, electricity, and other services remain elusive for many people. 

Ending extreme poverty requires universal collaboration from local, national and multi-national institutions. The common aim of this United Nations Sustainable Development Goal is to open access to universal social protection systems aimed to safeguard all individuals throughout their lifecycle. 

Take Action:

  • Microeconomic Projects – Economic growth is a great tool in the fight against poverty in developing countries. Microeconomic projects encourage individuals to build their skillset within a chosen industry. Increased capital leads to more opportunity for education, access to health care and other public services.
  • Introduce new skills: this could include sewing or weaving techniques, allowing villages to gain access to local and national markets.
  • Introduce more nutritious food options: Insufficient nutrition is a poverty trap to many of the global poor. Low nutrition greatly impacts ones ability to do physical work.
  • Provide access to medical care: Accessible medical services remain elusive for many of the global poor. Acute and chronic illnesses lead to very low levels of productivity but access to these services and community health education can aid in the development of healthy, sustainable communities.
  • Introduce new tools: Many poor spend a significant amount of time trying to meet daily needs such as collecting water or other resources for basic survival. This behavioral poverty trap leaves little time to focus on solving other problems that could potentially lead to increased income.

Sample Projects

  • Animal agriculture projects such as introducing chickens help bring villages to market, where they can sell and trade livestock or animal products with other community members and villages 
  • Sponsoring or launching a small business provides women with management skills and the capital they can use to start their own venture which results in increased productivity, employment and eventually education for their children

Unlike many of the other Sustainable Development Goals, statistics regarding  world hunger appear to be on the rise again. Conflict, drought, and climate change related disasters are all influential factors in this increase. In 2016, 815 million people were considered undernourished. In 2017, 151 million children under the age of 5 suffered from stunting as a result of little access to proper nourishment. 

Take Action:

  • Many interlinkages exist between education, opportunity and health. Insufficient nutrition is a poverty trap to many of the global poor. Low nutrition greatly impacts ones ability to do physical work leading to very low levels of productivity that stand as barriers to any means of development 

Sample Projects:

  • An Egg A Day Project – Past groups have purchased chickens for schools which encourages parents to send their children so they can receive protein and a free meal
  • The gift of livestock provides communities with animal byproducts such as eggs or milk
  • Introduce moringa plants into communities. Moringa seeds are nutrient dense and offer an immense amount of vitamins, calcium, iron and essential amino acids 

Preventable diseases still account for significant amount of premature deaths around the world. Little access to healthcare results in many reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health issues in the developing world. In 2015, 303,000 women died of complications during childbirth and under 5 mortality rates were in the millions. Infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases are also much higher in neglected areas. Little access to safe drinking water leads to the upwards of 800,000 deaths per year and household and outdoor air pollution accounted for 7 million deaths in 2016 alone. 

Take Action:

  • Educating communities and providing services such as women’s healthcare, prenatal and postnatal training, and women’s health education can lead to decreased mortality rates
  • Installation of simple water filtration and storage systems allow families and communities to better avoid water borne illnesses. Education on boiling water before use can also provide relief
  • Proper indoor ventilation will greatly reduce air pollution related deaths. Education on the benefits of cooking outside vs. inside help too
  • Nearly 800 children die every day from malaria in regions where mosquito carry the disease. Proper education, prevention and protection methods can aid in reducing this number of fatalities drastically

Sample Projects:

  • Donate water filtration systems to communities who have little to no access to a fresh water source. The systems we have experience using can be connected to an existing tank or water source resulting in little to no need for additional infrastructure. These systems are small, require little maintenance, are easy to train local community leaders and can last up to 10 years!
  • Community education projects on cooking and the importance of good indoor ventilation can aid in the decrease of air pollution related deaths
  • The donation of mosquito nets in areas that have a prevalence of mosquito borne illness can help better protect families while they sleep
  • Introduce moringa plants into communities. Moringa seeds are nutrient dense and offer an immense amount of vitamins, calcium, iron and essential amino acids which are especially important for expecting mothers
  • Lucky Iron Fish Project – Iron deficiency anemia is among the world’s more common deficiencies, especially in the developing world. Anemia not only effects women, but unborn children too leading to higher risk of mental underdevelopment. The Lucky Iron fish is a small cooking tool that infuses meals with a healthy amount of natural iron to help prevent iron deficiency and anemia

According to estimations by the United Nations, more than half of the world’s children are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. These disparities are often dependent location, gender and socio-economic status. 

