For Mandela, For Africa, For Education

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela July 11, 1918 – December 5, 2013.

Passports with Purpose is in its final 24 hours of a two week fund drive to raise money within the travel blogger community to build three schools in Mali. There are dozens of hotel stays and other travel prizes you can bid for a ticket entry into any single prize by donating $10.

Our goal is $115,000, yet with 24 hours to go the fundraiser widget only reads $63,300 or 55% of the goal.

Some Prize Catalogue Options:

U.S. Hotels category:

  1. Two night Stay at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa ($480)
  2. Two night stay at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island ($600)
  3. One night stay at the Hotel Vermont in Burlington, VT($290)
  4. Two night stay at Keswick Hall at Monticello Charlottesville, Virginia ($500)
  5. Two night stay at the Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando, FL ($300)
  6. Two night stay at the Michelin rated Napa River Inn ($1000)
  7. Two Night Stay Certificate for the Hyatt Place San Diego ($458)
  8. Two night stay for two at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale, AZ ($900)
  9. One night voucher from Country Inns & Suites by Carlson ($160)
  10. Two-night getaway for four at any Great Wolf Lodge ($650)
  11. Two night stay Pan Pacific Hotel ($1480)
  12. One night at Alderbrook Resort & Spa ($385)
  13. One night Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel ($169)
  14. Two night stay at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle ($1050)
  15. Two nights Four Seasons Scottsdale ($1650)
  16. One night at Marcus Whitman Hotel ($190)
  17. Two nights at Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort, Atlanta ($500)
  18. One-night stay at Ocean Edge Resort ($428)

International Hotels

  1. Two night stay at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel ($600)
  2. A weekend stay for two at the Toronto Marriott ($600)
  3. Two nights stay at Hotel Telegraaf in Tallinn, Estonia ($300)
  4. Roman Holiday package of 5 nights and 2 tours in Rome ($3225)
  5. Three nights in Florence luxury prize pack ($1500)
  6. Three-night stay at Ocean Club Resorts the Turks and Caicos ($1854)
  7. Three nights at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico ($2850)
  8. Three nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort Fraser Island Australia ($1044)
  9. Three nights in Connemara, Ireland + a Samsung WiFi Camera ($500)

Gift Certificates and Hotel Loyalty Points

110,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points ($2,640)

Hyatt Gold Passport is sponsoring Loyalty Traveler in 2013 Passports with Purpose fundraiser with the prize for 110,000 Hyatt Gold passport points.

100,000 Club Carlson points – Club Carlson is sponsoring fellow BoardingArea blog Points, Miles & Martinis with a 100,000 points prixe.

$1,000 Home Away gift certificate is another high value lodging prize in this category.

Tours (3 prizes)

Travel Gear (12 prizes)

Clothing (2 prizes)

Electronics (5 prizes)

Other (16 prizes)

Please help us reach this year’s goal of $115,000 for the construction of schools in Mali, West Africa.

Here are two other posts I have written about Passports with Purpose with details of the school construction projects and Mali.

Nov 25, 2013 – Hyatt 110,000 points prize for 2013 Passports with Purpose Schools in Mali

December 2, 2013 – $10 for an education in Mali


Remembering Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95 of December 5, 2013.

I was never in the physical presence of Nelson Mandela. I have never been to Africa. Yet, I felt like I was in the spiritual presence of Nelson Mandela through three events. Each event was part of my higher education life in the USA.

If you are under 40 years old, the South Africa anti-apartheid movement may not have much historical significance to you. This was one of the pivotal global issues of my college days. South Africa changed significantly between my first year in college in 1978 and my last year as a full-time graduate student in 1994.

Firstly, my initial encounter with understanding South Africa was a memorable book I read during my first year in junior college in 1978. Browsing through the book stacks at the Monterey Peninsula College library, I discovered, checked out and read a book about the high school students Soweto Uprising of June 1976 when black students walked out of schools due to forced instruction in Afrikaans as the official language of educational instruction. Hundreds of children were murdered in the student battles with police and this event was pivotal in creating a global movement to end apartheid segregation in South Africa.

Secondly, In 1985 I attended a disinvestment from South Africa rally at University of California Davis featuring Bishop Desmond Tutu. One of the key components in bringing down the South Africa apartheid regime was getting U.S. corporations, institutions and banks to disinvest funds in South Africa and bring economic forces in play to pressure the apartheid regime toward democracy.

Bishop Tutu was the voice of the oppressed black majority of South Africa in the 1980s as he spread the message for resistance to the apartheid regime to the world.

For a school as large as UC Davis I was surprised at how few people came to the rally. The law school students led the effort. Nelson Mandela was educated as a lawyer in South Africa. I still have the poster for that South Africa Disinvestment rally at UC Davis. I skipped a calculus exam to be at the Desmond Tutu rally. My class grade was based on 3 tests and a final. Despite a 91 on the final, I received a zero grade for the missed exam a D+ final grade. I had to repeat calculus. Participating in the movement to disinvest University of California funds from South Africa meant I had to invest a couple hundred more dollars in my UC education.

The third event in my life connected to South Africa was 1994 when I was a graduate student at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. In 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in prison. In 1993 there were two black labor unionists from South Africa who were funded to attend the small graduate program I was attending for my M.S. in Labor Studies. I recall the excitement expressed by the two South Africans, a black man and a black woman who traveled to Boston in April 1994 to cast their election ballot votes. Like me, they were in their thirties, yet unlike me, they were casting their votes in an open national election for the first time of their lives.

I felt blessed to be in the presence of black South Africans for the momentous event. My college colleagues voted African National Congress. On May 10, 1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as President of South Africa.


This is the final day of the 2013 Passports with Purpose fundraiser for building schools and funding literacy programs in Mali, West Africa. Passports with Purpose is working to raise funds and build schools in Mali, one of the economically poorest countries on the globe with a government struggling to fund education for its citizens.

An action such as building three schools and funding literacy programs in rural villages of Mali may seem like an inconsequential step toward creating a better world society. Small actions from many people contributing to a movement can be a powerful collective force for change.

As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

Please donate to Passports with Purpose.


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

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About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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  1. I read a book about a place on the globe.

    Years later, I was in the presence of a person from that place and heard him speak.

    Years later, I met people from that place and we became friends.

    Literacy is an essential feature of an educated life.
    Travel is making contact with other lives.

  2. Thanks for the update, Ric. Just purchased a few entries. Hopefully, good luck will come my way 😉

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