Today’s inspirations step it up with their passion for travel

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Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility.

 Meet Jonathan Howe and Kach Medina

Jonathan and Kach are the founders and owners of Two Monkeys Travel Group, a community travel blog focusing on how to build a sustainable life of travel. They have been traveling around the world for over two years now. “The way we make a living changes depending on where we are. We’ve taught English in Asia, been Yoga teachers and massage therapists in Peru and of course, we’re always working on the website, which has become our main form of income.”

Two Monkeys Travel - Charity 4What you do for charity?
“In April of this year, we launched our own NGO charity called Project Backpacker Teacher (PBT). PBT works with schools in rural areas of the Philippines, where English teaching isn’t as well supported, by providing qualified volunteer English teachers and a curriculum to teach one month courses. The volunteer teachers have the chance to enrich their travels and get involved with rural communities, while the kids get an extra injection of English learning. The whole organisation is staffed by volunteers and no money is charged to the schools or the teachers.”

How did this come about?
“We have both been English teachers in the past, in Vietnam and in Peru, so we both know how much of a difference it can make. We also know how many travellers and backpackers want to volunteer as they travel, but more and more charities are charging volunteers thousands of dollars to donate their time, effort and skills – something we disagree with, except for certain situations. We asked for support from our Two Monkeys Travel audience and quickly came up with a team of volunteers to organise events, design banners, teachers to design a curriculum and found a solicitor to take care of all the applications and formalities. So far we have about 150 registered volunteer teachers across the Philippines, with courses planned in schools in various rural areas.”

What have you gotten out of it?
“We don’t get financial reward from it. We’re not paying ourselves as directors and we don’t even publicise the project that much either, but we feel good about the opportunities that Project Backpacker Teacher creates for both sides. It also adds an extra layer to what we do with Two Monkeys Travel, which is something else our readers take a lot of interest in, so in a way we benefit from that as well. The best part is seeing the photos of the events and courses, with all of the teachers in the classrooms and the kids getting their certificates at the end!”

What’s your advice to anyone thinking of doing this?
“Starting up and running a charity or an NGO has turned out to be quite a lot of work! Delegation is extremely important. We’re really lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers, even the team leaders and managers do it all for free in their spare time. We really believe that to make a project like this work, it needs to be something you believe in and are passionate about, because if you don’t really feel it, then the people you ask for help just won’t feel it either.”


Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!


1 Comment

One thought on “Today’s inspirations step it up with their passion for travel”

  1. jet says:

    Hello there! I just found out about this project this morning online and I would like to be a part of this project. I’m an English teacher and I also like to travel.
    When is your next event?

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