Exodus Travels Foundation Impact Report 2020 Published March 2021 Registered charity in England and Wales (no. 1182265)
Kitaba Wadia Kapanya, Mountiain Lioness Scholarship Graduate
What a difference a year makes 2020 started with the Exodus Travels Foundation launching our Mountain Lioness Scholarship, followed by funding for a Learning Centre in Zambia, fruit tree planting in the high altitude desert of Ladakh, sanitation block building in Laos and ongoing support for Himalayan communities. But then our world changed. COVID hit in Northern Hemisphere spring, and rampaged around our planet. We now live in a “global lockdown” until the virus can be controlled. Despite these difficulties, the foundation, with the fantastic support of Exodus’ customers and partners, has been able to continue supporting the needs of communities around the world normally so reliant on tourism. Through our far-reaching global network, we have been able to adapt existing projects and launch our Community Kickstart Project. In Nepal, our local staff have distributed hundreds of emergency meals to the poorest in the Kathmandu Valley. In Malaysia one of our tour leaders has worked tirelessly to rejuvenate a community garden for those in low cost housing, whilst our accommodation partner in Namibia has been providing meals to local school children. And, without trekkers climbing Kilimanjaro, our first 10 “Mountain Lionesses” have completed their guide training on the iconic mountain. Sustainable tourism will return, along with the economic stimulus it can give to these destinations, but in the meantime, we remain committed to doing all we can to support those worst hit. I, along with all of us at Exodus Travels and its foundation, want to extend a huge thank you to all who have helped; our customers, our partners and the Exodus staff around the world; none of this would happen without your generous support.
PETER BURRELL CHAIR OF TRUSTEES
2020 IN NUMBERS
SPOTLIGHT ON: 7
MOUNTAIN LIONESS SCHOLARSHIP
WORTH MORE ALIVE X
COMMUNITY KICKSTART PROJECT
Q&A: VALERIE PARKINSON
Improve life through travel in hard-to-reach places.
Community empowerment and conservation
lives improved in hard-to-reach places
emergency food parcels distributed across Nepal, Peru & Sri Lanka
female porters trained as mountain guides
Freedom Kit Bags distributed
trees planted in India and Nepal
schools renovated for 1000 school children
children given educational opportunities across 3 continents
6000 hot meals served to school children in Namibia
7000 26 Kilimanjaro mountain crew received COVID health and resilience handouts
household sanitation blocks built in Laos
families benefitted from a community garden
Community Kickstart initiatives funded across 10 countries
tourism businesses educated on shark conservation
mountain cleaned up
2020 IN NUMBERS
MOUNTAIN LIONESS SCHOLARSHIP
The Mountain Lioness Scholarship The literal translation for the Swahili word “Ngumu” is “tough”. This is a common word we use to describe the courageous, trailblazing female porters that defy social stigmas to work alongside their male counterparts and climb to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Over the next three years, this scholarship programme will enable 30 women to train as mountain guides and gain their Guide License, significantly increasing their employment opportunities and offering them a stable income so they can support their families; many are single parents.
To celebrate these remarkable female porters and to inspire other women to get their qualifications to climb to the roof of Africa, we launched our Mountain Lioness Scholarship in March 2020, with the help of our partners, Robertson Outdoor Bursary. The scholarship itself was named after Lucia Kivoi, nicknamed “lioness”, because of her pioneering spirit as a Senior Guide and woman who helped to spearhead the acceptance of female porters on Kilimanjaro.
Despite some COVID related delays to the first year of this programme, our first 10 lionesses completed their mountain guide course in November, having been trained up in topics such as Mountain Ecology, First Aid Emergency Care and Wilderness Rescue. We look forward to tracking their progress over the coming months and years as they start to put these skills into practice on the mountain, providing a shining example to other women in their community of the heights that can be reached.
“We are delighted that the Mountain Lioness Scholarship programme has enabled 10 women to complete the recent guide training course. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro alongside some of these men and women porters while filming the Exodus documentary, Ngumu, I was exposed to their physical and mental determination. This, coupled with having to develop some of the skills which are needed to take the steps from porter to guide, are imperative proficiencies for their onward progression. I look forward to seeing the progress of this programme develop and hope it can support the porters into being aspirational and limitless.”
