Travel changes people. It has changed me and I’ve seen it change my daughter.

But I know better than to believe that everyone has access to travel – big or small. Which is why I am thrilled to participate in the 2015 Passports with Purpose campaign to bring digital reading to five libraries in western Kenya w. Because the next best thing to travel when it comes to transformation? Is education…and specifically reading.

Yes, I was a teacher. So it makes sense that I’d support a program that fosters literacy. But reading is about so much more than just the A,B,C’s. Reading helps children develop creativity, learn about people in far-flung lands and dream of their own futures.  I could go on and on… but hopefully you are like me and believe that helping children learn to read and providing them with a variety of books and materials is the closest thing we have to an “easy” button for life.

What is Passports with Purpose?

Passports with Purpose was founded “as a way to build community among travel bloggers and to give back to the places we, as travelers visit.” Since 2008 more than 200 travel bloggers have helped do long-lasting good around the world by building schools, libraries, and a village. The fundraiser has even helped communities learn to farm sustainably.

How will Passports with Purpose bring digital reading to children in Kenya?

The funds raised in 2015 from Passports with Purpose will bring digital reading to five libraries in western Kenya with Worldreader. The e-readers will provide an estimated 6,250 children, teachers and parents with access to more than 50,000 books. I many not know a lot, but I do know that bringing that many books to that many children, teachers and parents will go a long way to support education for all.

As in…

Each library will get 50 Kindle e-readers, containing both English and Swahili fiction and non-fiction for all ages, as well as Kenyan textbooks. The Worldreader program also includes comprehensive training for the librarians, as well as a field-tested and proven solar solution that will keep the e-readers charged if electricity is scarce.

Passports with Purpose 2015 | LiveDoGrow

What is Worldreader?

Worldreader has reading programs in 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 40,000 students in 133 schools and libraries with thousands of books via e-readers. Inspired by his own family’s travel experience, David Rishner co-founded Worldreader to help children get the books they need “to become inspired, engaged and their best selves.”

Worldreader is “on a mission to bring digital books to every child and their family, so that they can improve their lives” through technology, curation and fieldwork. Through e-readers and the Worldreader Mobile app, communities in 69 countries can access the Worldreader digital library which full of 28, 514 engaging and relevant titles reaching 69 countries in 43 languages.

How can you donate to Passports with Purpose? And what could you win?

Over 50 bloggers have partnered with AMAZING companies and destinations to support Passports with Purpose this year. EVERY $10 donation gives you a chance to enter to win from the catalogue of prizes. As in, you could donate $50 – giving you the chance to win five different prizes (or you could choose to use each of your donation entries for 5 chances to win the prize of your dreams). And in case you are wondering how much of these donations really go to Worldreader? The answer is 100%. Yes, that is correct. 100% of donations, exclusive of PayPal fees, go directly to Worldreader.

If that was not enough to entice you to check out the prizes…I think this prize will.

I am so INCREDIBLY thrilled to be partnering with Flytographer to bring a 30-minute photography shoot to the Passports with Purpose prize catalogue.

Build Literacy in Kenya with Passports with Purpose and Flytographer

Image by Mackenzie Clark of Flytographer

Flytographer prize details:

Capture your best travel souvenir with a 30-minute Flytographer photo shoot in one of 150 cities worldwide. The winner will work with a local Flytographer photographer who will capture beautiful vacation photos and share insider tips as you stroll the streets. After the shoot you will receive a “sneak peek” postcard image that will have you waiting with baited breath for 15 incredible digital images (delivered through an online gallery and link to download all of your high resolution images).

Use Flytographer to capture family memories | LiveDoGrow

Our “Sneak Peek” postcard. Image credit Mackenzie Clark for Flytographer

Not familiar with Flytographer? My family had the chance to try Flytographer for the first time in Charleston and has already booked our second shoot for an upcoming trip to Istanbul. As the resident photographer in the family, I loved actually being IN the photos for once AND the quality is apt to make you break the habit of forgetting to print your digital photos. Everything about our photo shoot was amazing – from making the reservation to the shoot itself, to getting the gallery of images in less than five days.

Read more about our Charleston Flytographer photo shoot here.

Launched in 2013, Flytographer believes that “memories are the best travel souvenir.” With over 250 “carefully curated” local photographers in cities across Europe, the United States, Canada, Central and South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Asia, New Zealand, Australia and Africa – help you capture everything that is magical about exploring a new (or favorite) destination.

These photographs create the best travel souvenirs for families, couples, friends and every variation you can think of. I’ve even thought about how great a Flytographer shoot would be while traveling solo (as opposed to taking selfie after selfie).

The Flytographer gift certificate has no exclusions or expiration date. Flytographer suggests booking at least one week in advance (4 weeks if you want to ensure you get your preferred date).


Are you ready to help more children and communities in Kenya with digital literacy resources?

Explore the Passports with Purpose prize catalogue and make your donation ((between November 9 – November 18th) to bring 5 e-readers to Kenya with Worldreader.


Learn more about Passports with Purpose and then DONATE.

Learn more about Worldreader.

Learn more about Flytographer.


Thank you to Flytographer for partnering to offer such an incredible prize. And thank you to TBEX blogging conferences who support the Passport with Purpose efforts.



Written by Elena Sonnino

Elena Sonnino

Chaser of Dreams. Life coach, wellness and travel writer, yogini, former teacher, adventure seeker, hiker, foodie …and oh right, cancer survivor. Elena writes about finding everyday wellness in far-flung lands and in her own backyard in the Washington D.C. suburbs.


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