Khiri Reach, the charitable arm of Khiri Travel, has been supporting vulnerable communities across South-east Asia whose income has been hurt by the downturn in travel due to Covid-19.
Many of these communities are in long-standing relationships with Khiri Travel, such as local families, artisans or community-based projects that were regularly visited by tours before lockdown.
In Sri Lanka, Khiri Reach worked with local people to distribute grocery packages to 250 families in Grandpass Colombo.
Over in Myanmar, Khiri staff and local volunteer groups have been busy setting up two social enterprises: KuMel Volunteer connection and Honeybee Arts & Crafts.
KuMel – the short form of “Ku Nyi Mel” in Burmese or “We will help” – aims to support local communities or organisations who need volunteers to help communities. KuMel also keeps active people in the loop about volunteer jobs through its Facebook page and website.
On the other hand, Honeybee Arts & Crafts enables local artisans to sell their crafts and souvenirs online and worldwide. All the products available on Honeybee are made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo, paper mâché, cotton (from longyi fabric), recycled plastic, or coconuts.
Khiri Travel Vietnam staff also donated funds to a CanCham project to purchase about 148kg of rice to help families in Binh Tan, Hooc Mon, Cu Chi, Tan Phu and Nha Be – suburbs around Saigon where many labourers have been made unemployed.
Local communities developed the system of “rice ATMs” – automatic rice dispensers – which limit physical contact. People in need come with their own bags, which they can fill up with free rice.
Meanwhile, Khiri Travel in Thailand is supporting the Covid Relief BKK Project set up by SOS Thailand (Scholars of Sustenance). Khiri is providing two vans for donating deliveries to communities, homeless shelters and health care centres. The Covid Relief BKK Projects have distributed over 500 bags of dry goods so far.
When tourism resumes, Khiri Travel will offer visits to select NGO sites in Asia at cost, so that all profits go in full to the projects. These non-profit travel experiences help community projects such as The Endangered Primate Rescue Centre in Cuc Phuong National Park in Vietnam, Free the Bears in Laos, the Saunders Weaving School and Burmese Star Tortoise Conservation Project in Myanmar, and the Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre in Phuket.