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.
What do the Bondeni Project, Rafiki Club and the Granny Club have in common? They are all projects of The Intrepid Foundation’s newest beneficiary organisation: the Saidia Children’s Home.
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.
It’s just 5 weeks to the end of The Intrepid Foundation’s financial year – a time when we tally up all the travellers’ donations received in the last 12 months and Intrepid Travel doubles it by matching donations. Then we speak with 50 fabulous organisations to let them know the good news of how much of their work we are able to support. Jane Crouch, Intrepid’s Responsible Travel Manager, shares the joy of this role…
“I was just talking with the ever-smiling Rith, from Ptea Teuk Dong in Battambang, Cambodia, yesterday and he gave me an update on their marvellous vocational programs for vulnerable young women in their community. Their programs include literacy, vegetable cultivation, sewing and weaving, as well as hospitality training. Rith says they have approximately 30 girls in their programs now, but the demand and need is huge, and with more funding they can build their capacity to take up to 80 girls.
Kyila was raised in a remote village on the Tibetan plateau. Her father, her twin brothers and Kyila were all born blind. Villagers believed that the family were cursed. “Children didn’t want to play with us,” Kyila says, “adults would throw old food on our doorstep.” Today Kyila is the founder and principle of the first integrative kindergarten in China.
Here she teaches blind and sighted children to become confident, critical and alert little thinkers. “I want to prove that blindness is not a punishment! I am educated, I have travelled the world and I am the richest woman in my village, and this because I am blind.”
Emanuel ran away from home when he was just 11 years old. He was living in Northern Tanzania. His parents divorced when he was young and when his father remarried support stopped for Emanuel, his sister and their mother. To try to make ends meet, Emanuel’s mother would send the children to the street to beg, while she took up with various men. One long-term boyfriend was an alcoholic and beat Emanuel frequently. In 2009 Emanuel fled.
Emanuel was homeless for 6 months before coming to Amani Children’s Home. When he arrived, he could not read or write, but Emanuel proved to be bright and eager to learn. He is well-organised and meticulous with his school work and now, after 2 years in Amani’s program, he’s preparing to enter Grade 4.
In late January, when the 19th Egyptian Marathon took place in Luxor, one special entrant caused some surprise and consternation. In fact the policeman at the car park said that young Felix wasn’t allowed.
After much negotiation by Felix’s companion, Kim, he was able to proceed and win hearts along the way. You see Felix is an orphan and resident of Animal Care in Egypt (ACE). That’s right, Felix is a donkey!
As a child, Miss Chanh felt hopeless. She was born with clubfeet and could not run around like the other kids. She had great difficulty walking and had to use crutches to move around. Chanh lives in the very beautiful and mountainous Oudomxay province in the north west of Laos.
Although the treatment now offered through the centres for babies born with clubfoot is non-invasive and highly successful, it was not available 20 years ago when Chanh was born. During her teens, Chanh received an orthotic, but over time it broke and was painful.