Fund Life Changing Projects Through Travel | Villariaz
I picked the brain of founder and CEO of Villariaz, Robert Guillaume to get the low down on all things sustainable with their business approach. Here’s what he had to say:
1. Give Us An Introduction
My name is Robert Guillaume. I am the founder and CEO of Villariaz. I grew up travelling (starting at the ripe old age of 8 months old). My parents are travel enthusiasts, my father works in the travel industry and so do I; it’s safe to say it’s in my blood.
I believe that the one thing that we don’t choose in life is the circumstances of our birth; who our parents are, our gender, our race and the location of our birth. As such, I believe that it is my responsibility to help those less fortunate than myself. I also believe that it is our collective responsibility to leave this earth in a better state than we found it. I’ve seen what the world has to offer and I wish to preserve that beauty for the generations to come.
2. What Inspired You to Create Villariaz?
The story of Villariaz starts in the 1950s in a small town of the same name, located in the heart of Switzerland. The Guillaume family had been living there since the 16th century.
My grandfather graduated from university as a geologist and was one of the first from the family to leave the area and follow his work around the world. Living with his wife and 7 children in Switzerland, Spain, The United Kingdom, Belgium, Venezuela, Australia & Gabon, my grandfather developed a hunger to discover the world.
With discovery came responsibility. My grandfather found a world that was suffering. His passion for teaching resulted in stories of injustices, pain, famine and inequality. Through his boundless generosity, he passed down the meaning of giving back to his descendants.
Following this inherited passion for travel and charity, I decided to use the knowledge I gained in my 5 years in the travel industry along with this hunger to begin the Villariaz journey.
3. What Is The Best Part About Your Job?
My job is a fascinating mix of working with technology, planning and being surrounded by travel Journeys. The thing I love most about it is being able to turn ideas and dreams into reality.
4. What Inspirational Quote Would You Live By?
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” Mother Theresa
5. Do You Love To Travel? If so, What Is Your Dream Destination & Why?
Travel is my life. My first plane ride was when I was 8 months old and I haven’t stopped travelling since. My dream destination is always somewhere I have never been, so it is constantly changing. At the moment I dream of doing a safari through Africa. I dream of seeing the incredible fauna and flora, getting to know the people and even participating in wildlife conservation or teaching projects with our partners at Voluntary Projects Overseas (http://
6. Do You Consider Villariaz a Sustainable Business?
Villariaz has been developed with the sole purpose of being a sustainable business. Our mission is to create the world’s largest community of passionate travellers. We want to inspire collaboration and through innovation, help them discover the world. As a social enterprise, we want to help communities around the word by making sure every dollar left from creating your journeys helps funds life-changing projects.
Travelling changes people’s perspective of the world. It destroys prejudice and promotes understanding. You cannot continue to discriminate after having experienced their culture and appreciated their unique environment. We believe that only by creating a community can we create a movement big enough to make a significant long-term difference in the world.
7. Finding the Right Cause Is Hard To Do, why did you choose to support Voluntary Projects Overseas?
The idea behind it was to encourage immersion into local cultures and to help grow the global community. It is about understanding the daily struggles of people you wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to know. Once you see and experience life on the other side, there is no longer that disconnect. We wish to get volunteers to help establish sustainable solutions within these communities to help them in the long run. Once these solutions are in place, these communities will be self sustainable and will hopefully grow into a brighter future.
8. What is Your Dream Accomplishment for 2015?
Our dream accomplishment for 2015 is to grow the Villariaz community to a point where we can make a real impact on communities around the world who need our help.
9. How Can People Get Involved with Villariaz?
By signing up on https://villariaz.com and letting us book your Journey for you. After all bookings have been made, any funds left over will go to charities where it is really needed.