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The Imagine Travel Charitable Fund
Travelling gives us a great insight into different cultures around the world, how locals live in environments that are completely different from our own, and indeed the troubles people face in some of the less developed countries. Here at Imagine, we believe it’s hugely important to give something back to the wonderful places we visit, and that’s why we have set up the Imagine Travel Charitable Fund. Here are five charities we are currently supporting that are doing great things in places we love…
TOFTigers is a charity that supports the protection and conservation of the Indian Subcontinent’s wild natural habitats and their inhabitants, with a special focus on tigers, set up because of an increased demand for wildlife tourism. Tigers across the Subcontinent are still very much under threat from poachers, so TOFTigers strives to stop their numbers from diminishing and to keep the species safe. The charity uses wildlife tourism as its main aid, encouraging better guidance for tourists, more involvement from local communities, and increased monitoring of tiger habitats. Some of the charity’s fantastic objectives include creating special guidelines for wildlife tour operators to avoid damage to habitats, advising local governments on how to combine nature tourism and conservation, and empowering the communities that surround national parks and tiger reserves to become involved with tourism and conservation projects. By introducing a rigorous auditing scheme for properties and ground agents in the wilderness areas of the Indian Subcontinent, TOFTigers has introduced the PUG-mark, which enables visitors to these areas to choose properties that are committed to long term sustainability. TOFTigers also supports a network of Village Wildlife Guardians, who are people chosen from villages bordering tiger habitats to provide hands-on help against tiger poaching, by creating deterrents for poachers and setting up camera traps, amongst other methods.
You can read more about the TOFTigers here, or get in touch with our specialists for more information on 020 3141 2800.
Small Steps Project (Takhmao Dump Project)
Small Steps Project is a humanitarian organisation which works within communities all around the world to help children and their families who are living on rubbish dumps. Small Steps Project provides initial emergency aid such as food, shoes, gloves and mosquito nets to rubbish dump communities when they are first discovered. After this, they move in and reduce the time the children spend living in these awful conditions, with the eventual aim of removing them completely. Children receive support to help them into education, and adults receive help to gain employment, turning their lives around. The charity produces documentary films and organises campaigns to create awareness about this enormous, but regularly overlooked, problem. Imagine Asia, together with our sister company Scott Dunn, actively supports the Takhmao Dump Project. This dump, which has been active for 15 years, is located in the Kandal Province of Cambodia, just outside busy Phnom Penh. A shocking seven truckloads of rubbish and waste are dumped here daily, right next to the huts that surround the dump where its communities live. Small Steps has built a centre with playgrounds, classrooms and gardens to help the children escape this dangerous and unhealthy environment. Over the last three years, Small Steps Project has managed to completely remove children from the Takhmao Dump, and these communities now have a future that doesn’t involve searching the dump for food and supplies.
You can read more about the The Small Steps Project here, or get in touch with our specialists for more information on 020 3141 2800.
The LATA Foundation strives to change lives across South and Central America through a variety of social and environmental projects. The foundation strives to provide basic aid to the local communities, including clean water, dental and medical support, and practical training to enable them to develop new skills that may help them to leave poverty behind. The charity was set up by the Latin America Travel Association in 1992, and with the ongoing support of companies in the travel industry, such as airlines, hotels and tour operators like ourselves, LATA continues to give back to Latin American countries. The charity is run entirely by volunteers from the UK and Latin America, most of whom have a background in the travel industry and a love for these countries and their communities. Some of the LATA Foundation’s projects include ‘Kids Saving the Rainforest’, which runs in Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park. The project rescues and rehabilitates wildlife that has been orphaned or injured, using children from the local community to help, encouraging them to become passionate about wildlife and the rainforest, and creating potential life paths for them. The ‘Condor Trust’ project helps young people from Ecuador go to secondary school and places of higher education, supporting them financially with items such as uniform and books. The trust helps them to complete education and subsequently break the poverty cycle.
You can read more about the LATA Foundation here, or get in touch with our specialists for more information on 020 3141 2800.
The Tikki Hywood Foundation
The Tikki Hywood Foundation is a charity focused on the protection of pangolins and Africa’s other lesser-known endangered species, including servals, otters, hedgehogs and wild cats. The pangolin is believed to be the most trafficked animal in the world. There are four different species of pangolin found in Africa, and another four in Asia; all eight are threatened with extinction. Illegal trade, lack of awareness and habitat loss are all contributing factors in the plight of the pangolin. The Tikki Hywood Foundation addresses all of these issues, and is actively helping save pangolins through conservation, education and legislation. Projects the charity have worked on include training law enforcement and judiciary personnel, targeting local African authorities and major airports in Zimbabwe with extensive awareness campaigns, and actively getting involved in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of trafficked animals. As well as supporting The Tikki Hywood Foundation financially, at Imagine we are committed to helping them raise awareness of the need to protect the pangolin and other little-known endangered species.
You can read more about the The Tikki Hywood Foundation here, or get in touch with our specialists for more information on 020 3141 2800.
Pack for a Purpose
Pack for a Purpose was started in 2009 by Rebecca Rothney and allows travellers to help the local communities they visit by packing just five pounds (2.3 kilograms) of supplies in their luggage. Lists are provided directly by the local community-based projects that will receive them, so you know you are taking items they actually need.
You can read more about Pack for a Purpose here, or get in touch with our specialists for more information on 020 3141 2800.