A challenge for vulnerable youth in many communities is finding the opportunity to forge their future. If you have been raised in poverty, homelessness or suffering other disadvantages, finding a right fit might simply be having your eyes opened to possibility. Such possibilities were recently presented to a group of young Laotian men, who are training in mechanics with Peuan Mit, a project supported by The Intrepid Foundation and based in Vientiane.
The 14 young men went on a study trip to a large Kolao workshop accompanied by their teachers. At Kolao, they met the head of the mechanics garage and the manager. Kolao is a Korean brand of motorcycle that is extremely popular in Laos, so the mechanics students learn every possible way to repair and service them because in their future job, they are most likely to see these models.
At the age of 14 I walked the Kokoda Track, an experience that changed my outlook on life forever and ultimately led to me working for a company like Intrepid. Yes, it was physically and mentally challenging, but it was actually meeting the local people and experiencing their way of village life that put things in perspective for me as a teenage girl. Fifteen years on, I had another of these life-altering experiences – I travelled to Cambodia.
Introducing an amazing woman who knows a thing or two about challenges… after Robin Lim’s sister and her sister’s baby died from complications during childbirth several years ago, Robin and her husband sold their home in Hawaii and moved to Bali to ‘reinvent their lives’. It was there that Robin soon learnt she could help make a big difference to the life prospects of pregnant women and their newborn babies.
In 1994 Robin opened a clinic, Bumi Sehat, so that impoverished local mothers could give birth safely and be treated with dignity and respect. Nearly 18 years on, ‘Ibu’ (meaning mother) Robin has helped to safely deliver thousands of babies. In acknowledgement of her extraordinary work, Ibu Robin has recently been bestowed the wonderful recognition in being named the ‘2011 CNN Hero of the Year’.
From Vietnam’s culture and cuisine to its incredible history and idyllic landscapes, Val Wex discovered that this fascinating country has a way of energising weary of travellers…
“After three months overseas, by the time we were on the plane to Kuala Lumpur on our way to Hanoi I honestly felt sorry that we were doing the Vietnam trip, as I wanted to come home. But as is often the case, when you don’t want to do something it turns out being the best thing ever.
As the famous Bobby Troup 1946 song says, “If you ever plan to motor west, travel my way, the highway that’s the best. Get your kicks on Route 66!” And that’s exactly how Intrepid’s Barbara Glanz decided to see a different side of the fascinating United States…
“It’s true that I have seen most national parks in North America, I know many American cities, I’ve explored hidden jewels, such as narrow slot canyons in Utah, and I have manoeuvred my sea kayak between Orca whales up in Alaska. However one big thing was missing: the incredible U.S. Route 66, known as the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, it’s certainly one of the most famous roads in the world.
The temples of Angkor and their mystical quality is what attracts many travellers to Cambodia. But what Intrepid’s Anya Hodson discovered on her trip to this beautiful kingdom, is that it’s the everyday people of Cambodia who make this country so special…
“During a recent conference trip, our Intrepid group was able to schedule a visit to a local project supported by The Intrepid Foundation. Green Gecko is an organisation in Siem Reap for street kids of all ages. As a place of refuge from life on the streets, Green Gecko is somewhere that children can go to receive shelter and education, but also have fun with other kids.