Dani Pipano, President of Gate 1 Travel, learned early on while working as a tour guide, the immeasurable value of assisting children who are less fortunate. “The children I met, and continue to meet, have recognised that education is an absolute necessity on the road to success. And youngsters in developing countries long for the classroom. Their thirst for learning seems endless”, says Pipano.
It was from these encounters that a dream arose, a dream to enhance and embrace education in developing countries. In the ideal position as owner of a worldwide travel organisation, Pipano was able to turn his dream into a reality with the launch of the Gate 1 Foundation.
Launched in 2012, the Gate 1 Foundation supports local primary schools situated in some of the poorest locales on our tour routes around the world. It offers our travellers the chance to spend time in local classrooms, meeting children and learning about the education they receive in their community. These visits also afford a way for our groups to give back by donating.
The foundation provides what is most needed in these remote areas because many of the local governments only partially fund education, if at all. These efforts focus primarily on the building of permanent structures that can be utilised year after year.
At Bainada Adarsh Vidya Mandir School in India, which is on the route from Jaipur to Agra, new toilets have been built, the main school gate repaired and the infrastructure improved. Travellers to the school are encouraged to bring small items such as notebooks, pencils, stickers, small toys and other suitable things for the school children.
The results speak for themselves, but so do the travellers who have experienced the foundation firsthand. A traveller named Dina who visited Costa Rica said, “The side trip to the school demonstrating Gate 1’s charitable aspect was a wonderful and heart warming experience. It was an emotional experience. Kudos to you all for incorporating this in the tour and your endeavours!” Not only do the children benefit from donated items and foreign interactions, our travellers gain a meaningful and unique experience.
Allan from Australia also commented, “We were especially thankful of Gate 1 including a visit to a school in Chinchero, Peru. This helped put the appreciation of the country in perspective and of course the school was also very appreciative.”
Gate 1’s regional foundation staff keeps in close contact with the communities and schools it serves on an ongoing basis to identify areas in need of support. They determine which projects have the most direct and sizable impact on the lives of the school children. Thanks to this, the program continues to grow and impact many more children. After the success of the first projects in Peru and Costa Rica, project areas continue to expand to countries all over the world including Argentina, Canada, India, Nepal, Thailand, Turkey, and more!
In the United States, the Gate 1 Foundation was formally approved as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organisation in 2015. This means we can accept charitable donations to further increase the scope of efforts to help children. To date, donations have been made to 10 different countries and 25 total schools in need of support.
The future of the Gate 1 Foundation is full of opportunity and hope for the children. Aharoni Zisling, the Vice-President of the foundation, says, “Going forward we want to expand, we want to add countries where we don’t have a presence. Some locations we are considering include Vietnam, Eastern Europe, Tanzania and another school in India.” Local schools in North America are also of interest for the future.
As our business continues to grow, so does the opportunity to provide children with resources that will enrich their days and nourish their minds. It is our hope that as the learning environment improves, so do the chances for successful, happy lives. Visit the Gate 1 Foundation to learn more about our worldwide efforts and how you can bring joy to children around the world.
Watch Gate 1 Foundation’s video here.