We have some exciting news! Thanks to the generous support of thousands of travellers, and matching donations from the Intrepid Group, The Intrepid Foundation has officially raised over AUD 5 million for community projects around the world. The last 18 months in particular have seen us reach a personal best in fundraising, make friends with some new project partners and expand our overall impact. We’ve put all the nitty gritty details into a tidy Annual Report, but if pie charts and diagrams just aren’t your thing we’ve also pulled out the best bits for you here. Let’s take a look at what’s been happening.
1. We helped Nepal find its feet after the devastating earthquake of 2015
In April 2015 Nepal suffered a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people and resulted in tremendous damage to the country’s infrastructure. Following the disaster The Intrepid Foundation immediately launched an appeal for donations, raising AUD 400,000 in just under a month! The response from the international community was overwhelming, and this was by far our most successful fundraising effort to date.
After the unprecedented success of our initial Earthquake Appeal, we knew there was more we could do to help the Nepalese people. This is why we launched the Namaste Nepal campaign, encouraging travellers to visit and help the country get back on its feet. Trekking and tourism are some of the country’s largest sources of external revenue; many of our leaders, porters and staff in Nepal rely on tourism for their livelihoods. We also made a commitment to donate all profits from our 2015/2016 trekking seasons to four local organisations: Seven Women, The Himalayan Rescue Association, Plan International and the World Wildlife Fund.
2. We stopped visiting children’s orphanages
Last year we reviewed visits to children’s orphanages as part of our tours. After consulting with staff, child protection agencies and on-ground project partners we decided to discontinue these visits, because despite the best intentions of our tour guides and passengers, visits to orphanages can have unintended negative side effects.
Even though we’ve stopped dropping in, we still think orphanages play a vital role in supporting families and addressing genuine youth homelessness and neglect. This is why The Intrepid Foundation continues to support children’s shelters with direct donations.
3. We shook things up at home
The Intrepid Foundation originally started as an informal group of volunteers on a steering committee. In 2015 we decided it was best to integrate The Foundation into the broader Intrepid Group family. This meant it could access the resources and manpower needed to ensure its activities and funds were delivered in a timely and efficient way. While this was a massive boost to our productivity, we didn’t want to compromise our accountability and transparency, so we engaged an independent firm to audit all of The Foundation’s accounts annually. We’re now stronger, better, and faster, but just as transparent and committed to the cause as we were before.
4. We’re growing and reaching more people
In the last 18 months alone The Intrepid Foundation distributed a whopping AUD 988,818 in donated funds to 53 community projects from 25 different countries. 66% of those funds were directed towards Asia, where Cambodia’s Green Gecko Project, Vietnam’s Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation and India’s Pollinate Energy program received the highest number of donations from passengers and donors. We’re proud to say that 100% of all donated funds go directly to community projects, and our record donations mean we’ve been able to reach more people than ever before.
5. We’ve welcomed new partners
The Intrepid Foundation has long-term community partners we’ve supported for years, but we’ve also welcomed some new projects too. Here are some of the new recruits:
- Pollinate Energy is improving the lives of India’s urban poor by providing access to affordable and sustainable products, such as solar lights and improved cooking stoves.
- Seven Women is based in Nepal and offers skills training to local unemployed and disabled women who might otherwise experience harsh discrimination. The project has now become a powerful force for change in the region with positive flow-on effects for the women involved and their local communities.
- Support To Life (STL) in Turkey works at a grassroots level to improve the quality of lives of those in need, with support for Syrian refugees currently their main focus. As the number of refugees in Turkey increases, access to basic facilities also becomes more difficult. STL works to improve access to services and empower refugees through training and social support.
You can see all the projects we support over here (and why not make a tax-deductible donation while you’re there).
As you can see, we’re over the moon with our current results, but we have our sights set on making 2016 even better! You can help be a part of it by making a donation towards any of our community projects via The Intrepid Foundation website. Better still, join one of our small-group adventures and get the chance to visit a project for yourself.
Want to find out more about the Intrepid Foundation? Check out the website.
Feature image by The Common Wanderer.