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Conservative Party Rwanda Social Action Project Boosts Volunteer Travel

Fresh from volunteering on social action projects in Rwanda with David Cameron and the Conservative Party, trip organisers Different Travel highlight the benefits of short-term volunteering and voluntourism.

London, United Kingdom, August 13, 2007 --(PR.com)-- In his speech to the Rwandan government, David Cameron said that some people had told him to stay and deal with the problems at home. But he said that at a time of climate change, global trade and migration, the rich cannot escape the consequences of global poverty and instability, calling for concerted and practical action.

Last year, The Different Travel Company were asked by David Cameron and Andrew Mitchell (Shadow Secretary of State for International Development) to assist them in finding a series of community development projects in Rwanda, and together with the Conservatives, The Different Travel Company have helped find and develop over 20, ranging from assisting ministers modelling good practice, working with mayors on budget management and financial systems, developing the sports infrastructure, developing and implementing medical programmes, teaching football and cricket to young people and refurbishing a school and accommodation centre for survivors of the 1994 genocide".

The initiative - known as Project Umubano (which means friendship and co-operation in the local language) won the support of the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, who met with the Party volunteers.

But Shadow International Development Spokesman Andrew Mitchell said it was a 'two way process' also intended to benefit and educate the Conservatives themselves.

"The aim of the venture is to give Conservative Party members a worthwhile first-hand experience of development issues and a chance to learn about the challenges that developing countries like face. It is an opportunity to help in a country which is one of the poorest in the world but which is now starting to make impressive progress."

Speaking from the Rwandan capital Kigali, Mr. Mitchell declared: "We are making a modest contribution - and it is modest - in very important areas for Rwanda. The legacy of the projects will be very helpful."

Adrian Yalland, Different Travel founder, added, “Everything we do is about meeting the objectives of meeting the needs of the local community, through using locally owned hotels, working with local teams and helping them to achieve self-sufficiency, as well as educating the volunteer and ensuring they have a unique and meaningful trip”.

“Well organised, responsible voluntourism is a really good thing for locals and visitors alike. It offers insights, experiences and understanding of local issues that normal tourism cannot. It builds bridges and friendships. The grass roots action serves to improve daily life. And – given the investment into overseas projects and local economies, it brings real longer term, sustainable, benefit to local communities and disadvantaged people. And you don’t have to be the Conservative party to take part – voluntourism is open, and of great benefit, to anyone who wants to do something different and make a difference with their holiday”.

To find out more about using holiday time to undertake volunteer travel and voluntourism through Different Travel, as well as fund-raising charity challenges combined with volunteering, visit www.different-travel.com, email info@different-travel.com or call +44 (0) 2380 669903.

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For further press information, please contact
Vicky Smith on +44 (0)2380 669903 / Vicky@different-travel.com

Editor's Notes:
1. Different-Travel is a small group volunteer travel company offering holidays which combine sight-seeing, relaxation and great accommodation with opportunities to work alongside local people on development projects, for anyone who wants to use their holiday to have a great time and do something positive.
2. Different Travel also run charity fund raising challenge trips and events under the brand “Different-Challenge”. These are Open Challenges open to individuals or bespoke trips arranged for groups, combining physical challenges with community-based volunteer work projects abroad, raising funds for chosen charities, helping communities in the UK and abroad.
3. Different Travel is ATOL bonded, carbon-neutral and responsible travel tour operator and supports the objectives of Tourism Concern.
Contact Information
Different Travel
Vicky Smith
+44 (0) 2380 669903
Contact
www.different-travel.com

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