Take Action:

  •  Increased opportunity and access to capital naturally leads to more educated individuals. Once a family is able to meet their basic needs, they begin to invest in the health and education of their children. 

Sample Projects:

  • Teach abroad! English classes, community health education, family planning classes– the sky is the limit!
  • Help create a safe space through sponsoring or building a school
  • Participate in Project Light, where you will give the gift of light to school children so they can read and study after the sun goes down
  • An Egg A Day Project – Past groups have purchased chickens for schools which encourages parents to send their children so they can receive protein and a free meal
  • Give Light! – light is a great gift for people who have little to no access to electricity. When the sun goes down student’s can continue to study, read, or play! 

Gender equality continues to act as a barrier for women in the developing world leading to a lack of access to services and the deprivation of basic human rights. According to UN data, an estimated 21% of women ages 20-24 years old reported that they had been involved in a child marriage before the age of 18. In 2017 alone, 1 in 3 girls were subjected to FGM. Women in developing countries have reported to spend over three times as many ours in unpaid domestic work than men. 

Take Action:

  • Increasing female access to education and opportunity can lessen the gap between men and women in developing countries.
  • Teaching women new skills and trades can lessen the income gap between men and women.

Sample Projects:

  • Sponsoring or launching a small business provides women with management skills and the capital they can use to start their own venture which results in increased productivity, employment and eventually education for their children

Unsafe drinking water and sanitation contribute to millions of cases of diarrheal diseases and intestinal nematode infections a year as it is estimated that 29% of the global population lack access to safe water and 61% lack access to managed sanitation services.  Flooding, lack of a proper wastewater systems and water scarcity further hinder development.   

Take Action:

  •  Increased educational initiatives teach individuals the skills to better analyze, prepare, and consume water to decrease the risk of illness. This could included choosing safer water sources, boiling water before use and better managing waste disposal

Sample Projects:

  • Install a water purification system for a community in need! Our filtration systems can filer and store up to 500 gallons a day, are simple to use and last 10 years!
  • Educational classes teaching hand washing and proper hygiene can help kinds and families stay healthy 

Access to energy has increased significantly in the last decade leaving just below 1 billion people without access to electricity. Although this number continues to rise, 41% of the world’s population still rely on polluting fuel and stove combinations that lead to damaging levels of both indoor and outdoor air pollution. 

Take Action:

  •  Educating families on the risks of indoor air pollution can decrease the amount of people who cook indoors without proper ventilation. 

Sample Projects:

  • Give light to those without access to electricity

Although labor productivity continues to increase, there are many inequalities that still exist. Wage differentiates greatly between men and women in the developing world and many work places are unfit in terms of safety and security. 

Take Action:

  • Poverty, hunger and little opportunity often lead to low rates of labor productivity. Introducing goods, financing a micro-economic project or investing in the schooling of children and women lead to greater opportunity and the ability to compete at market 

Sample Projects:

  • Donate a water buffalo, goat, cow, rabbits or chickens- the list is truly endless. The gift of livestock helps locals integrate into their market, allowing for trade, increased capital and the ability to compete at market
    • Rabbits are farmers helpers. Rabbit manure provides a nutrient rich fertilizer for cop production. Due to the breeding rates of rabbits, owners are able to pass on the gift to other families several times a year
    • Most pigs can live 10-15 years and thrive on crop gardens and byproduct scraps. The average sow can provide 16 or more piglets a year,  making it a viable and long term path to sustainability. Piglets are competitive goods in most countries which provides farmers the opportunity to purchase clothing, schooling, and other important necessities 
    • In many regions, the water buffalo is considered a farmer’s most prized possession. A farmer can plant fur times more rice with the assistance of a water buffalo than they can by hand. Water buffalo also provide rich milk to make cheese and provide nourishment for the family
  • “An Egg A Day” Project – In many places parents keep their children home from school to assist with daily duties. It is also often the case that families cannot afford to send all of their children to school which usually results in parents sending their oldest or their sons. The egg a day project incentivizes parents to send their daughters to school where they will be provided an egg a day — nourishment they are not able to get at home

Manufacturing has experienced a steady increase in the global south which has resulted in an influx in employment and income. Further investment can result in a competitive gain for trade and enable developing countries to better compete on an international scale. 

