ATN Charity Partners giving back to local communities, nature and wildlife.
Updated: Jun 24
By Pru Goudie
We have long known the havoc and devastation wreaked on the travel industry with the COVID-19 pandemic and the profound and far-reaching devastation it has had on local communities and wildlife around the world.
Today we shine a light on the two charities ATN has chosen to support and we highlight the invaluable work they are continuing to do with their various charities.
Starting with the World Female Ranger Week initiative, spearheaded by international NGO, How Many Elephants (HME), we caught up with Holly Budge to see how things were progressing there.
Building on their success of World Female Ranger Day last year, which reached over 366 million viewers worldwide, Holly tells us, "one day wasn't enough for us to cover the many inspirational stories of female rangers". The pioneering World Female Ranger Week (WFRW) will include online and live events, plus a fundraising platform to raise vital funds for the ranger teams and share the rangers' stories.
This ground-breaking global awareness week, celebrates and supports female wildlife rangers. They're bold, changing the game and paving the way for women to stand alongside men at the forefront of conservation, but they need allies.
Image Credits Left to Right: Julia Gunther and Brent Stirton
As champions of wildlife conservation, as role models, as educators and as beacons of hope, female rangers are not only transforming attitudes towards the role of women around the world; they are showing the capabilities and success of females in traditionally male roles. However, less than 11% of the global wildlife ranger workforce is female. With women being natural communicators, protectors and investing their earned income in their families, bringing gender equality into the workforce enhances community conservation efforts and relationships.
Holly Budge says, "having patrolled with multiple ranger teams in Africa, I've seen first-hand how these bold women are impacting lives". Protecting wildlife, uplifting communities and empowering other women. WFRW highlights the significant gender imbalance in environmental conservation."
Over the last two years, the pandemic has crippled tourism and funding for conservation projects globally. The lack of tourists visiting National Parks has led to many rangers losing their jobs or having significant salary cuts. The knock-on effect of this is huge. For example, one ranger in Africa may support up to 16 family members. Additionally, reduced vigilance in tourist hotspots has left wildlife even more vulnerable to poaching.
Image credits; Julia Gunther, International Anti Poaching Foundation, IIan Godfrey
So, the often-challenging work of rangers is paramount right now. Day and night, female rangers patrol wilderness areas, monitoring wildlife, seizing snares, working with communities and in some cases, arresting poachers, all to save iconic species from extinction. They are away from their families for long periods, sometimes facing workplace security issues and battling social stigma. Many of these inspirational women have overcome adversity, poverty and marginalisation. Becoming a ranger has empowered them, turned them into breadwinners and property owners, and has allowed them access to higher education and much-needed healthcare.
Holly and her team have identified over 4500 female rangers in 18 African countries so far, and many more around the world, including in China, Sri-Lanka, Indonesia, India, Tasmania, Venezuela and Scotland to mention a few.
To donate to the WFRW visit https://www.worldfemalerangerweek.org/fundraisers/AdventureTravelNetworking
There are many ways you can get involved with World Female Ranger Week, from spreading awareness to fundraising to donating. More details are available at www.worldfemalerangerweek.org and www.howmanyelephants.org.
Moving on to our second charity, The Derek Moore Foundation (DMF) was set up to fund and support projects in small communities around the world, to promote sustainable economic growth and empowerment in such socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
The Foundation is usually introduced to the projects it supports through travel organisations that witness the struggles in destinations they visit. Generally they’re smaller projects that might not catch the eye of the larger NGO but with the support of the DMF there are literally life-changing differences being made all over the world.
Multiple projects are underway all around the world including Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Laos, Malawi, Nepal, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zanzibar and Zimbabwe.
Image Credits: Derek Moore Foundation
An example of the type of projects the DMF take on is the new 2022 Peru project, where the Foundation will provide solar lighting in village communities in Cordillera Blanca, northern Peru. This project will change the lives of villagers who will no longer have to rely on expensive kerosene or dangerous candles to light their dark nights. Parents can produce craftwork in the evenings, whilst children can do their homework more easily.
DMF work with smaller community projects that larger charities overlook
DMF only work with existing Projects to maximise the safety of your donations
DMF are all volunteers so 100% of your money goes to our Projects
With the return of travel abroad comes the chance to give something back to the communities you may be currently taking passengers to, or a destination you have just visited yourself on your travels around the world!
If you want to discuss ways to support DMF or nominate a new project then you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to the DMF visit https://thederekmoorefoundation.org/donate
The next Adventure Travel Networking Conference & Marketplace will take place on
21 & 23 February 2023 as a hybrid event.
Register your interest HERE
Pru Goudie, Founder