Melbourne-based adventure travel company, Intrepid Travel has announced a new partnership and $90,000 donation to child protection charity Forget Me Not.
The $90,000 donation comes from the Namaste Nepal appeal – launched by Intrepid’s not-for-profit arm, The Intrepid Foundation, following the devastating 2015 Earthquake.
In total, the appeal has raised more than $750,000 and is already helping to rebuild a school, provide skills training for women, support a health post near Everest Basecamp and rebuild the heavily damaged Langtang Trekking route in Nepal.
The travel operator has also committed to matching donations made to Forget Me Not.
Forget Me Not is an Australian-based charity dedicated to carrying out life-changing rescue, recovery and reintegration work, educating rural communities and parents about the dangers of child trafficking and reuniting children with their families in Nepal.
There are 16,886 children living in orphanages in Nepal, yet 80 percent have at least one parent who could care for them. Many are taken from their home with the promise of a better life, only to be mistreated and abused.
“We are urging Australian travellers and the industry to end orphanage visits and volunteering overseas,” Intrepid Travel chief executive officer and The Intrepid Foundation chair, James Thornton says.
“Travellers often think they are helping, but children are not a tourist attraction. The best way to help is by supporting organisations that work to keep children with their families – that’s why we have partnered with Forget Me Not.”
Intrepid Travel has a strong stance on child protection and is playing a leading role as part of an advocacy group that is calling for the introduction of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia.
The global adventure travel company removed visits to orphanages from all itineraries by May or 2016 and has been working with child protection experts to educate travellers about the reality and implications of visiting and supporting overseas orphanages.