THE INSIDERS: ETHICAL TRAVEL
DONATE NOW: The people of Nepal now more than ever need our support after the recent earthquake. Trekking to Everest base camp had always been on my bucket list and I got the chance to go there with World Vision Australia in March this year. Not only did I get to trek to base camp while raising money for communities in Nepal, but I saw the work World Vision does first-hand, visiting a community cooperative, a thriving school and a health clinic. The effort required now to rebuild is huge. Donate to the Nepal earthquake appeal at wva.me/nepal-relief.
VISIT ANIMALS IN THEIR HABITAT: Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan, Borneo, provides visitors with the chance to see these gorgeous creatures interacting, eating and living happily in their natural habitat. Guests watch a video before they enter the facility and learn about the sanctuary’s success in releasing orangutans into the wild. Long-term volunteers are welcome but places are strictly limited; orangutan-appeal.org.uk/aboutus/sepilok-rehabilitation-centre.
SUPPORT A COMMUNITY: When in Siem Reap, Cambodia, seek out The Friends Restaurant, which offers vocational training for local youths. In the program they learn restaurant skills, including cooking, serving and hosting. The food is amazing. There is an attached shop selling goods made from recycled materials, with all proceeds going to the programs; tree-alliance.org.
ENCOURAGE BUSINESS: In Vietnam we had the opportunity to meet a lovely woman making conical hats. As a tour group we had paid her for a demonstration of her skills. We asked: “Should we tip?” No, the organisers replied, we should purchase her hats and support her business. Encouraging entrepreneurship through buying products develops local enterprise more than just giving a donation.
INSPIRE OTHERS TO GIVE: Choosing to raise money for a cause is a fulfilling, yet daunting challenge. In 2012 I trekked to Machu Picchu, Peru, and raised more than $4000 for the Black Dog Institute. By taking on a personal physical challenge, we can inspire our own network to give generously. With charity challenge company Inspired Adventures, support a cause you are passionate about; inspiredadventures.com.au.