“One main factor in the upward trend of animal life has been the power of wandering”, said mathematician and philosopher, Alfred North Whitehead. It certainly adds up to us at Intrepid, that experiencing animals you may have never seen before, in new environments, is part of the very essence of travelling. However, with the amazing opportunity that this presents, comes an obligation to act in a responsible way to best ensure the welfare of the animals.
Carmel Molloy, CEO of WSPA Australia, explains more: “I will never forget a holiday that I had to India, where I saw an elephant restrained by its owner and forced to bow down to tourists by kneeling every few minutes on a concrete floor. You could see that this repetitive action was causing him pain, yet people flocked round, seemingly unaware of the daily torment that this wild animal faced. People paid money to see it happen again and again. Wild animals should be protected, not used, abused, farmed or sold.
The freedom to travel is something we Intrepid travellers cherish. But for many, the freedom to read this article, to speak or act without restraint, is denied. That’s where buying a raffle ticket can help!
For over 50 years, Amnesty International has protected individuals around the world wherever freedom, truth and justice are denied. They shine a light into dark corners, exposing human rights abuses and campaign for human rights to be upheld. In the last year, Amnesty’s work has brought freedom to hundreds of vulnerable people and helped to at last achieve an international Arms Trade Treaty.
“There are many small non-government organisations which try to make a difference by their humanitarian efforts to help malnourished and disadvantaged children, especially in underdeveloped and developing countries. Yet this work is not considered ‘sustainable’, THE buzz word when applying for grants or donations”, writes Sonia Newhouse who works high in the Peruvian Andes. ”But what could be more sustainable than children, for the future of their societies and countries!”
“Sustainability of projects is recognised by most large and small donors as ‘the’ qualification when receiving grant applications, as they are then considered to be self-sustaining and will therefore only need a one-off donation.
This year, following the legacy of Nelson Mandela, or Madiba as we call him, our Intrepid South Africa team celebrated Mandela day by helping out in our local community, trying to do something that actually makes a difference.
Benjamin Disraeli wrote “The youth of a nation are the trustees of prosperity.”
Meet Prisca Laurence, beekeeper officer and chilli fence monitor in Minungo, Tanzania. Prisca is working with World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), an Intrepid Foundation partner, on an ingenious and sustainable project to help local people safeguard their livelihoods, whilst protecting elephants.
In Tanzania, with people encroaching on lands once inhabited only by animals, conflict has arisen due to elephants raiding farms to pillage tasty crops. One large elephant is capable of quickly destroying a whole field, so villagers have been forced to take drastic action, including setting painful snares and in the worst case scenario, hunting and killing rogue elephants. And that is where Prisca comes into the picture, when it was discovered that these giant creatures, with their long and sensitive noses, despise chilli and bees!
Aziza lives in Afghanistan. She is intelligent and loves going to school. As the middle girl in a family with 5 children, her day starts early. Before going to school she has to do domestic work, which includes fetching water, cleaning the floor, feeding the chickens and making the breakfast.
The Taliban killed Aziza’s father, so there is added financial pressure on the family. School is almost a respite, where she can learn and excel. Back home from school the chores begin again, but somehow she squeezes in 5 hours study per night so she can achieve her goal of being the best in class and perhaps, one day, the first female President of Afghanistan.
Qinnie Wang describes herself as “just an ordinary girl” who lives and works in Canberra, Australia’s capital, and loves to travel. But it was during her Great Indochina Loop trip with Intrepid late last year, that the seed was planted for a major change in her life purpose and direction. Qinnie explains more…
“During this fabulous trip we travelled through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. My heart was deeply touched by the friendly and warm people I met, the poverty I witnessed and the beautiful handicrafts I bought. When we visited one of the ancient temples in Cambodia, we met up with a bunch of young local boys and girls, aged between about 7 and 12. Each of them bonded with one of our group and followed us for the next 2 hours or so, walking through the undergrowth in their bare feet.
Some adrenaline junkies will go far and wide to find the next big thing. For David Knight, Intrepid’s Community Based Tourism researcher in Peru, an adrenaline rush came quite unexpectedly the other day during a mini-van ride from Cuzco to Urubamba in Peru’s Sacred Valley…
“Keep hands and feet inside the car at all times, ’cause this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness. The final words of warning from the old cowboy on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain kept running through my head as our driver took one harrowing turn after another. A woman walking beside the highway with her baby strapped to her back appeared entirely at ease as we sped by, the baby barely turning its head beneath a brilliantly-colored cloth.
Melbourne folk, you’re invited to the 12th Annual Intrepid Tree Planting Day. Join in with Intrepid staff and travellers to plant trees and shrubs in Yarra Bend Park near Merri Creek in Fairfield.
When: Sunday, 25 August, 2013, 10am to approx 2pm
Purpose: To widen the vegetation corridor along the Merri Creek as a flyway for birds and to lessen the visual impact of the Eastern freeway on the area. We have 900 plants to plant. Read more
It’s always great when you hear about ‘real’ people winning competitions and doubly terrific when you know their win is helping others. Last year, Jessie Wells of Queensland sold a book of raffle tickets for Amnesty International, and she won the Ticket Seller’s Prize – an Intrepid trip to Nepal.
“We think it’s great to have a prize draw for people who help out by selling tickets. We never imagined we would win, so it was a huge surprise and we feel so fortunate that our small contribution has led to this”, writes Jessie and new husband Paul. “Amnesty International has been an important part of our lives since we were teenagers, and we are thrilled to be able to celebrate our wedding by taking this incredible trip to the mountains and villages of Nepal. Thank you Amnesty International and Intrepid Travel for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity, at the perfect time!”