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The mission of the Thumbs Up Foundation (TUF) is to create awareness among indivduals, with a special attention for young people, on the necessity of building towatrds a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society for current and future generations. By choosing a dynamic, interactive, and adventurous approach, TUF wants to reach those people who at this point do not see if or how they can contribute actively to a better world.
Sustainability is a multifaceted concept with ecological, social, economic, and political aspects (see the Earth Charter on www.eathchartherinaction.org, which present the guiding principles of the Thumbs Up Foundation). Unfortunately, the current ways in which sustainability is brought under the attention do not sufficiently reflect its diverse nature, nor the importance of involving all segments of society to create effective change. That is why TU chooses to do things differently. No lectures, no workshops, but an adventurous and unprecedented journey.
Followers of the journey will 'travel along' with a group of hitchhikers: 15.000 kilometers, from the Netherlands, crossing 16 countries, to South Africa. During this journey, the hitchhikers will encounter both the present-day problems related to sustainability, as well as the many initiatives that are being undertaken by local population and international organizations to change this situation. The hitchhikers will engage in intercultural dialogue along the way and will participate actively in humanitarian and development aid project. In this way they will function as a hatchway through which the challenges and opportunities for sustainability become visible. By giving an insight in the daily reality of so many, TUF wants to reach those people who at this moment feel indifferent towards the concept of sustainable development. Thumbs Up Africa facilitates that, for them, the broad concept of 'sustainability' will get a name, a face, a focus!
To change 'a sustainable future' into a living concept worldwide, the journey and experiences of the hitchhikers will have to be shared with as many people as possible. Therefore, the journey can be followed through a television series and via an online interactive multimedia platform. During the trip, short clips of the events and encounters of the hitchhikers will be available online, the hitchhikers will blog about their adventures, and participate in live discussion on the online platform. Through the platfom, followers can directly ask their questions and take part in discussions with the hitchhikers and the people invited by TUF ranging from aid workers and activists, women's groups and artists, to refugees and young entrepreneurs. After the journey, the collected footage will be used to create a television serieus of 10 to 12 episodes, each of which direction for solutions related to sustainability. In this, TUF want to show the reality - with its challenges and deficits, but also in particular its success stories - and leave the interpretations to the targeted audience.