Our Story

Our Story…

Learn about our work and the beginning of our story…

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Children

Have you ever had a vision so big that it scared you?

I had been toying with an idea for a few years and it was one of those ideas that I had always put off. The idea was too big and it just seemed so unattainable.

“I don’t know how to do it. I’ll start it when travel picks up again. I’ll look into it when I’m more successful.”

There was always an excuse that I would come up with and a story I would always tell myself. The biggest one, “Who am I to start this?” But that niggling feeling was constantly there, bubbling away every time I travelled.

This idea was bought to the forefront again during my trip to West Africa. I saw children working on the streets and living in poverty and I knew that there was more I could be doing to help. Not in a ‘white saviour’ way but in a sustainable way to create opportunities to help lift children out of poverty and get the care they need after experiencing any trauma. There are some amazing organisations and projects out there that I have come across that are in alignment with how I want to help.

But my idea was still too scary. I did some research then parked it again, focusing on inspiring women to travel with my blog, Girl about the Globe. 

Then the situation happened in Ukraine. And as I heard the first-hand experience of someone I had met in Ukraine during my trip there, I felt hopeless.How could I possibly help those fleeing the country? More importantly, how can I help the children that shouldn’t be experiencing the fear, the confusion, and the displacement and separation from their parents as a result of the conflict? I don’t want to feel hopeless anymore…

The idea was born…

Ten years ago I started my blog to document if there was life after divorce (yes there is!) And my journey has taken me to 147 countries. But the more I travel, the more I see the poverty and issues within countries. I feel that as travellers, we have a duty to give back to the communities of the countries that we visit and to empower the lives of the children that we meet.

I have always donated 10% of my net profits to organisations helping vulnerable girls about the globe but it was then when I knew it was time to step up and do more. 

The idea for the Girl about the Globe Foundation was born.

Girl about the Globe has always been an advocate for conscious travel. My strapline is “Maximum adventure, minimum impact,” and my vision is to create 100,000 conscious travellers and to impact the lives of 100,000 vulnerable girls about the globe before 2025.

I believe that every girl in every country should have access to shelter, water, education, aid, love, and protection, and I aim to empower and help those who don’t. I choose organisations that align with these values and I currently donate to these charities:

Protection: War Child empowers children and young people in conflict areas by providing psychosocial support, stimulating education and protecting children from the trauma of war.

Love: Invisible Girl Project is a non-profit organisation that seeks to end the atrocity of gendercide in India. They raise global awareness concerning the loss of female lives in India, pursue justice, and assist in the rescue and care for girls.

Shelter: Street Child has dedicated street teams and social workers who gain the trust of street children to help them back on the road to a secure family environment. They also work in rural areas to prevent children from a life on the streets.

Education: – In Afghanistan, instead of going to school, girls are sent to factories to work, forced to marry, or denied an education by being told to stay at home. Malala Fund’s aim is to give every girl hope for tomorrow, and believe that nothing is more important than a girl’s education.

Water: Globally, 785 million people don’t have access to safe water. Just a Drop brings sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities. Their work has reached over 1.5 million people with safe water and sanitation.

Aid: The International Rescue Committee is a global humanitarian aid and relief non-governmental organisation that responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

But it’s time to do more…

Hope bears

For the Foundation I’ll continue to donate 10% of my net profits to these organisations helping vulnerable girls and I want to start new projects in countries too! But I also want to concentrate on hope.

That’s where the teddy bears come in. Hope bears are a way of providing comfort to a child affected by trauma, to show them that others are thinking of them and to give them a feeling of hope.

I came up with the idea of a trauma bear (now called hope bear), when I was approached by a man in a cafe in Azerbaijan. He was deaf and selling teddies as a way of income. I immediately bought one from him and my little pink teddy became my travelling companion, travelling with me on my ongoing travels. Even when its eye fell off, I kept it with me.

It was small enough to carry in my backpack and it gave me a sense of comfort travelling alone, especially when I had those lonely moments on the road. Then I had a realisation. If it gave me – a grown woman – so much comfort, what would it give a young girl going through trauma?

The Foundation

I researched it and discovered that my idea wasn’t new. Trauma ‘teddies’ were an initiative started by the Australia Red Cross in 1990. They asked people to knit teddies and then sent the knitted teddies to children affected by disaster events around the globe.

So again, I sat with the idea for years not doing anything about it. Not really believing that I could do it or even knowing how to do it. Then I saw a news report of a child clutching her teddy bear as her family left Ukraine. And I knew it was the right time to step out of my own way and make my vision of hope bears come true.

My goal is to send these soft little bears to children that are affected by conflict. To show them that others are thinking of them, to give them comfort at night and to give them a feeling of hope within a traumatic period in their lives. Thank you for supporting my vision. Lisa x