There is a group of people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else, but they are not political or religious activists. They are girls.
Being born a girl means you are more likely to be subjected to violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage than any other group on the planet. As each girl moves closer to coming of age, I AM A GIRL, a feature length documentary, reveals what it means to grow up female in the 21st century.
“Dear Intrepid Team,
Thank YOU for having such a generous impact on Bumi Sehat and our patients. Your group visits have been amazing”, writes Robin Lim, founder of Bumi Sehat, Indonesia. Bumi Sehat provide free maternal and infant health services in Bali and Aceh and The Intrepid Foundation is a proud supporter.
“It’s been a wonderful and challenging month at Bumi Sehat. We had a stillborn baby (no heartbeat at all at birth) 10 days ago, but after 33 minutes of neonatal resuscitation, the baby hung onto life. She is now gaining weight, and is breastfeeding well. Yesterday this baby girl, who I visited at home in Tagalalang, smiled at me – a real miracle!
“There’s been huge demand in recent months for urgent assistance to young boys and girls who have been trafficked, as well as the street kids here in Hanoi, who are having a pretty awful time at the moment” says Michael Brosowski, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation’s Founder and Director.
“There’s no doubt about it: crisis situations are more common and vastly more complex than when we started 10 years ago. Most kids we meet now have left broken families, escaped abuse, or been deceived and trafficked. The kids’ desperate need for money means they may do anything, including selling themselves for sex or committing crimes. Unfortunately, we are seeing more people who devote themselves to preying on kids to exploit their vulnerability,” says Michael. “The situation is desperate.”
Since launching our Carbon Management Plan back in 2007, Intrepid Travel has invested over $1 million in renewable energy projects. For those of you with a head for numbers, that’s 83,613 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions prevented – or the equivalent of taking 9,000+ cars off the road for an entire year!*
At the end of each financial year our Responsible Business gurus get busy measuring the environmental footprint of our offices and trips, introducing energy-saving mechanisms where possible and offsetting those emissions that can’t be avoided through our renewable energy supplier. Frankly, it’s a lot of work. And when the allocated credits have been exhausted we also need to select the project, or projects, that we’ll be supporting for the coming year.
“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.