For a decade now, Operation Groundswell has been on a mission to change the world through travel. We take young people on a journey to the developing world that changes them in a profound way. They come home with the skills, drive, and community that will allow them to create long-lasting impact at home and abroad.
Each year we set aside over $20,000 in a scholarship fund for young people with extraordinary potential and a drive to make a difference – but we are still forced to turn some of the deserving away. Your gift to the Groundswell Education Fund will make it possible for more young leaders – regardless of economic background – to engage in cross-cultural collaborations, get involved in meaningful community service, and develop the skills to apply those lessons back home and beyond.
To help young Canadians build a better world through intimate, immersive and educational travel experiences that tangibly affect their lives and the lives of the communities they visit.
About the Goundswell Education Fund
The importance of traveling abroad as a means to further one's education and life-experience has been well documented for decades. Many universities now have international experience as a prerequisite for entry into certain programs. The cost of international travel, however, is a significant barrier to entry for the next generation of leaders and changemakers.
The goal of the Groundswell Education Fund is to break down those barriers and provide opportunities for youth to have international experiences that are beneficial to them and to the communities they visit. These experiences would be run through Operation Groundswell - a registered Canadian non-profit dedicated to changing the world through travel.
About Operation Groundswell
OG began in 2006 as a group of twenty-something friends with well-worn backpacks looking to share a nuanced perspective of the world. Today, we are a vibrant and engaged community of over one thousand ethical travelers. From one pilot program to West Africa, we’ve grown to run over 160 programs to 18 countries around the world.
With ethical travel at the crux of our philosophy, we always work in partnership with local non-profits and charities on community-requested projects to ensure true sustainability. Our partnerships allow us to respond to the needs of communities through projects like the Ubuntu Blox factory in Haiti, which uses Styrofoam and local waste to create houses that can better withstand high magnitude earthquakes.
It was the summer of 2009 when Kelly first hopped on a plane and joined the first ever West Africa medical program. The program was designed to examine the response of development organizations to the real healthcare needs of Ghanaians on the ground. It was during this time that Kelly witnessed firsthand the extreme consequences that result from a lack of equipment and human resources.
Appalled by the deteriorating state of healthcare in the rural regions of Ghana, Kelly decided to take action. In consultation with local hospitals, Kelly founded Ghana Medical Help a year later as an acute solution to alleviate the significant basic medical equipment needs in the most northern regions of Ghana. By 2013, Kelly raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical equipment, effectively changing the lives of over two million Ghanaians.
But this is just one story. Your donation will help us empower a generation of leaders like Kelly.
What People Are Saying
"Traveling with OG made me drastically reassess what I would consider foreign... If it was not for OG, I would have never left the realm of thinking of the “wide world” as a scary thing that had to be approached with great hesitation. "
— Marsha, OG India 2012
"Going from talking in the living room straight out into the community to implement change made me realize how much of a real difference I can make. One year ago I was just another freshman in University. Now I am a world traveler, activist, and one of this summer’s leaders of OG West Africa."
— Jo, OG West Africa 2009
"My trip taught me new things about myself, backpacking and what it means to be a traveler, the world, and a whole new world I didn’t even knew existed. You learn, smell, see, and truly feel and experience what it means to be where you are."
— Hannah H, OG West Africa 2012
"Everyone should experience an OG trip. I met awesome people, worked on meaningful projects, developed a deeper understanding of the country and learned more - especially about myself - than I ever could've imagined."
— Natalie, OG Haiti 2012
"OG gave me an experience of a lifetime: running a girls leadership program, the ability to work with the amazing people at Horizon Children's Centre, how to travel consciously and adventurously (mountain climbing included) and, no matter crazy thing is happening - enjoy every moment of it."
— Hannah C, OG West Africa 2012
"My summer with OG East Africa completely changed my view of international aid and development, while also showing me exactly how travelling the world should be done."
— Lindsey, OG East Africa 2012
"It’s one thing to read a textbook, newspaper or travel guide, and another thing to be on the road learning it all for yourself. I can say that I came back home a more critical thinker, more confident in my personal abilities, and more culturally versatile."
— Misbuh, OG West Africa 2009