The Travel Corporation’s not-for-profit arm is to award grants worth more than £8,000 to four community and sustainable development projects worldwide.

The TreadRight Foundation is donating just over £2,000 to each chosen organisation after nominations were sought from destinations in which the group’s brands, which include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Costsaver, operate.

The foundation’s ‘Tread the Pledge Fund’ supports the sustainable development of tourism by funding projects worldwide in line with its three pillars: Planet, People and Wildlife.

Two of the projects, RPJ Helping Hands in Cape Town, and Clean and Proud in Mzuzu, Malawi, have been in front line in the fight against Covid-19 in their respective communities.

RPJ Helping Hands helps feed the homeless and hungry twice a week, producing 2000 meals on average each month. Due to the pandemic, there has been a sixfold increase in the number of people being helped, with more than 3000 meals now being served at a time.

Clean and Proud collects single-use plastic waste and uses it to create handicrafts and locally sourced fabrics to be distributed to tourists in Malawi and wholesalers in Europe. As a result of the current crisis, they have developed hygiene packs that include face masks. They are also investigating how to access reliable electricity for rural communities in Malawi.

The other two organisations to be awarded grants are Smiling Children Italia, in Kenya, which sponsors children to go to school, and global project Walkers4Water/Charity Water, which funds projects to bring clean water to thousands of people in remote communities.

The foundation plans to continue to fund the projects during 2020 despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the travel industry.

The projects were nominated by the company’s travel directors in destination.

Insight Vacations chief executive Ulla Hefel Böhler said: “Our travel directors see first-hand the impact of the travel industry on the environment, wildlife and communities, and they are deeply passionate about TreadRight and TTC’s mission to make travel matter.”

Gavin Tollman, chief executive, of Trafalgar Travel, added: “Each time I have the opportunity to meet with our travel directors they are always eager to share an update of the incredible projects they are personally invested in, and we knew as an organisation that we had to find a way to say thank you to them. We decided to create an annual grant to support these smaller organisations close to the hearts of our team members, which don’t necessarily qualify for ongoing TreadRight funding.”