I’ve been doing some research on charities we might support through our trip, and have come across this excellent website, Stuff Your Rucksack. As with all the best ideas, it’s beautifully simple – they match up charities who need stuff, with travellers who are willing to provide and deliver it. It already covers 72 countries, but the more people who use it, the better it will be. So for instance, we could take printer cartridges to the Schools for Children of Cambodia or give books and DVDs to the Tararu Valley Rainforest Conservation Community in New Zealand. Many of the charities also encourage volunteers.
Another great sounding charity I’ve read about on other blogs, is Big Brother Mouse. They publish books in the Lao language, to give everyone in Laos, particularly children, the enjoyment of reading in their own language. They need sponsorship for a number of books and you can also donate money for ‘book parties’ where books are handed out to school children.
One charity we already support is the Sepilok Orangutan Appeal UK,which raises money in the UK to support the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, in Sabah (Malaysian Borneo). We’ve ‘adopted’ Sen, a little orangutan about the same age as Dickon, and have received photos of him and lots of child friendly information about the Centre and it’s work. Eve and Edward love comparing Sen to their little brother, and have found many similarities! It’s also been a great way to explain how and why animals become endangered, and what we might be able to do to help. We are really looking forward to visiting the Centre on our trip and seeing their work close up.
I’ll continue to search for organisations we could support and post about the ones I find. I hope that in this way, we will feel like we’ve given a little back and gained a deeper understanding of the communities we visit.