ByÂ Akanksha Arora
7,00,00,00,000 — That’s approximately the current population of the world. 196 — The total number of countries across the globe. 6,00,000 — The approximate number of cities in the world. 981 — The total number of World heritage Sites across the globe.
What if even the tiniest percentage of these statistics were to expedite on a journey across the globe to see these recognised World Heritage Sites. It may sound like a challenge beyond the imagination of many, but it’s definitely a possible thought for Ajay Reddy. This young travel enthusiast is the name and the brainchild behind the most unique travel initiative —GoUNESCO.
The GoUNESCO Challenge started in India in 2012, when Ajay (founder and firstchallenger) came across a photograph of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and could not identify half of them. He started the challenge for himself — to visit all the WHS in India in a calendar year and make that his story for 2012 — something to remember that year by. Along the way, folks from all walks of life and from different parts of India joined — for their own reasons. Some joined to learn & appreciate the heritage of their country, some joined because it was a readymade travel plan and some joined for the pure pleasures of travel. The initiative intends to encourage the core passion of travelling in people and with that, hopes to make people realise the need to preserve the beauty of the WHS (World Heritage Sites). It urges to bring together people with a common love of travelling and with a chance of becoming friends via the purpose of making GoUNESCO a medium for social interactions amongst people.
How does one Register?
All one has to do is to sign up on the website — www.gounesco.com
How does one participate in a Challenge?
Travel to any UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) and upload your picture there. Once the moderators approve that it is tagged with the name of the correct WHS and country, you will be awarded points. Points for each location are decided based on the method described in the details page.
What Challenges can one participate in?
Country Challenges are always for a duration of 1 calendar year.
That is, they start on January 1 and end on December 31st. One has to travel to all the WHS in a country in this duration. The person with the maximum points at the end of the year wins.
Create Your Own Challenges are just that — challenges that you create.
Think of a theme connecting different WHS and spin a challenge around this theme. You can choose the WHS which should be part of the challenge and set the time duration when a challenger should visit these WHS. Sign up and propose a new challenge now!
The Epic Challenge
The Epic Challenge is to travel to all the WHS across the world — 981 of them in 158 countries! There is no specific time duration in which you need to complete this challenge—make this a goal to achieve in your lifetime!
Campus Ambassador Programme:
Awareness is the first step to conservation and preservation. By encouraging people to travel to World Heritage Sites, GoUNESCO hopes that they will appreciate the importance of these sites and maybe contribute to their preservation in their own way.
With this aim in mind, GoUNESCO has launched its Campus Ambassador Programme and hopes to encourage greater understanding by building lasting friendships through candid conversations among the participants. With exclusive access to a group of highly motivated travel enthusiasts, you could make friends from all parts of the world that will help you with your travel adventures.Â This programme is open for all undergraduate/postgraduate students who have a passion for travelling and want to do their part in the preservation of World Heritage Sites.
It’s a truly global programme as we have students from five continents and countries such as India, Australia, UK, Egypt, Indonesia, Argentina, Sweden participating!
How does one apply for the Campus Ambassador Programme?
Click here to get further details.