A massive amount of valuable medical supplies get thrown away every day in Canada, and at the same time people around the world suffer from a lack of access to them.
“Not Just Tourists” is a grassroots organization that collects these surplus medical supplies, packs them into 20 pound suitcases and gives them to travelers to take on vacation. The travelers then deliver the suitcases to remote clinics which are often neglected and in desperate need of life saving supplies.
A mere twinkle of an idea last March, “Not Just Tourists” has provided 100+ volunteers supply-packed suitcases. In 2014, “Not Just Tourists” sent 6,000 lbs of supplies to 14 countries including: Cuba, Honduras, India, Haiti, Kenya and Congo.
By giving Canadians a means to connect with the countries and locals they visit, “Not Just Tourists” hopes to make travel more meaningful.
“It’s about love! All the work is done by volunteers. We are non-political, non-religious and do not receive ANY funding (volunteers cover their own expenses),” says Avi D’Souza, the Toronto Coordinator for “Not Just Tourists.”
Are you a Couchsurfer from Canada or passing through? Take some medical supplies on your next Couchsurfing journey. And even if you don’t live in or plan to make a stopover in Canada, we hope that you’re inspired by the idea of travelers spreading generosity and underutilized resources to out of the way places!