We are delighted to announce The Intrepid Foundation’s latest funds distribution. We have hit a new high in donations from Intrepid travellers and along with contributions from Intrepid Travel we are disbursing AU$394,601 between 55 non profit organisations or projects around the world for the 2010-11 financial year. This brings us to now having distributed over AU$2.6 million since inception of The Intrepid Foundation in 2002!
It’s a wonderfully long list of beneficiaries and below we are pleased to highlight some of the great projects that will receive financial support. For the full list of dedicated organisations who have benefitted from the generosity of Intrepid travellers, please visit the Beneficiaries page on our website. Sincere thanks to all who have contributed to this great outcome for our Intrepid destination communities…
In 1835 Charles Darwin described the Galapagos Islands as a “living laboratory”. Fortunately centuries later the islands are still a haven for unique flora and fauna, but there is a growing threat – tourism. In an effort to protect the native animals, new cruising restrictions will come into effect in 2012, but more can be done to travel responsibly in the region.
Intrepid’s Active Galapagos is a great example, because you stay on the islands and support communities by dining in local restaurants, rather than just running up a tab on the boat. And as Sean Kennaway discovered, your wildlife encounters will still be amazing…
After weeks of hard work, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation has played a significant role in bringing down a ring of traffickers who were kidnapping teenage girls from Vietnam and selling them to brothels in China. You can see from this powerful account by Michael Brosowski, Founder and CEO of Blue Dragon, why The Intrepid Foundation is determined to help this organisation make a real difference…
“Our involvement started when we met a girl named Ha (a name we’ve chosen to protect her identity), who had been kidnapped from her home town 70 km north of Hanoi in January. Ha was just 14 years old. The traffickers had a well-rehearsed script to lure her from her home: befriend her, show her great kindness and then sell her to another trafficking ring across the border in China.
The football field may traditionally be a male domain, but in a small village high in the Andes it’s the best man, or woman, for the team, as Summer Davis explains…
“Heading up through the terraced mountains of the Sacred Valley, we prepared ourselves for an afternoon of ‘local interaction’ with the Sacaca community. But this was no ordinary visit, because on this occasion our Intrepid Cuzco office decided to challenge these hearty mountain Quechuas to a game of football.
It doesn’t matter if you’re lacking in eye-hand coordination or are not competitive by nature, because Intrepid’s Jo Stewart discovered that watching the local game in Morocco can be a winning real life experience…
“The advent of air travel, growth of technology and evolution of infrastructure means we’re all more mobile than ever, crossing time zones with ease, skipping across oceans like stones. Sometimes, this hyper mobility is a blessing (you can be in another continent so fast); other times it can be a curse (you can leave a country without ever feeling connected to it). Well, want to get under the skin of a country? I’ve found that one of the best ways to uncover a nation’s psyche is through sport.
If you prefer your sporting pursuits to be more cerebral than physical, be sure to brush up on your board games before travelling to Asia. Mikey Leung is no grandmaster, but he still enjoys checking out the chess scene on his Asian adventures…
“On the streets of China you can see groups of old men strategically slamming wooden pieces on boards in a fervent display of chess machismo. Across this enormous nation the game is essentially the same, though round wooden blocks with painted Chinese characters take the place of carved wooden figurines. Therefore, mastering this game involves not only learning some new rules, but also a few Chinese characters as well.
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!
Traditionally made by carving out the trunk of ebony or kigelia trees, the mokoro is the most popular mode of transport for navigating Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It’s no wonder that traversing these wonderful waterways in a dugout canoe, or modern fibreglass version, is such a trip highlight, but as Fay Whitelaw discovered, hippos still have right of way in the Delta…
“We had a wonderful, relaxing ride at sunset in a mokoro in the Okavango Delta. It was an amazing experience, lazing back while our guide poled us through the reeds. We even saw an elephant taking his arvo drink from the Delta after a hot day. It was great having a new perspective – looking back at this huge mammal from the water. We enjoyed a lovely evening and had plenty of pics to prove it. An experience that could have only been improved if we had a bottle of wine!
There are approximately 10,000 tuk tuks constantly buzzing about Bangkok. Thanks to a government funded re-fit, these previously noisy and air-polluting machines are now more eco-friendly and are such a fun way to get around. In fact, Intrepid travellers like Carla Wilson love them so much that these iconic vehicles are the stars of one of our Bangkok Urban Adventures…
“I had a free day in Bangkok before my last Intrepid trip, so I decided to do Tuk Tuk Experience. The 5-hour tour was great way to explore the city’s backstreets and it gave us enough time to get to know some of the sites. Our colourful tuk tuks picked us up at the hotel and whisked us to an amulet market, which was really interesting. Our guide Jo was very enthusiastic about explaining the significance of the charms to ward off evil and what they mean to local people.