CRISTA CULLEN TRUSTEE
Find out more at: www.exodus.co.uk/mountain-lioness-scholarship
MOUNTAIN LIONESS SCHOLARSHIP
Worth More Alive X It’s now been 11 years since Paul Goldstein, Exodus’ expert guide, photographer and conservationist, first ran the London Marathon in his - now legendary – 14ft tiger suit. Over the last decade, his ‘Worth More Alive’ campaign has sought to, as Paul puts it, “demonstrate that the beautiful Bengal Tiger is just that – worth more alive to the communities that live alongside them through the tourism income they help generate, than dead at the hand of poachers and the despicable demands of traditional medicine.” Since that first London Marathon, Paul and his suit have run 16 marathons, and conquered Kilimanjaro too, raising $300,000 in the process. This money has built a new school, bought ambulances and patrol vehicles, drilled bore holes and funded facilities for many outlying villages. At the end of 2019, Paul set his most ambitious target yet, to raise £100,000 through the campaign’s 10th iteration, by participating in the 2020 London Marathon once again, closely followed by the daunting Everest Marathon. Unfortunately COVID’s cancellation of both Marathons put this campaign on ‘paws’, but despite that, Paul has already managed to raise an incredible £60,000 of his target, through a variety of events and auctions, and the generosity of a number of supporters dedicated to tiger conservation. The campaign is merely in abeyance; he is still training and if he cannot complete the Himalayan challenge in 2021,
he and his team will do so the following year. He is confirmed to run the Brighton marathon in September, 10 years after his first 26 miler on the South Coast. The donations have already enabled our partner in India, the Corbett Foundation, to undertake much of the planned rebuilding and equipping of two schools in Bandhavgarh, on the boundaries of the National Park famous for its tiger population. This work has included building protective boundary walls, proper toilets and kitchens, and solar water pumps to supply the schools with clean drinking water. Paul says, “By providing 1,000 local children with an education effectively underwritten by conservation, this initiative is helping highlight to the surrounding communities the benefits of their striped neighbours, and contributing to the protection of tigers from poachers, encroachment and conflict.”
Find out more at: www.exodus.co.uk/tiger
WORTH MORE ALIVE X
““There are two schools adjoining Bandhavgarh park. They educate over 1,000 children in the community, and frankly their facilities were in total disrepair, which is why I wanted their schools to be completely rebuilt on a sustainable basis with The Sal & Mahua Schools Project. When the number of pupils and teachers see what has been done, they will understand just how important their striped neighbours are. It is here where the essence of the whole campaign lies, and what we’ve been building towards over the last 10 years. Considerable work has been completed already and would not have happened without considerable generosity from many sympathetic patrons. However, the world is a different place now, charity is in short supply so these incredibly kind donations are more important than ever. As for the tigers, they will need more than a vaccine to keep them from extinction.”
PAUL GOLDSTEIN EXODUS GUIDE, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER & CONSERVATIONIST
WORTH MORE ALIVE X
COMMUNITY KICKSTART PROJECT
Community Kickstart Project As COVID-19 caused a sudden pause to travel around the world, our thoughts quickly turned to our extended Exodus family; our expert local teams of leaders, operators, porters, drivers, and the communities around them. The people that welcome Exodus travellers and share their world with us suddenly faced a significant economic impact from the global halt in tourism. In response, the Exodus Travels Foundation launched the Community Kickstart Project to help those communities to recover and rebuild while we all wait for the world to open its doors again. The Project aims to support and enable our teams on the ground to kickstart grass roots initiatives which will help support their local communities through tourism’s pause, and then rebuild out the other side. After all, our expert and passionate Exodus Leaders and
operators are best placed to identify the greatest needs across our destination communities and hard-to-reach places, and help create the solutions. By the end of 2020, and thanks to the generosity and support of so many Exodus clients, we had been able to fund 11 initiatives across Africa, Asia and Latin America, from building bricks out of plastics waste to construct a community café, to handing out food parcels to porters and park drivers, to educating communities around preserving their wildlife, to supporting education catch up programmes. Our aim is to continue to build and extend the impact of the project across many more of our destinations communities in the year to come; we can’t visit them right now, but through the Exodus network, we can show them we’re standing with them.
“Our passionate and committed Exodus leaders and operator partners already do so much to support their local communities. At this time of greatest need, we are pleased to enable them to kickstart initiatives bringing aid and recovery to the places we have taken travellers to visit for many years. We want to show these communities they’re much in our minds and hearts as they face the significant economic impacts caused by tourism’s current halt.”
