Did you know that your spare clothes can help build bridges and clean up water supplies? Well they can in India, when they come together with GOONJ, a local organisation supported by The Intrepid Foundation.
A bamboo bridge built in Assam, a pond cleaned in a remote corner of Orissa and many such development works across the country are some great examples of how the discarded material of cities can be turned into a big resource under GOONJ’s nationwide initiative Cloth for Work. The ‘genesis of a parallel economy’, as management experts are calling it!
For the last 5 years Intrepid has been a very proud supporter of The Climate Project – helping to educate our networks and support positive actions to address the climate crisis. Through our own major efforts to reduce and offset our carbon pollution, we were very chuffed to achieve carbon neutrality in late 2010, and are continuing to take measures to manage our environmental impacts.
The Climate Reality Project (known formerly as The Climate Project), founded and chaired by Vice President Gore, is launching a new global campaign to broadcast the reality of the climate crisis and mobilize people to help solve it. The campaign kicks off with 24 Hours of Reality, a worldwide, live streamed event on September 14-15.
Since 2006, Intrepid Thailand has given Intrepid travellers a special shoulder bag, emblazoned with the call to action “Say No to Plastic” in Thai and English. Any guesses as to how many bags have been given out?
The bags are produced by a women’s cooperative, Tae Moh Hai, meaning Our Friends Hands in local Kuy dialect. The group live in a small village, Baan Sawaii, located in Sri Saket province, in north-eastern Thailand. The initiative was established by former Intrepid group leader, Dtor, in her home village, with the aim to create work for local families and to motivate local people to understand the importance of conserving the environment.
Looking at the wisdom and warmth in those eyes, you know this women must have a thousand stories to tell. That’s the impression you get when you first see this wonderful photo taken by Jonathan Lewis. And it turns out there is a great tale attached to this special travel photo…
“In 1976 my friend visited a small village in rural China and photographed an elderly lady who he made friends with. We hiked back up the village in 2011 and my friend brought his photograph along, just in case someone recognised her.
As Intrepid prepares for this month’s 10th Annual Tree Planting Day in Australia, we’re excited to report on another special planting day. Our Thailand Responsible Travel Coordinator, Nai, writes…
“In 2007 a wildfire went through part of Doi Suthep National Park, near Chiang Mai. The best way to restore the forest is replanting and the proven way to protect the forest after revegetation is with wide community participation. To help make this happen The Intrepid Foundation recently donated US$2,500 towards the propagation and planting of 1000 trees, through Chiang Mai University’s Forest Restoration Research Unit (FORRU).
Travellers enjoy finding practical ways to assist local communities – but what’s really the best way to help? First and foremost, we encourage cash donations through The Intrepid Foundation, where your money is used responsibly for a range of great verified projects. But we are often asked about the giving of material things, such as clothes, books, medical supplies, etc. Donating items can be a useful way to help, or it can be counterproductive and cause problems for the beneficiary communities.
What are some of the traps to be avoided and what are the best options for assistance? We asked Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager…
Food plays an important role in cultures around the world and as travellers, eating local cuisine helps connect us to the people and places around us. For food junkies, the next level of the local food experience may be ‘adventure eating’ with the more bizarre local delicacies. Think duck foetuses, yak milk, dog meat and more.
One example is the food served at the so-called Snake Village outside Hanoi, Vietnam. Long a popular spot with locals, it is becoming increasingly trendy with tourists.
It’s always so encouraging to hear how support from Intrepid travellers and The Intrepid Foundation has been making a positive difference. In the Sacred Valley area of Peru we’ve helped provide health and nutritional support for disadvantaged communities via the terrific organisation, Living Heart. Sonia Newhouse, Founder and President of Living Heart, has recently shared lots of positive news…
“Just seeing the energy of these previously lethargic kids when they run circles around you in the playground is enough to fire us up to more action. This month we plan to provide hot breakfasts to yet another community, on top of our 4 communities that currently receive 2 meals a day. We’re currently making the first tentative steps towards what we hope will be a large-scale greenhouse project in the communities to grow more fresh produce. We are also on the lookout for a donation of contraceptive injections to re-start our widely-requested birth control project.
When passing through Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport, you may notice posters of animals, including a bizarre-looking scaly anteater. The animal in question, a pangolin (te te in Vietnamese), is one of six species featured in the “Don’t Buy Trouble” anti-wildlife trafficking campaign in Vietnam.
This unusual looking creature is covered in protective scales that are reminiscent of an artichoke and feeds on ants and termites. Pangolins are found throughout Southeast Asia, with two species native to Vietnam, but sadly they are heavily threatened by habitat loss and excessive hunting.