If you are digital nomads that feels detached of the community where you are at the moment and you had this inner calling to help. This post is for you.
Last week I watched this video “Is digital nomadism a blessing or a curse?” by Monica Sharonn. The author shares her views about digital nomadism, tips of How to preserve the local eco system? and interviews few digital nomads on the subject.
The nomads mainly share the sentiment that the they provide only cash to the local’s community. Some mention contributions to social causes. Some think they negatively influence the life of the locals by increasing the demand in hospitality services hence increasing the prices for the locals.
From this video we came to conclusion that there is a gap in knowledge how digital nomads can contribute to the local community. We (me my father and brother) started Treebanks so we can use our skillsets from other fields to fight/help a social cause that we believe is important. We hope with this blog we will become a guide for you as digital nomad.
Just before we start. We are planting a tree for everyone that subscribes to our newsletter. You can read more here.
5 things you can do as digital nomads to help the local community
1. Your former philanthropical experience
Be honest with you and think about to what social causes you have contributed to in your home/base country (I know that you are nomad but go back, back to before you started your digital nomad journey). If you can name any cause then it is easy. Find the local actors/entities that work in the cause you contributed before and do what you have done before. This should be frictionless.
2. Use your existing know-how
On every networking event I go to, the variety of digital nomads professions in Madeira astonishes me. It give me feels like I am in a hub like Berlin, New York etc. How we can use this know-how to help the local eco system?
For designers. Search for the Facebook fan pages of local businesses, find those that hurt your yes, create a simple redesign of their Facebook cover photo. If you have issues navigating through a restaurant menu you have found yourself a candidate. Bonus you will learn some Portuguese.
Marketers. Oh man the possibilities. GoogleMaps descriptions, AirBnb descriptions. A content marketing strategy for a startup that have just started.
I will stop here because it is already becoming too much. Use your imagination, give some value to the locals. And yes do a case study use it as your content strategy. Your next gig might come from it.
3. Use your channels
Search for things that align with your work, your hobby. Find the locals that speak your startup/design/music/photography/crypto lingo. Get interested in their work, meet them, ask some questions. Make that talk that might mutually inspire you. If you leave this conversation feeling good with a semi smile with content. Yes. You know what do to, share this with your network, your followers, your audience. Give it a shoutout.
4. Hire locally
“Most of the people in Madeira do not know how to work remotely.” Is one of the comments in the video from above. So, let’s change that. Most of the companies have a employee referral programs (doing this might land you some extra cash). Check if you company has any open positions, check the local talent pool market. Please, make the connection and give some advices before the interview. You will be a hero in someone’s life. If that someone is employed remotely they instantly get access to the Purple Fridays.
5. Labor as sport activity
We all really love the hikes, Calisthenics, the kayaking any sport activity per se. Can we use our potential energy to help the local community?. Yes cleaning a beach is great. Well, let’s make things a bit more serious, check the local workaway hosts and ask if they need any help.
Are you super interested into helping? Wander around the villages and ask people if they need any help.
This guy has done it.
How digital nomads around you help
Things Treebanks did
We as Treebanks saw on the government Facebook page about their planting tree activities and it inspired us to try to do something here in Madeira. We shared the idea with Startup Madeira (yes a local entity). They connected us with some local stakeholders and yes we are preparing a collab to plant some trees in Madeira. Maybe, just maybe there might be a t-shirt inspired from our walk in the Laurasilva forest.
Develop your idea and still help
Have you drank any Kombucha lately? Have you ever heard about two digital nomads doing a sustainable, conscious and ethical business producing fermented goods for the well being of local community. Let me introduce you to Aleksei and Natasha.
Here is a picture of their Kombucha stand in Ponta do Sol, Madeira. Just from that day they donated 107€ to the Patinhas ao Sol dog shelter.
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Help your peers around the world
One night we went for Neapolitan pizza in an interesting place in Funchal (I recommend Lume). This is how I met Robin. Maaan, I was mind blown by his project Esperanto. Robin is world renowned digital product designer. In 2018 he left his job and went on a quest to discover talent around the world.
In his words: “In every country I visited over the next 12 months, I arranged to meet, interviewed and photograph one person working in the creative field. My goal was to meet people, discover talents and design industries that are sometimes underrepresented, and show that everyone has an interesting story to tell, no matter when they come from”
Link to the Esperanto project.
Literally yesterday I met Melisa, a founder of The School For Change. During her stay in Madeira she volunteered at the Emmanuel Ravillion organic grape plantation in Madeira. Melissa helped Emanuel with setting up the mulch for his vineyard and learned about the benefits of mulching.
Check her instagram video you will learn how you can stop weed growing and retain more water in the ground with mulching.
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Earlier in my Madeirense journey I met Joao and Sara, experienced digital nomads, they started their journey in 2010. They are heavily involved into helping the digital nomad world. If you are looking for an inspiration there are a lot interesting stories in their blog https://www.nofootprintnomads.com/
Writing this post was a pleasure. It will always remind me of the cool people I met during my nomad trips.
If you reached here, we will plant a tree for every trip reservation through our affiliate links.
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