Travelling with Intrepid and want to know how to help the communities you visit? Geoff Manchester, Intrepid’s co-founder & Managing Director helps you work out whether to pack stuff or money…
“When Darrell Wade and I set up Intrepid Travel more than two decades ago, the term ‘responsible travel’ had not yet been coined. The vast majority of holidays on offer involved little – if any – interaction with local communities and people were much less aware of the environmental and social impact their holiday had on their destination.
Bringing home souvenirs is a wonderful way to keep your travel memories alive, but when shopping for precious mementos it’s important to make responsible purchases. For example, be certain that products are not made from endangered species and try to buy locally produced items. Intrepid’s Carl Needham shares his tips on responsible shopping in Laos…
“When we go on holiday we all love to shop for souvenirs and handcrafted products. A really good way to support local communities and to put money back into the countries we visit is to buy handicrafts from local villages or cooperatives.
For the past 10 years, The Intrepid Foundation has worked with Braille Without Borders to support their efforts to make a better life for Tibet’s blind. Around 15% of the population has severe vision impairment and sadly this is well above the average of most other countries.
Braille Without Borders commenced in 1998 in Lhasa, with the opening of the first rehabilitation and training centre for the blind in the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The main goal is the integration and acceptance of the blind in the Tibetan society, through the four major projects:
- Implementation of a preparatory school for blind children.
- Production of educational materials for the blind.
- Preparation of a reintegration program, facilitating the return to local schools and home life.
- Realisation of a vocational training which gives blind people an opportunity and skills to generate their own income.
How could giving to kids on the street be selfish? Just-one is a hands-on organisation in Nepal and every day they see the consequences of people’s good intentions. Try to put yourself in the place of these vulnerable young children…
- I need reasons to get off the streets – not to stay on them!
- I’m too young to know that any of the nice things you may kindly give me will only encourage me to continue begging on the street – which is no place for a child like me.
Intrepid provides travellers with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The Reef is one of the most inspiring places on earth, which makes it even harder to believe that a place as beautiful and precious as the Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat due to the ever-expanding coal export industry.
Current plans to build a series of coal mega mines running the length of the Great Barrier Reef not only spell disaster for this fragile ecosystem, but also for the global climate as a whole.
Like so many girls living in rural poverty in Cambodia, Wattana was forced to leave school in grade six to help support the nine people in her family. To make money, she cut wood for a pittance in a nearby forest. Wattana always knew she was capable of much more. So, when she heard that a Plan partner in a nearby town offered restaurant and tourism training, she decided it was precisely the opportunity she needed.
The course provided young people like her with hands-on training in restaurant and housekeeping services, and included office and English skills to help them get jobs in the Sala Bai tourist industry. However, the training involved an intensive, 12-month course away from home, and her mother believed this to be inappropriate, given Wattana’s gender. She thought her daughter should remain in the village like the other girls, cutting wood and getting married and raising children.
Saidia is based in Gilgil, north west of Nairobi in the Rift Valley of Kenya. Extended family networks are very strong in Kenya and orphaned children are usually taken in by their relatives. But a sad reality is that in this region many families have lost the entire parent generation to HIV/Aids.
If they made a movie of this man’s life there wouldn’t be a dry eye in the house, because to see what can be achieved by one person’s commitment to helping others is very moving and inspiring. KOTO stands for ‘know one, teach one’ and that’s exactly what Jimmy Pham has done since founding the not-for-profit hospitality training organisation in Vietnam in 1999. Hundreds of disadvantaged youth have benefitted from Jimmy’s vision, passion and dedication and now’s your chance to travel with him to Vietnam on a very personal Intrepid journey.
Jimmy Pham, KOTO CEO and Young Global Leader 2011, is returning to his roots in Vietnam to take you on a very special journey departing 5 August, 2012. It’s an exciting full-circle for Jimmy, as his concern for street kids in Hanoi started when he was an Intrepid group leader and the travel company supported him in his efforts to give these children a better future. The Intrepid Foundation has been a long-time benefactor of KOTO and Intrepid travellers enjoy being taken to KOTO restaurants to see for themselves what a difference the hospitality training is making to these young lives.
Did you know there’s more regulation on the global trade of bananas and bottled water than guns and bullets? You might think this sounds like a B-grade movie plot, but sadly, it’s not! EVERY minute, one person is killed by armed violence fuelled by an unregulated arms trade. This deadly trade puts WEAPONS in the hands of tens of thousands of child soldiers, and forces millions to flee their homes.
This violence can happen because countries including the US, Russia, UK and France have been exporting guns, bombs and other weapons for years, with very little regulation about who they can sell to or how. Right now however, we’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change this, and keep the world’s weapons out of the wrong hands.
Commemorated every year on 5 June, World Environment Day is one of the main ways the United Nations “stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.” It’s also a day to remind us to take stock of our own behaviour, and that includes what we do when we’re travelling.
Whether we’re swimming in it, paddling on it, or drinking it – luxuriating in refreshing water can bring us infinite pleasure while we’re on holidays. But of course we don’t want it to be at the cost of the local residents. Nearly 3 billion people or half the world live in water-scarce conditions and people are travelling more than ever, so how can we be water wise when we’re away from home?