Take Action:

  • The ability to be connected in such a globalized world is paramount to growth. This catalyzes innovation and communication in developing countries that still lack much of the infrastructure that can be found elsewhere. 
  • Microeconomic Projects – Economic growth is a great tool in the fight against poverty in developing countries. Microeconomic projects encourage individuals to build their skillset within a chosen industry. Increased capital leads to more opportunity for education, access to health care and other public services

Sample Projects:

  • Donate solar phone charges to help communities stay connected! 
  • Introduce new skills: this could include sewing or weaving techniques, allowing villages to gain access to local and national markets
  • Animal agriculture projects such as introducing chickens help bring villages to market, where they can sell and trade livestock or animal products with other community members and villages 
  • Sponsoring or launching a small business provides women with management skills and the capital they can use to start their own venture which results in increased productivity, employment and eventually education for their children

According to the United Nations, “Efforts have been made in some countries to reduce income inequality, increase zero-tariff access for exports from LDCs and developing countries, and provide additional assistance to LDCs and small island developing States (SIDS). However, progress will need to accelerate to reduce growing disparities within and among countries.”

Increasing population paired with rapid rates of increased urbanization contribute to problems such as health issues, negative environmental impacts, urban sprawl and increased vulnerability to disasters. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that 91% of urban populations are breathing air that did not meet air quality standards. The same year it is estimated that 4.2 million people died as a result of high levels of ambient air pollution. 

Development and sustainable development are two very different things. The ability to separate economic growth from resource use is one of the biggest challenges the global community faces today. The material footprint for fossil fuels is 4X higher in developed countries than in developing countries. “But how are developing countries supposed to grown capital without greater resource dependence,” you may ask? That’s what SDG 12 is all about!

Take Action:

  • Teaching sustainable techniques in agricultural processes can help minimize negative environmental impacts on water resources, soil degradation etc. It can also greatly minimize the greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Transitioning economies that have extremely negative impacts into economies that have better opportunity can open doors for development and conservation of natural resources 

Sample Projects:

  • Educational courses focused on farming can help communities develop in a way that is best for the environment and the land they depend so heavily on
  • Supporting local ecotourism can help locals begin the transition from harmful income generation. In the past we have had groups rent boats from Indonesian shark fisherman for tourism reasons. The fisherman then have their income replaced by tourists who prefer to see sharks alive instead of dead

 

A study by the World Meteorological Organization identified 2013 to 2017 as the hottest years on record, 2017 measuring in 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Climate change accelerates melting of ice sheets, the rising of sea levels, increases the intensity of weather conditions as well as concentrations of greenhouse gases. Climate change continues to threaten life on land and life in the oceans, impacting the availability of life necessities such as food , energy, and freshwater. 

Take Action:

  • Teaching sustainable techniques in agricultural processes can help minimize negative environmental impacts on water resources, soil degradation etc. It can also greatly minimize the greenhouse gas emissions

Sample Projects:

  • Educational courses focused on farming can help communities develop in a way that is best for the environment and the land they depend so heavily on
  • Donate bees to communities! By acting as pollinators, bees promote bio diversity (Goal 15) and fight hunger (Goal 2). They provide jobs (Goal 8) in agricultural sectors which aids in reducing poverty

Although majority of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, less than 1% of that has the ability to harbor coral reefs. Home to over 4,000 species of fish, 800 species of hard corals and hundreds of other species, coral reefs are considered keystone species as their continued health is vital to the wellbeing of many others. Additionally, coral reef ecosystems have a very tight tie with regional and worldwide economics. According to Madeleine Van Oppen of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, coral reefs generate a net economic benefit of approximately $30 billion USD annually. The Great Barrier Reef Maine Park Catchment Area generates $4.3 billion USD annually from tourism, commercial fishing and other recreational activities alone. Human well-being is also greatly influenced by coral ecosystems as over 1 billion people depend directly on reefs for their livelihood and coral reefs have also proven to have enormous untapped potential for new strains of antibiotics and other medicinal purposes. Healthy reefs provide protection to coastal communities and play a vital role in Earth’s carbon cycle; however, the extensive amount of carbon emissions in the last century have disrupted this balance and coral species are now on the brink of extinction. Currently, 20% of the Earth’s coral reefs have been destroyed. 24% of current reefs are under imminent threat of collapse and 26% are under a long-term threat of collapse. The loss of such a keystone species would be catastrophic and there are no known substitutes to effectively fill the many roles coral ecosystems play.