KASIA MORGAN HEAD OF SUSTAINABILITY AND COMMUNITY
Find out more at: www.exodus.co.uk/kickstart COMMUNITY KICKSTART PROJECT
Valerie Parkinson: A View from the Mountains The Himalayan region is a place close to our hearts; it’s where Exodus Travels’ journey began. Our long-standing networks there and in-depth knowledge of the region means that we can support isolated mountain communities that large aid organisations often can’t reach. This work is expertly led by Valerie Parkinson, long-standing Exodus Himalayan Tour Leader, who has been travelling amongst these communities for well over 30 years. VALERIE, WHAT DIFFICULTIES HAVE HIMALAYAN COMMUNITIES FACED SINCE COVID HIT? Many Himalayan communities survive on money earnt from working in the tourism industry. Many of our local partners and staff (local agents, leaders, guides, assistants, drivers, cooks, pony men, porters etc.) are freelance workers and come from small villages. As well as this on many of our treks we camp or stay in small locally run lodges and guest houses. Money earnt from tourism has allowed many of them to educate their children, pay for any extras or essential services such as medical help, run small businesses, and help their own communities. Since the pandemic hit, income from tourism has disappeared. There has been no government help in the Himalayan communities for those on daily wages, the most vulnerable and those with small family businesses. GIVEN THESE CHALLENGES, WHAT INITIATIVES HAVE YOU BEEN MOST PLEASED TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THIS YEAR? There have been huge challenges all over the world in this difficult time, but I am pleased to say we have been able to help in several ways in different parts of the Himalaya. The Himalayan Community Projects have always been small grass roots projects where - through our close contacts with people on the ground - we have been able to provide help where needed. During the pandemic I have kept in close contact with our partners in the Himalaya and have been able to find out how we can help.
A VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAINS
One such project has been Karma’s Food Packages initiative. As there has been no trekking in Nepal since January 2020, our local agent, Karma Lama, began baking bread to sell in Kathmandu. Any left at the end of the day he gave to homeless people who were begging for food or the rubbish collectors who were out collecting rubbish even in lockdown. With the support of the kind donations of our customers, Karma and three of our local leaders – Bikash, Sukman and Kumar - have distributed 2,500 food parcels to the needy in Kathmandu. Another project we’ve been able to launch in 2020 is our Fruit Tree Project in Ladakh. We have funded the planting of 4,250 fruit trees to provide alternative sources of income for local communities.
Due to lockdowns in India, we were worried the saplings would not be planted but thanks to a huge effort by our partners they managed to plant the saplings out in May 2020. Despite strict lockdowns in Nepal, we have also been able to continue producing and distributing Freedom Kit Bags. This project is so important for the women of Nepal, where poverty and lack of any source of income (plus lack of knowledge) often means women cannot buy sanitary protection and therefore do not go to school or work. These kit bags gives women the liberty to study, work and take part in life full time. WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DO YOU FEEL IS MOST CRUCIAL FOR COMMUNITIES ACROSS LADAKH AND NEPAL IN THE COMING YEAR? At the moment it is crucial for us to try and support communities across Ladakh and Nepal with basic necessities as well as trying to help provide an alternative source of income. Ultimately though, we are looking forward to the return of responsible tourism to these areas to properly help these communities get back on their feet. Responsible tourism will allow our local leaders and partners and everyone else involved to be able to survive doing what they are well trained to do and are passionate about. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT GETTING BACK TO THE HIMALAYA LATER THIS YEAR? I am looking forward to being able once again to share my passion of the Himalaya and responsible tourism with as many people as I can. I miss the wonderful, clear, high-altitude air of the Himalaya; there is nothing better than camping in the wilds of Ladakh in winter under a clear starlit sky knowing that outside there just might be an elusive snow leopard in the vicinity. I am also looking forward to seeing the many friends I have made over the last 35 years. The Himalaya has become a second home to me and over 35 years of leading trips, our local partners, leaders, guides, cooks, lodge owners, drivers, pony men and many other staff have become close friends. I have been privileged over the years to meet their families and spend time in their villages and I have seen how they have helped their own communities to thrive. Being involved with the planning and logistics of all the Himalayan Community Projects over many years has been a great insight into how small, well-run community projects can make a real difference.
Other projects supported in 2020: THE INCA TRAIL PORTER PROJECT, PERU Provision of food parcels to 100 families of our porters and other staff in in the Sacred Valley and Cusco.
THE KILIMANJARO PORTER PROJECT, TANZANIA Dissemination of COVID health information to 7,000 mountain crew, farming or environmental training for 50 porters and a ‘mountain clean-up’ of Kilimanjaro involving 411 mountain crew.
THE LEARNING CENTRE PROJECT, ZAMBIA Provision of access to educational opportunities and computers for 650 disadvantaged children.
