Ascend Adventure Travel
Date: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:36 PM
Author: USA Staff
Who We Are
Ascend Adventure Travel was first organized in 2011 by CEO Timothy Marti. Drawing on years of humanitarian and travel experience, Ascend Adventure Travel was established with the goal of bringing about positive social change and poverty elimination through participation in the travel and tourism industry. Our passion comes from many successful instances of facilitating intercultural change through reciprocal learning and service experiences over our 30 year history of organizing service expeditions!
How We Are Organized
Ascend Adventure Travel is made up of two legally established organizations under Peruvian law. One half of the project is a non-profit Civil Association which manages all service expeditions and project donations. The other half of the equation is our privately owned business (Sociedad Anonima Cerrada), which manages all of our tours operated in Southern Peru and pays the normal sales tax required by Peruvian law. By selling and operating tours, we are able to pay the majority of our operating and staffing costs without relying on donations or diverting money that would otherwise go to project costs. This unique, hybrid approach allows us to receive a broad base of support from donors, volunteers, service expedition participants, tour participants, institutions, and corporations; from countries all over the world.
The world becomes better through voluntary service. As we become actively engaged in causes that alleviate human suffering we elevate and transform society. Meaningful, lasting service is found in assisting those who need it most become self-sufficient.
Each of us has stewardship over the resources entrusted to us. It is our responsibility to be wise and good stewards and to use those resources to become self-reliant and to improve the lives of others. Good stewards allocate rather than accumulate.
Every human being is of great worth. We should do all within our power to assist our fellow human beings to achieve their full potential without regard to race, religion, nationality, gender, social position or political affiliation. Ascend supporters and volunteers come from all walks of life and a variety of religious beliefs and political backgrounds. We view the world as a global community wherein we are all members of the human family
Ascend Adventure Travel projects and programs are accomplished in a collaborative effort with local community leaders. Ascend embraces the philosophy of providing "a hand-up, not a hand-out." Recipients are required to contribute in various ways to projects and programs and to be responsible for carrying them forward. Ascend initiatives are therefore designed to be:
Participants are able to understand, implement and replicate each initiative. Materials and instructions are available in country; so it is easy to replicate projects and also repair them if necessary.
Appropriate, sustainable interventions include training to ensure local participants are able to continue efforts and teach others as part of their stewardship. Initiatives are affordable, so while primary capital or resources may be beyond the reach of recipients, ongoing maintenance and repayment costs are structured to remain within their economic capacity. Ascend does not focus on aid, gift-giving, or disaster relief.
Ascend programs and projects are sensitive to the culture, political systems, and customs of the local people and community. We strive to preserve and respect their positive traditions. We also listen to those we serve, encouraging discussion and learning from them, so that we can suitably partner with, and empower them to achieve their goals.
What Sets Us Apart
At Ascend, we set aside territorial boundaries and egos to work together. Our active partnerships with like-minded non-profit organizations, corporations, foundations, civic organizations and government entities enable effective teamwork, efficiencies, economies of scale, leveraging of scarce resources, growth, and strength.
Methodology & Accountability
Ascend uses a literacy-based, capacity-building program for integrated community and family development, which includes documenting measurable objectives. Solution areas are: 1) Education, 2) Enterprise, 3) Health, and 4) Technology & Construction. Program progress is documented using web-based systems. Community-based councils are organized to coordinate with Ascend. These councils nominate community workers, who are trained in solution areas and survey the families they teach. In-country staff members check the data and enter it into an Internet database on a regular basis. Ascend Travel holds itself accountable to donors and provides them with specific information on the result of their contribution.
Graduation to True Sustainability
True sustainability requires what we define as "graduation." Ascend Programs work towards a phased-in, self-funding plan so that development activities and communities can operate using their own resources, and are no longer dependent on Ascend. This "graduation" enables Ascend to continue to expand its reach and impact, without taking on huge commitments for long-term maintenance of programs.
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