Bringing home souvenirs is a wonderful way to keep your travel memories alive, but when shopping for precious mementos it’s important to make responsible purchases. For example, be certain that products are not made from endangered species and try to buy locally produced items. Intrepid’s Carl Needham shares his tips on responsible shopping in Laos…
“When we go on holiday we all love to shop for souvenirs and handcrafted products. A really good way to support local communities and to put money back into the countries we visit is to buy handicrafts from local villages or cooperatives.
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.
The Intrepid Foundation was established in 2002 to donate funds to vital grassroots projects in the regions where Intrepid Travel operates, in the areas of healthcare, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and environmental and wildlife protection.
The Foundation also makes donations to several well-respected international non-government organisations (NGOs) including PLAN, Amnesty International, Medecins Sans Frontieres and Greenpeace. Plus we make one-off grants to environmental and social causes, and contribute funds to emergency appeals.
Intrepid Travel matches all donations made by travellers and staff plus pays all administration costs, so donors know that every penny or cent of their donation – and much more – is going to a good cause!