THE FRUIT TREE PROJECT, INDIA Planting 4,000 fruit trees in Ladakh to provide alternative income, ground and water security, and carbon removal.
THE FREEDOM KIT BAG PROJECT, NEPAL Distribution of 200 reusable, eco-friendly sanitary protection packs alongside reproductive health education, to minimise the risk of infection whilst combating the stigma of menstruation in the wider community.
THE SANITATION PROJECT, LAOS Building 26 household sanitation blocks in Na San, so that hygiene, safety and dignity for people in the community can be restored.
DISASTER RELIEF Donations to the Australian Red Cross and WIRES following the Australian bushfires.
Find out more at: www.exodus.co.uk/foundation-projects 13
A year like no other We launched the Exodus Travels Foundation in the spring of 2019 with aspirations of raising at least £500,000 in our first three years, which we could invest in projects and initiatives that would protect the communities and environments we love to visit on our award winning adventures. As an organisation and as a team of travellers and explorers, Exodus have engaged in this type of direct action for decades. But the formation of our charitable foundation has allowed us to focus our efforts, increase transparency and deliver better on our aim of improving life in hard-to-reach places. Near enough one year after the birth of our foundation, the COVID-19 pandemic began. Travel stopped and our professional and personal lives - and those of our customers, partners, suppliers, leaders, porters, drivers and guides - ground to an abrupt halt. The economic devastation of the pandemic is a new and emerging threat to communities and wildlife that have a strong economic reliance on the tourism sector. It’s some consolation for all of us at Exodus that while we wait for a time when travel can resume, we’ve been able to render some support to communities in India, Nepal, Kenya, Peru and elsewhere through the foundation. In 2021 as travel resumes, the foundation will be focussing on offering further support to those communities most impacted, while Exodus Travels have launched our new Planet Promise, committing to reduce our carbon output, investing in carbon removal projects and promoting biodiversity through our partnership with Rewilding Europe. My heartfelt thanks to all of our customers, colleagues and suppliers who have contributed financially, or with their time and effort, to the important work of the foundation in 2020. Finally, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our trustees for their good stewardship of the foundation over a tough year.
SAM SEWARD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, EXODUS TRAVELS
CONCLUDING REMARKS CONCLUSION
Join our journey! You can donate or set up a monthly gift by going to exodus.co.uk/foundation and clicking on the ‘donate now’ button. 100% of your donation will go to our projects improving life in hard-to-reach places.
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PETER BURRELL CHAIR OF TRUSTEES
RICHARD ISAACS TREASURER
CRISTA CULLEN TRUSTEE
Until retiring from the role of Managing Director at Exodus Travels in early 2018, Peter spent decades being actively involved in adventure travel all over the world. His passion for the places he worked in led him to get involved in numerous projects aimed at improving the lives of people living in the areas tourists visit. Not least in Nepal where a local school has been named in his honour in recognition of all the work he has done there, particularly following the catastrophic 2015 earthquake.
An experienced Finance Director and travel industry professional, having worked with such notable brands as Kuoni and TUI Travel before joining Exodus, Richard has a passion for travel, development and sustainability. He is an active member in his local community (including auditing the accounts for the local primary school) and a keen cyclist.
Olympic Gold Medalist Hockey player, adventurer and conservationist, Crista is determined to change the world for the better. She already sits on the board of a number of organisations and has set up her own charity, Tofauti Foundation, empowering communities and supporting conservation in Africa. Crista brings to the board of Trustees her breadth of experience and her passion for conservation and development.
SEEKING NEW TRUSTEES This year, we are looking to add two new Trustees to the Exodus Travels Foundation board, and would like these Trustees to represent our broad, engaged community of Exodus clients and partners. If you have had previous charitable experience – either as a Trustee or Executive – and would be interested in applying for a Trustee position on the Exodus Travels Foundation board, please email Kasia Morgan, our Head of Sustainability and Community (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Exodus Travels Foundation Accounts 2020 Summary Statement of Financial Activities
Unrestricted Funds 2020
Restricted Funds 2020
Total Funds 2020
Total Funds 2019
Charitable Activities Spend
Total Funds Brought Forward
Total Funds Carried Forward
Total Resources Expended Net Movement in Funds
Reconcilliation of Funds
For more detailed accounts, please refer to the Accounts and Annual Returns section of the Exodus Travels Foundation record on the Charity Commission’s register of charities.
Find out more, and donate, online:
Registered Charity number 1182265
Principal address The Exodus Travels Foundation, DST House, St Mark’s Hill, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 4BH