Travel4Purpose is a travel platform launched by Kenyan-born Shammi Shah (Sham for short) with the aim to promote sustainable travel in Kenya and other countries around the world.
The Podcast Interview
I recently had Sham on the podcast to discuss the work Travel4Purpose is doing in Kenya with regards to sustainable travel and community development.
Sham was born in Mombasa, Kenya and moved to London, UK with her family when she was 6. After 20+ years of following the social norm; school, university, 9-5 corporate job etc, she realised it was time to break free and align with her life’s purpose – creating impact.
On the 18th of June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sham launched Travel4Purpose to serve that life’s purpose. The platform promotes travelling authentically; interacting with locals, venturing off the beaten track and having a purpose while on the road.
“I learnt a thing or two while on the road, the main one being that creating smiles for others and yourself is THE most treasured feeling. Travel can be used as a force for good; positively impacting everyone involved, including Mama Earth.”– Shammi Shah, Travel4Purpose
In the podcast, we discuss Sham’s journey to Kenya to discover her rich cultural heritage and work on local projects that promote a positive impact on both people and the planet. We talk about her life in Kenya, the projects Travel4Purpose supports e.g. tree-planting programs for conservation and health programs for women in need. I also get a short lesson in Swahili (around the 29-min mark) to learn some of the local language.
Travel4Purpose Sustainable Travel Advice for Kenya
Karibu means ‘welcome’ in Swahili. Travel4Purpose brings together conservation and community to curate meaningful experiences throughout Kenya, in Nairobi, Mombasa and soon to be Lamu.
“Launching a travel company in the middle of a pandemic has allowed me to grow the brand and develop itineraries that promote sustainable economic development for the local people,” Sham explains. “Kenya was heavily impacted by the economic loss brought upon by COVID-19. Many are hoping tourism will pick up again soon.”
When that time does come, visitors have the chance to join experiences that focus on supporting the locals and ensuring tourism dollars go towards the benefit of the local economy and the environment.
Some examples of the experiences are:
- Learn agriculture with Maasai tribes
- Learn basket weaving with local women’s groups
- Take a safari and learn about local conservation efforts
- Stay in a village homestay
- Experience nature walks and hikes
- Volunteer in the community
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Travel4Purpose Community Development Projects in Kenya
With Sham based in Kenya and able to speak the local language, Travel4Purpose is actively involved in many community projects.
Tsavo (Kenya’s largest national park) experienced destructive fires for 6 months, destroying mass areas of nature. With a mission to restore Tsavo’s ecosystem, Travel4Purpose aims to plant 6 million trees to balance biodiversity and help wildlife thrive once again.
Travel4Purpose holds beach clean ups, to help reduce waste going into the ocean and save marine life. The beach cleanups are a way to raise awareness and spread knowledge to the local community about environmental conservation.
Sanitary Pads Distribution
Sanitary pads are a luxury for many in Kenya. Tragically in some cases, women and girls are forced to exchange large amounts of money or even sexual activities to access sanitary products. Travel4Purpose distributes reusable pads to women in remote areas with water access. Each woman is given 1 packet with 6 washable inserts and 2 covers all in a waterproof bag, that will last them 3 years. The women are also provided with feminine hygiene education to help end the taboo around menstruation.
To support the work of Travel4Purpose whether you are in Kenya or abroad, contact Sham via the website here.