Big Issue Vendor

Invisible Cities launch travel subscription box for kids

The social enterprise trains formerly homeless people to be tour guides in their own cities. Now it'll bring the world inside to children with fewer opportunities to see new places during the Covid-19 crisis

Social enterprise Invisible Cities will help children explore other countries from the safety of home via a packed subscription box “for would-be adventurers”.

Delivered every three months, each Invisible Cities World Tour box will theme its contents around a different country to let kids learn about the world even when the pandemic makes travel more difficult.

The Invisible Cities project, created by Big Issue Changemaker Zakia Moulaoui Guery, trains people who have experienced homelessness to become walking tour guides of their own city. It launched in Edinburgh in 2014 before branching out to other parts of the UK including Manchester, Glasgow, York and Cardiff.

Created in collaboration with Strawberry Lemonade Events and Party in the Post, the subscription boxes will contain a World Tour Passport so kids can collect stamps for the countries they explore every three months.

And the first instalment, focused on Scotland, will include an activity book and recipe card; a unicorn cookie cutter; a colouring page and colouring pencils; a unique Scottish game; a Scottish postcard and exclusive access to a story from Edinburgh guide Paul.

Founder Moulaoui Guery said: “We believe everyone should learn in a fun and engaging way, no matter where they live, or what their circumstances. Through our boxes, we want to spark love for travelling in children and raise awareness of some of the issues countries are facing, whether that be homelessness or inequality.

“Each box is an adventure, it’s unchartered territory, it’s finding a second home – every child should get the opportunity to feel the excitement that brings.”

For every box sold, Invisible Cities will donate activity books and games to children in temporary accommodation and difficult circumstances.

Eight-year-old Jessica, who has already received a Scotland box, said: “I’m really excited to be making cookies with my new cookie cutter. My favourite part of the box is the colouring sheet and I can’t wait to get my next box!” Mum Nicola said Paul’s story was a highlight that made them keen to take his tour in Edinburgh.

One-off annual subscriptions are available for £90 while individual boxes can be bought for £24.95.