The Intrepid Foundation is a long-time supporter of the Baan Unrak Children’s Village in Sangklaburi, Thailand. Volunteer Coordinator, Anne Cecile, recently sent us this update on how our last donation is being used…
“Here at Baan Unrak, the teenage boys and girls live in different houses. The girls have a concrete home, but the boys have a bamboo hut, which only lasts for a year as the rainy season makes it fall apart. The fact of living in a bamboo hut has been quite depressing for the boys. They feel discriminated against, it lowers their self esteem and they do not feel safe from intruders, increasing their fears and insecurity. The boys are currently living in one end of their house because the roof has caved in the other section, the walls have fallen down and all up, the house must be rebuilt.
“Money mister? One dollar? One pen? One bon-bon? One rupee?” Coming to grips with poverty whilst travelling in developing countries, and deciding how you might respond to beggars can be distressing. Intrepid’s approach varies from culture to culture, but with advice from those in the aid and development sector, we suggest a few pointers:
– Don’t give to begging children. Giving to children is a sure way to perpetuate their poverty, particularly when they and their parents consider it more lucrative than attending school. If you want to support children, seek out organisations that are working to provide educational opportunities to the poorest children. A good education will be their best opportunity to climb out of poverty.
We have received new flood reports from our Peruvian staff and from our friends at Plan Peru. On Monday, 01 March, another landslide affected Cuzco after intense rains had been falling on the region for more than 24 hours. The capital of the district of Taray, where Plan has been at work for the past ten years, has been one of the areas affected by a landslide in the Huancalle community and the overflowing of the K’esermayo River, whose waters have flooded more than 80% of the households, causing the collapse of adobe buildings.
The overflowing of the river occurred at approximately 3 am, when the families were asleep. Preliminary reports indicate that there are 8 deceased persons (among them 2 children), 3 missing persons, 300 affected families, 37 collapsed households, 147 houses deemed uninhabitable and a completely collapsed water system. The Taray Health Centre is close to collapsing as the water has severely damaged its foundations.
Eating in Turkey is as much about social interaction as it is sustenance. In the late afternoon you will see cafes filled with cake lovers enjoying a sweet session of pogaca (buns), syrup-drenched lokma (fritters), or 40-layer baklava. It’s believed that food and drink sustain the body and the spirit, and as Intrepid’s Rachel Wasser discovered, dining with local friends is definitely an uplifting experience…
“On the Cairo to Istanbul trip, we had the opportunity to have dinner in a family’s home in Cappadocia. The whole evening was amazing. We sat on cushions on the floor in a stone cavern-type room. The kids were doing their homework, the wife was cooking and the husband was stoking the fire and serving the meal. We were able to sample some homemade wine and the meal that followed was incredible!
While travelling the globe Intrepid staff are fortunate to meet many extraordinary women who are making a difference. One very special lady whom we have enjoyed getting to know through The Intrepid Foundation is Sabriye Tenberken. Originally from Germany, 39 year old Sabriye founded Braille Without Borders and late last year she was one of 13 expatriates honoured with a You Bring Charm to China award. With thanks to the China Daily newspaper, we share with you the following story…
“Sabriye Tenberken not only developed the Tibetan Braille script, but also travelled to the Tibet autonomous region alone and founded the first school for the blind there.
While some children arrive at the Amani Children’s Home, an Intrepid Foundation Community Project in Tanzania, having already spent some time at school, others have never sat at a desk or ever touched a book. Such was the case with Baraka and Ima Mathayo, two brothers who arrived at Amani Children’s Home in late 2009.
Baraka, aged 12, and Ima, 10, fled an abusive home in search of safety and an education. The brothers eventually ended up at Amani and, since their arrival, their smiles have been lighting up the library. Though Baraka was wary of adults when he first arrived, he could not resist the allure of books with bright, full-page pictures of wildlife in the Serengeti. Ima sat patiently at a table with Christina, Amani’s special education teacher, receiving his first lesson. In only an hour, Ima had mastered the vowels and had written his first words: his own name, and “ua”, the Swahili word for flower.
Intrepid Travel and The Intrepid Foundation have launched an appeal to support the flood-affected people of Peru.
We are pleased to report that the Intrepid Peru Floods Appeal has already raised AU$4160 to support the response of Plan Peru in devastated communities. But with the latest news from Peru, we understand the need for help is growing each day.
The Cuzco region of Peru continues to experience further landslides nearly two weeks after the initial flooding. At 5am on 06 February there was a second landslide in the Zurite area, an area in which Plan works. This landslide was severe, bringing mud up to the second floor of Zurite’s municipal building. According to Plan Peru, no one was hurt.
Emily and Stuart have tossed aside (momentarily) their corporate lives and instead are trying their hand at documentary making for Intrepid in the depths of South America. Here’s an update on their adventures thus far on Sacred Land of the Incas…
“The Amazon jungle immediately struck me as an incredibly peaceful place, where everything is bursting with potential. The earth feels as though it is heaving with life, both visible and invisible to the eye. As I write I am sitting in our jungle lodge room which has no wall to the outside and looks onto a mass of lush and tangled greenery. It is simply furnished with mosquito nets over the beds and a hammock that hangs lazily in the dappled sunlight. It feels like a lifetime away from the noise and bustle of Lima, which we left just a day and a half ago.
The New Year festival of Tet takes place in Vietnam on February 14 this year and this is a joyous time to indulge in eating, drinking and social activities. It’s also when spring is in the air and the wedding season is in full swing, but ex-Intrepid leader John Kirk discovered that getting married might not be as simple as popping the question to your loved one…
“In the past, families enlisted the help of matchmakers to choose marriage partners. Great care was taken to ensure equality, similar background, compatibility in social rank etc. These days, even in the rural areas, couples have more freedom to choose their life partners. However, some Vietnamese are deeply superstitious and fortune-tellers are still consulted by many couples to see if their horoscopes are compatible.
The last year has been another amazing one for Greenpeace and their Amazon campaign. We are delighted to learn that our last Intrepid Foundation donation has contributed towards some incredible progress. Charlie Adlum at Greenpeace reports…
“In July, after a huge concerted campaign push, sportswear giant Nike Inc announced it would stop using leather from cattle raised in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, saying the move is part of the company’s commitment to curbing the region’s deforestation.