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Chances are if you’ve travelled with Intrepid before, you’ll be familiar with The Intrepid Foundation. For those that haven’t here is a quick rundown.

Born in 2002, the not-for-profit arm of The Intrepid Group was created to help travellers give something back to the communities they’ve visited. Since then, the foundation has raised more than AU $6 million for over 100 non-government organisations around the world.

Today, The Intrepid Foundation supports 50+ local, grassroots projects tackling areas like sustainable development, human rights, child protection, environmental conservation, wildlife protection, education and healthcare.

On a number of Intrepid trips, it’s possible for you to visit these inspiring initiatives and experience first-hand how your donations can make a difference to local lives. Continue reading for details of fascinating projects and the holidays that will enable you to learn more about them.

KOTO Training Centre – Vietnam

Photo supplied by KOTO

Founded by Jimmy Pham, KOTO helps at-risk young people in Vietnam by providing them with training and opportunity. Its 2-year hospitality services and culinary arts program gives students the skills they need for a sustainable career and has seen hundreds secure jobs in top restaurants and hotels across the globe. As well as receiving important life lessons in finance, English, sex education and so on, trainees are also provided with accommodation, food and medical check-ups.

Tucking into a traditional Vietnamese meal at one of their two training restaurants is a must.

Trips that visit this project:

RELATED: MEET THE FOUNDER, JIMMY PHAM

Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation – Vietnam

Photo captured by Mark Chew

Teaming up with local governments, Blue Dragon works to fight the causes of human trafficking and rescue its victims. Their crew of social workers, psychologists, teachers and lawyers offer individualised support to every child rescued. They will also strive to reunite these children with their families where feasible. Children receive an education, nutritious meals, health care, counselling, legal support, safe shelter and the love and support they need.

Sitting down to breakfast and listening to what Blue Dragon has achieved is truly eye-opening.

Trips that visit this project:

Friends International – Cambodia

Photo supplied by Friends International

Adopting a holistic approach to helping Cambodian communities, Friends-International starts by protecting vulnerable youth. Teaching them skills that will earn them an income and improve their quality of life. They achieve this by reaching out to young people living on the streets, taking them back to school and providing drug treatment for those that need it. So far, their students have gone onto careers as chefs, motorbike mechanics, beauticians and tailors.

An opportunity to eat at their impressive training restaurant in Phnom Penh is not to be passed up.

Trips that visit this project:

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Angkor Conservation Centre for Biodiversity – Cambodia

Photo supplied by Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity

Because of the likes of deforestation, poaching and illegal trading, several endemic Cambodian species have been pushed to the brink of extinction. That’s where the Angkor Conservation Centre for Biodiversity (ACCB) comes in. Beginning its rescue and breeding operations in 2004, it has successfully rehabilitated hundreds of endangered animals including the pileated gibbon, Malayan porcupine and silvered langur.

Spending time at the ACCB will teach you about the country’s diverse wildlife and the threats it faces.

Trips that visit this project:

Small Projects Istanbul – Turkey

Photo supplied by Small Projects Istanbul

Based in the Turkish capital, Small Projects Istanbul helps people displaced by conflict in the Middle East and northern Africa to rebuild their lives. Children are offered childcare, language and psychosocial support so they can cope as they’re integrated into mainstream, local schools. Whilst their mothers enrol in the Women’s Skills Development Program that teaches them entrepreneurial, leadership and technical handicraft skills to help them gain a livelihood.

Having a conversation with these families who have fled Syria is a challenging but important experience.

RELATED: MEET THE SYRIAN REFUGEES RUNNING THEIR OWN FASHION LABEL IN ISTANBUL

Friends of the Asian Elephant – Thailand

Photo supplied by Friends of the Asian Elephant

Rehabilitating elephants once used in entertainment venues and for rides, Friends of the Asian Elephant is a cause close to Intrepid’s heart. The hospital, based outside Chiang Mai, provides free medical care for sick and injured elephants, as well as education for their keepers. Its Mobile Vets Project sends teams to Northern Thailand to diagnose and treat elephants, who once well enough are often relocated to Surin province where they can live in more natural surroundings.

Visit Friends of the Asian Elephant and discover why saying no to elephant riding is so essential.

Trips that visit this project:

RELATED: MEET THE ENTREPRENEURS CHANGING THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD

Seven Women – Nepal

Photo supplied by Seven Women

Housed in Kathmandu, Seven Women teaches women how to become independent and self-sufficient. Participants take lessons in basic reading and writing skills, money management and self-care. As well as learning how to make souvenirs like clothing, knitting and embroidery that can be sold for income. These educational classes, skills training sessions and income generation programs have had a profound impact on the women of Nepal.

Meeting some of the amazing women who benefit from this amazing project is inspiring.

Urban Adventures that visit this project:
  • In Focus: Handmade Kathmandu
  • In Focus: Cook in Kathmandu

Animal Care in Egypt – Egypt

Photo captured by Ruth Jobling

With the assistance of their dedicated team, Animal Care in Egypt provides free veterinary care to thousands of sick and suffering horses, donkeys, dogs and other animals in Luxor each year. Their walk-in clinic, hospital and stables enable animals to receive the attention they require. Teachers will also educate children from families who rely on these creatures for their income about how best to treat them.

Stopping by the care centre to see the incredible work they do will warm your heart.

Trips that visit this project:

Pollinate Energy – India

Photo captured by Pravin Tamang

Something as simple as making sustainable energy products accessible, improves the lives of people living in some of India’s poorest urban communities. Pollinate Energy trains locals to go door-to-door educating neighbouring families about affordable, clean energy alternatives. This generates employment opportunities for local entrepreneurs and empowers families to create greener, safer and healthier homes.

Taking a visit to the slums in Bangalore allows you to see the positive impact Pollinate Energy is having.

An Urban Adventure that visits this project:
  • In Focus: Bangalore Solar Slum Tour

If you want to find out more about The Intrepid Foundation and the projects it supports, please click here. To visit any number of these initiatives, check out Intrepid’s range of small group tours.

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