The ocean provides food for four out of ten people in the world, It protects communities from the dangerous effects of climate change, and provides an income for billions of people.

Take Action:

  • Help reduce the flow of plastic waste that enters the sea through community education and clean ups. Share insight on the harmful impacts of plastic pollution on both human and environmental health
  • Support ecotourism ventures for locals to help the transition to more sustainable livelihoods

Past Projects:

  • Our teams have hosted several beach clean ups abroad in partnership with local communities and organizations
  • Invasive species can be very dangerous to ecosystems they do not belong in. We have hosted group sin Belize spearing invasive lion fish
  • Supporting local ecotourism can help locals begin the transition from harmful income generation. In the past we have had groups rent boats from Indonesian shark fisherman for tourism reasons. The fisherman then have their income replaced by tourists who prefer to see sharks alive instead of dead
  • Education on proper waste disposal can reduce the amount of trash that goes into the sea

It’s no surprise that human life depends on the earth as much as it does the ocean. Plant life provides 80% of our human diets and we rely on agriculture as a important source of economic resources and means of development. Our global forest provide habitat for keystone species and act as giant filtration systems for clean air and water. In more recent times, the sheer amount of land degradation and deforestation has lead to drought and the greatest loss of arable land in history. Of the 8,300 animal breeds known today, 8% are extinct and 22% are greatly endangered. 

Take Action:

  • Help replant the forests one tree at a time! 
  • Supporting local ecotouism ventures show the value of conservation and the value of protecting species that are often killed for consumptive reasons

Sample Projects:

  • Plant trees!
  • Support local ecotourism
  • Donate bees to communities! By acting as pollinators, bees promote bio diversity (Goal 15) and fight hunger (Goal 2). They provide jobs (Goal 8) in agricultural sectors which aids in reducing poverty

Regional violence, instability and insecurity have hindered development in countries around the globe. Crime, exploitation and torture forcibly displaced 68.5 million people in 2017 alone. This goal focus’ on the reduction of violence in all forms, working with governments and communities to find lasting solutions to conflict and insecurity and providing support to communities who have been directly impacted.

Take Action:   


Sample Project:

  • Get involved in the conversation! – Education is key in communities who experience the many forms of instability and violence. Teaching about healthy relationships and boundaries can help reduce 

WHY IT MATTERS

Water Pollution
Water is crucial to all life on Earth yet we don't care for it like we should. It is estimated at 80% of the world's wastewater is dumped-- untreated-- back into the environment. Chemicals and pollutants in this wastewater contaminate lakes, oceans, and rivers and jeopardize the health of people, plants and animals. Currently, less than 1% of Earth's freshwater resources are accessible to us and this percentage will continue to decrease as polar ice and glaciers continue to melt.
Waste
From micro-plastics to plastic bags, human waste has reached every corner of the globe. It is estimated that over 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every single year.
Melting of the Polar Ice Caps
Climate change and the warming of our atmosphere have lead to alarming rates of ice melt around the globe. For decades, scientists have been observing the change in ice distribution and have sounded an alarm to action before it's too late. Ancient glaciers found at Mt. Kilimanjaro, Glacier National Park, the Alps, Himalayas, and in South America are almost nonexistent. Monstrous glaciers from the Arctic to Peru, from Switzerland to the glaciers of Man Jaya in Indonesia are receding at faster rates than ever before.

When this happens, more water flows to the seas and ocean water then expands and warms. Melt in the last 100 years has resulted in global sea level rise between 4 and 8 inches, swallowing coastal land and flooding some of our most iconic cities. The Himalayan glaciers alone provide more than half of the drinking water for 40% of the world's population. If these glaciers cease to exist, 2.6 billion people will face extreme water shortages.
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Species Diversity
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Single Use Plastic
Over 500 billion single use plastic bags are used worldwide by shoppers every year. This translates into 150 bags a year for every single person on earth, which is the equivalent to a million bags being used globally every single minute. Not only are plastic bags harmful to animals and humans, they also hold many negative environmental impacts. Every day, we are learning of new and worsened impacts as a result of the overuse and improper disposal of plastic materials.

