Daniela Papi

Finalist 2007

Daniela Papi

PEPY Tours
"Sustainable tourism" - project at the intersection of tourism and volunteering where donors have the possibility of seeing where their money goes.

An economics graduate from New York State, Daniela Papi is convinced of education's power to affect national development. She has already established a non-governmental organization (NGO) to improve Cambodians access to schooling. Now she sees the "voluntourism" business as the next step to grow her development enterprise.

Daniela herself has long been an enthusiastic traveller, right from the time she took a "semester at sea" programme with other American students in 1998. Stopping off in several developing countries during the 100-day voyage, she began to appreciate the educational opportunities she enjoyed. She also started to consider how she might bring similar chances to less wealthy people in poorer countries.

In 2002, Daniela started to fulfil her educational improvement goals when she established PEPY (Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself), a non-profit organization that began by building schools in rural areas. "Transforming education in rural areas leaves students with better skill-sets, greater opportunity for personal development, and encourages a greater respect for the environment," she says.