The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) non-profit foundation, TreadRight, is partnering with Rainbow Railroad — an international non-profit based in Canada and the United States that’s dedicated to bringing LGBTQI+ individuals around the world to safety.
In approximately 70 countries, LGBTQI+ people face violence and oppression simply because of who they love and who they are. Rainbow Railroad’s core program provides Emergency Travel Support to help LGBTQI+ individuals who live in significant risk find a pathway to safety in a new country where they can live free of persecution.
In addition, the organization provides short-term financial aid to keep people safe in their current country as well as offering information and resources, coordinating referrals to local support organizations and helping individuals understand their rights as asylum seekers.
Since 2006, the organization has helped approximately 1,500 individuals escape violence and live openly and has enabled livelihood support for thousands more. The partnership with TreadRight will further Rainbow Railroad’s ability to help an increased number of persecuted LGBTQI+ individuals find safety.
The incredible work of Rainbow Railroad is highlighted, for example, by their ongoing response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan caused by the Taliban’s return to power, which has put LGBTQI+ individuals at serious risk. Since August, the organization has helped close to 100 LGBTQI+ Afghans relocate to Europe and has helped hundreds more stay safe with livelihood support and evacuation to neighbouring countries.
TreadRight, The Travel Corporation (TTC) and Rainbow Railroad are aligned in a shared commitment to diversity, inclusion and a more equitable future for all. TTC and its family of award-winning brands including Contiki, Insight Vacations, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises and Red Carnation Hotels are a proud partner of The International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), a world-wide network of LGBTQI+ friendly tour operators who support and promote equality and safety within LGBTQI+ tourism.
In 2021, TreadRight sponsored IGLTA’s inaugural Impact Award, designed to recognize a business who’s made a special effort to address impact on the environment, communities, and diversity and inclusion.
David Meany, TTC’s director of partner marketing, said that: “Increased diversity, equity and inclusion is vital to the communities we visit, as well to travellers. Facilitating safe and inclusive travel for TTC’s guests is paramount and through our employee DEI training, we are taking steps to ensure all travellers feel welcome.”
Meany continued: “The Travel Corporation’s Pride trips including Contiki Pride and African Travel Inc.’s Pride Safaris are designed to celebrate and educate about the diversity of LGBTQI+ communities around the world, while providing safe travel experiences created through the lens of LGBTQI+ travellers and travel experts.”
This project joins TreadRight’s roster of 60-plus philanthropic projects worldwide focused on supporting organizations which work to safeguard the planet, its people and wildlife.
For those interested in donating to Rainbow Railroad, go to https://www.rainbowrailroad.org/donate-cad
For more on TreadRight, go to www.TreadRight.org .