Fathom Quantifies Anticipated Benefits and Measurable Milestones of Social Impact Activities in Dominican Republic
Fathom, the pioneer in social impact travel and Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest brand, today unveiled a detailed projection of specific measurable milestones and anticipated benefits of its social impact activities in the Dominican Republic. The pioneer in social impact travel worked closely with leading community development organizations in the country to understand the specific needs in the northern region of the Dominican Republic. Fathom then collaborated with these organizations to develop detailed projections regarding the scale of impact it intends to create together with its partners, its traveler, and its communities.
“We have said from the beginning that what sets Fathom apart is our long-term, systematic partnership approach with in-market community development organizations and our unique business model that allows for sustained impact and lasting development,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. “The best way to demonstrate that impact is to establish specific, measurable outcomes we plan to achieve so we may benchmark our progress while creating enduring, transformative social impact that will demonstrably improve lives.”
According to Russell, while the Dominican Republic is a country of great beauty and rich culture, it is also a country of great need. The average household income is less than $6,000 USD and more than 3 million Dominicans do not have access to piped water. “However, the country does have a strong infrastructure that enables impact through Fathom partnerships with leading community development organizations,” she said.
Fathom has initially identified two lead impact partners in the Dominican Republic – Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI). Both organizations have deep roots in the country, including long-established programs and strong social connections in the northern Dominican region. Fathom travelers will work alongside these proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for far greater, sustained impact. Fathom continues to work alongside and listen to local community leaders and these organizations to measure and understand the impact being made by the company and its travelers.
“Fathom will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travelers on every trip allowing for thousands of impact activity days – and tens of thousands of travelers a year – to achieve focused and holistic, collaborative contributions in a broad region of the country,” said Russell. “And because they are working to support ongoing programs put in place by embedded community partners, Fathom travelers will know the transformative impact will extend far beyond their involvement. They will know they played an important role in ensuring a key region in the Dominican Republic flourishes.”
Impact Activities Will Focus on Education, Environment and Economic Development
Impact activities include a wide range of projects focused on education, environment, and economic development. Depending on travelers’ passions and skills, they can spend up to three days working alongside locals and Fathom partner organizations on one or more projects suitable for a wide range of ages, levels of skill and amounts of physical activity.
For example, Fathom travelers may help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a nursery and assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates. Travelers also may participate in reforestation work to promote regional environmental efforts. In addition, Fathom travelers may work with local youth interested in learning and practicing conversational English skills
Examples of the scale of impact Fathom plans to create together with its partners, travelers and communities include:
|Program||Impact: Year One / Annual||Impact: Year Five|
|EDUCATION||Students Learning English
WHY IT MATTERS:
English proficiency is the largest driver of employment success in the Dominican Republic economy.
|English proficiency rate of program participants will increase by 20 percent.
2,000 students will benefit from 60-plus hours of effective foreign language interaction with native English speakers.
|2,700 students will receive an average of two years of high-quality English language learning opportunities.|
|Creative Arts, Music & Sports
WHY IT MATTERS:
Children who participate in creative programs show increased attendance and higher reading comprehension, writing skills, achievement and motivation.
|Student time spent on physical activity each week will increase by 40 percent.||Thousands of students will have access to high-quality recreational enrichment activities during the school day.|
|ENVIRONMENT||Reforestation & Environmental Education
WHY IT MATTERS:
Endemic deforestation has contributed to increased runoff, dangerous flooding, depleted soil nutrients, and overall climate change.
|20,000 trees planted a year leads to more nutrient-rich soil and higher agricultural yields.|
|Clean Water Access
WHY IT MATTERS:
Waterborne illness is a leading contributor to infectious disease. Access to safe drinking water is a priority need in underserved communities.
|Program recipients will experience a 35-percent reduction in student school absenteeism due to gastrointestinal issues.||More than 15,000 homes will be equipped with ceramic water filters.|
|ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT||Local Entrepreneurship
WHY IT MATTERS:
Presently unemployed or underemployed local residents are able to transition to self-supporting entrepreneurs. Community-driven economic initiatives empower and sustain communities.
|Program participants will achieve double the amount of monthly income.
Community gatherings enable communities to tap into a sustained source of tourism income traditionally overlooked before, having the potential to help residents cover up to half of their monthly bills like rent, utilities, and groceries.
|Impact of up to 1,000 households and 4,000 participants with positive material initiatives.|
Beginning in April 2016, Fathom will make its maiden voyage to the Dominican Republic and intends to begin sailing to Cuba in May 2016, subject to Cuban approval, which Fathom is confident is forthcoming.
Fathom travelers will have the opportunity to choose from the two destinations and a range of activities – from social impact in the Dominican Republic to educational and cultural exchanges in both countries – designed to have a positive, transformative effect on the lives of the travelers and the communities they visit.
Prices for the seven-day trips to the Dominican Republic start at $974 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $300 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.
Prices for seven-day itineraries to Cuba start at $1,800 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences and on-the-ground cultural immersion activities. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $600 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. To reserve a spot on future sailings, travelers may call 1-855-9Fathom or through a travel professional. Learn more at www.Fathom.org.