Nurture the World

It is really easy to become overwhelmed into inaction due to all the thing that are wrong with the world. We are left feeling frustrated and powerless. Unable to do anything to make the changes necessary to correct the mistakes of our forefathers and restore some “goodness” into our community. While at the same time, attempting to save the planet! I mean, how does one individual, or even a handful of like-minded individuals take on the politicians, tycoons, mining companies, developers, polluters, poachers, abusers and many others who are not only contributing significantly to the demise of the planet, but also to the deterioration of social consciousness?

My solution to this problem is to focus on the things that are right with the world, and offer my support there. Now, we have a lot of fantastic charities out there. Big organisations who are making some vital changes to the world. Greenpeace, WWF, PETA, UNICEF, RSPCA, Plan, National Geographic Society and Friends of the Planet to name a few. These organisations still need our donations as much as possible. But I also like to seek out the smaller groups. The unsung heroes in the far corners of the Earth who are doing amazing things, without the public accolades and with very little financial support. Some of the most profound positive changes in this world will be made by these smaller charities. Think the “Butterfly Effect”.

So, what if you have exhausted all your spare funds and have no spare cash to offer? There are 3 ways you can still help:

  1. Approach your employer (particularly if you work for a large corporation). Ask them to donate goods or money to your chosen charity. Businesses get inundated with requests for assistance from various charities. This can cause annoyance, and often, requests are dismissed without any serious consideration.  But, if the request is made by an employee of the company, the answer is more likely to be “yes”. The company is more familiar with you and already has a positive relationship with you.
  2. Volunteer your assistance. It’s hard to find the time to do this, but if you incorporate your family time into your charity work, then you will not only provide valuable manpower to a charity in need, but also instill social awareness into your children and fellow family members.
  3. Ask for donations in lieu of gifts. This practice is becoming more and more popular, particularly at weddings. (Who needs 8 toasters anyway?) By sending out donor cards with your invitations which detail the charity you would like to support, your guest can fill the information in with the particulars of the donation they have made on your behalf and return it to you at the wedding. This way, you will still be able to acknowledge the donation gift by sending the guest a ‘thank you’ note after the event. (Just quietly, this method also encourages the guest to actually follow through with making the donation!)

The aim of this page is to bring into the spotlight some of the unsung heroes who have touched my heart. Whether you are inspired to contribute financially to one of my favourite charities or, perhaps, seek out your own, it is entirely up to you. Please feel free to post a comment here if you know of such a small charity in your community and I will add them to the list.

Thailand Elephant Conservation Centre

If you are looking for an unusual but enriching destination for your next family holiday, then please seriously consider the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre in Lampang near Chiang Mai, Thailand. They offer stay packages on site in the camp where you will be assigned an elephant and mahout (Thai elephant carer) for the duration of your stay. You will then be trained in elephant handling. Stays range from just 1 day up to a full 30 day program. The proceeds go to supporting the elephant rescue program as well as the attached free Elephant Hospital.
The youngest person on our 3 day stay was just 6 (and so was her elephant!) and the oldest was around 45. My time spent here was utterly life changing. A genuine one-on-one relationship is built with your elephant and the special moments shared (particularly at bath time in the lagoon!) will stay with you for life.
To be continued….

6 responses

  1. Wonderful post! There are elephant orphanages and rescue centers in various places around the world, and they provide an important service. Members of our collective have written about the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya, and were inspired enough to adopt a baby. (http://raxacollective.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/a-lesson-on-conservation-tourism-the-case-of-nairobi%E2%80%99s-animal-orphanages/) and (http://raxacollective.wordpress.com/2011/08/31/baby-elephant-rescue-in-kenya-2/)

    Thanks for your work here!

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