It’s not surprising that our Tour Leaders are big supporters of the communities they live and work in, and they all work hard to support the various initiatives taking place within them, whether through taking groups to see the work being done or by directly working with local groups and charities.
Each year, we ask our leaders to nominate a charity or project in their area to receive a contribution to help them continue their work. From the raft of nominations received, one initiative is chosen each year to receive £1,000 and two more receive £500.
Winner of £1,000
Ride 4 a Woman
The worthy winner of this year’s £1,000 donation is Ride 4 a Woman in Bwindi, Uganda. Nominated by Peter who has been working as an Explore leader for five years, this charity has grown from a small bike rental programme earning an income from tourists, to a charity with over 300 female students, all learning different skills from basket weaving to bike mechanics. The skills learned go a long way towards helping these women earn a sustainable wage and thereby gain independence and confidence. Explore is delighted to support Ride 4 a Woman, and in addition to the donation, now offers travellers to Uganda the chance to join a basket-weaving workshop and to buy ethical, hand-made crafts to take home with them.
After being told the good news, Peter said, “Thank you for selecting the Ride 4 a Woman project. Evelyn (the founder) is ecstatic and very grateful to Explore. They do amazing work for the [local] women and we are sure this will go a long way in supporting their project.”
Runner-up receiving £500
A project to build a new community library in Indein, Burma
Nominated by one of our Burmese Explore Leaders, Haymar, this project is setting out to build a small library in Indein, Burma, before collecting books from locals and tourists to fill the shelves. In giving the community access to a broad range of both Burmese and English books, they aim to boost education and help foster a love of reading.
Runner-up receiving £500
Icelandic Explore Leader, Meikel, nominated ICE-SAR (The Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue), which is a community of volunteers working in the search and rescue units. The teams rely on public donations and fundraising only, so this donation will go a long way in helping to protect tourists and locals who need help in Iceland’s beautiful but changeable landscapes. Team members often spend up to 300 to 400 hours a year, in very difficult conditions, searching for those lost or injured in Iceland’s extreme terrains and this donation will help them to continue this vital work.