“We need laws to ban people from taking elephants on the roads throughout Thailand” says Soraida Salwala, Founder of Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE).
Elephants may be seen as a symbol of Thailand, but little is being officially done to protect them. Their numbers have declined significantly in recent years particularly with loss of their habitat. Soraida is using the recent 21st anniversary of the founding of FAE as an opportunity to draw attention to the need for much greater protection for these majestic animals.
If you’ve seen the news in recent days, then you would know that in Turkey peaceful protests against the destruction of the last remaining green areas of Istanbul have been met by hostile and violent responses from police. While Intrepid travellers and staff are all safe and there is no risk of injury unless you go into these demonstration areas, we are very concerned that Turkish authorities have used excessive force to respond to a local protest. We’ve spoken today with Caglar from our Istanbul office for an on-the-street report…
“It started as a peaceful demonstrations in Istanbul against a government eager to demolish a public park in the heart of Istanbul, Taksim Square. After that moment, thousands started to march Taksim Square but most of them could not get even close due to the attacks of the police force. The police used the Mass Incident Intervention Vehicle, tear gas and water cannons against thousands of protesters who camped out in the park to make their peaceful demonstration. This was happened for the three days. On Saturday afternoon police moved out of Gezi Park, but now police are getting more aggressive in Besiktas area. Believe or not, Turkish mainstream media does not show any of the incidents happening. Now, we need your help.”
Founder of Roupa Suja Project, a union of women who work to provide childcare, education, job training and assistance to people living in one of Rio’s largest slum, Marcia Ferreira da Costa is a fitting addition to our series on inspiring women…
“I was born in the favela of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, in the mid 1960s. I was one of four daughters and we, along with my parents, lived in a very very poor house. It was in front of an open ditch. Every time it rained a lot we would lose everything, and this is something I’ll never forget. The ditch would overflow and inundate my house bringing rats and garbage. We needed to sleep in other people’s houses and keep our clothes in bags etc. But despite this hard situation, I also remember we were always happy as a family. We were very close.
We are thrilled to announce that Hossam Moussa, Intrepid Group Leader in Egypt, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Wanderlust World Guide Awards 2013.
A graduate of the Department of Guiding at Helwan University, Hossam (known as ‘Sam’), worked in a number of Cairo’s five star hotels before becoming a tour leader in 2009 so that he could share his passion for Ancient Egypt with travellers from all over the world. He leads a number of itineraries for Intrepid including Pyramids to Petra, Jordan & Egypt Express, Egypt Experience, Discover Egypt, and Explore Egypt.
We’ve got some bad news. Earth is on the way out. In fact, if the history of our planet were a movie trilogy, we’d be halfway through Return of the Jedi by now.
Don’t grab your supplies and head to the bunker just yet though. Yes, the earth is already 4.5 billon years old – but scientists are confident it will be around long enough to work out how to fit 5.11 billion candles on its birthday cake.
But of course, there will always be those people who jump the gun. So in honour of all who were convinced we’d never make it to 2013, here’s a look back at some of the not-quite-apocalypses that we’ve survived so far…
“It is 6am in the morning. There’s a familiar noise of singing in the background. It’s the kids and their upbeat prayer songs – a ritual practiced every day before they get ready for school. School they may not have ordinarily attended…
My name is Melissa and I’m a volunteer at New Hope Children’s Centre in Uplands, Kenya; a place I discovered through Intrepid whilst planning a safari in Kenya.
Intrepid’s SAMA is proud to support a range of projects that use education to promote gender equality. And on these projects, we see many teachers championing for change. As part of our series of stories on inspiring women, meet Theresia Musoma, a teacher who works tirelessly to educate and help her community.
In the isolated town of Mabogini in Tanzania, Theresia Musoma teaches in a cramped, whitewashed classroom. Her love and dedication to her students has helped countless children finish school and inspired many others around her.
66% of work around the world is performed by women, but they earn a meagre 10% of the total income and own only 1% of the world’s property. These are just some of the inequalities faced by women and girls and an example of why Intrepid wants to promote international gender equality.
How are we doing this? Last year Intrepid created Project SAMA – which means ‘equal’ in the Bahasa language. SAMA is our 3-year global gender initiative that aims to improve the lives of communities and help bridge the gender gap through education. SAMA is supporting projects around the world that contribute to Intrepid’s overall aim of tackling gender inequality.
Every day, millions of people suffer from the direct and indirect consequences of the poorly regulated arms trade. This month something positive could be done about it. On 18 March, the final negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty will begin in New York. The world desperately needs a final agreement to ensure that no country or arms dealer will sell weapons to governments, companies or armed groups where there is a big risk of those arms and ammunition, ranging from AK-47s to bombers, being used for atrocities or violent abuse.
Intrepid’s friends at Amnesty International tell us, that halting the use of child soldiers in conflicts is just one of a series of compelling reasons for states to adopt a strong Arms Trade Treaty. Child soldiers have reportedly been used in at least 19 countries, according to the global NGO coalition ‘Child Soldiers International’, of which Amnesty International is a member.
At Intrepid, we ♥ travel. Especially RESPONSIBLE travel. And it seems we’re not the only ones! Those of you who recently completed our Responsible Travel and Sustainability survey noted that Intrepid’s approach to Responsible Travel is one of the top 3 reasons you travel with us. The survey also showed that over 90% of respondents want to travel with a company who practice Responsible Travel and agree the travel industry has a duty to reduce its environmental footprint.
Take climate change for example. The tourism industry is both impacted by climate change and is a sector that’s a growing contributor to the problem. So as a travel company that creates and promotes holidays, we see it as our responsibility to be part of the solution, not the problem. And the good news is we’re not alone – 98% of survey respondents believe climate change is an important issue that Intrepid should continue to tackle.