Plastic bags take years to disintegrate, and often break down into smaller pieces eventually reaching a minuscule size that acts as a polymer and is toxic when ingested by animals and people. These toxins magnify as they move through the food chain, eventually reaching the plates of people, the world’s top predator and consumer. I would like to know more about the effects these chemicals have on people once consumed, and I believe the findings will influence a change in the popular use of plastic bags as we learn of the harmful effects they cause
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Climate Change
A study by the World Meteorological Organization identified 2013 to 2017 as the hottest years on record, 2017 measuring in 1.1 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Climate change accelerates melting of ice sheets, the rising of sea levels, increases the intensity of weather conditions as well as concentrations of greenhouse gases. Climate change continues to threaten life on land and life in the oceans, impacting the availability of life necessities such as food , energy, and freshwater. 
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Carbon Sequestration in the Seas
Oceans play a major role in the carbon cycle by acting as a carbon sink, oceans are estimated to absorb 90% of the heat in the atmosphere and 26% of the carbon dioxide. The burning of more fossil fuels which releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which then in turn increases the temperature of the atmosphere poses as the most significant threat to coral species. Levels of increased carbon dioxide in the ocean react with the chemistry of the water to form a weak acid. This acid dissolves the skeletons of corals and other marine life. Coral species have yet to gain the ability to evolve quick enough to be able to handle such acidic conditions- further devastating ocean ecosystems.
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Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases are atmospheric gases that hold in heat - carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous dioxide are the key greenhouse gases emitted by human activity. Carbon dioxide accounts for an estimated 80% of total emissions and is generated through deforestation, transportation and energy production. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas which is emitted from agricultural activities, waste management and biomass burning. Nitrous oxide is primarily sourced through fertilizer use in agricultural production.

Global carbon emissions have spiked significantly since the industrial revolution trapping infrared radiation that would otherwise escape the Earth's atmosphere. As a result, the temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans are getting dangerously warmer.
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Overfishing
Worldwide, approximately 80% of fisheries are in a state of collapse due to over-exploited, unsustainable practices. This heightened loss of species poses a serious threat to the ecological unity of entire ecosystems as well as the dependent relationship people have on world-wide fish stocks.
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Deforestation
Deforestation is a modern plague impacting, communities, ecosystems, and the health of our planet. In 2017, it was estimated that the equivalent of one football field of forests were cut every single second. One of the biggest causes of deforestation is agriculture, especially in developing countries.
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Modern Day Slavery
Modern day slavery is a global threat that reaches every corner of the world. Victimhood is not always clear cut as it can be found in your favorite neighborhood restaurant just as it is found in production lines and rural farms half a world away. The face of modern slavery is fluid and victimization comes in the form of sex workers, servents, child soldiers, construction workers, and the list goes on.

The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally. Of these, 81% are trapped in forced labor, 25% are children, 75% are women and girls. The International Labor Organization estimates that forced labor and human trafficking is a $150 billion industry worldwide. Out of the 24.9 million people trapped in forced labour, 16 million people are exploited in the private sector such as domestic work, construction or agriculture; 4.8 million persons in forced sexual exploitation, and 4 million persons in forced labour imposed by state authorities.
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Ocean Acidification
As the Earth continues to warm, more and more heat is absorbed by the oceans. In addition to heat, our oceans act as a global carbon sink as they absorb about 25 of the carbon dioxide produced by humans every single year. As carbon dioxide dissolves in the ocean, it forms into carbonic acid and the ocean becomes more acidic, shifting pH balances that billions of ocean organisms rely on.

Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon emissions have increased steadily and it is estimated that the seas have become 30% more acidic in the last 100 years than they have in an observed 300 million years. Coral reefs are unable to cope with the changing pH levels which results in coral bleaching. Consequences of ocean acidification will be felt by everyone, especially the billions of people who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods, food, and survival.
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Air Pollution
Increased industrialization has lead to the discharge of a stew of differed gasses that impact the lives of millions of individuals. Most air pollution comes from energy use, production and agriculture. It is especially destructive as air pollution not only contributes to climate change, but is also exacerbated by it.
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Increased Refugee Migration
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Sustainable Fishing Techniques
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