What do at-risk women and elephants have in common?
They are often victims of exploitation. Their freedom is constrained. And they are frequently denied their right to be 'wild'.
At the Chai Lai Orchid, we are fighting against the injustices that both women and elephants face.
The ChaiLaiOrchid.com is a small eco lodge located in Northern Thailand, just outside of Chiang Mai. We are a social business whose entire proceeds go towards two main causes: our non-profit Daughters Rising and rescuing Asian elephants.
Daughters Rising prevents human trafficking by empowering those most at risk. It does this through a hospitality training program (run out of the eco lodge), providing scholarships for women to go to school, putting women through tour guide licensing and training, and educating women through an empowerment curriculum.
In the past 5 years Daughters Rising has put 50+ women through the empowerment curriculum, sent 15+ girls to school, 4 women through their guide training, and given 20,000 USD + in microloans for women to start their own businesses. One of the graduates of the program, Nukul Jorlopo, even went on to open her own eco lodge and elephant rescue called Chai Lai Sisters.
The Elephant Rescue
Chai Lai Orchid was originally founded to fund Daughters Rising. But with our close proximity to an elephant camp, we could not ignore the plight of captive elephants in Thailand. We expanded the mission of CLO to include rescuing elephants from abuse and to take part in elephant conservation.
In November of this year, we celebrated a huge victory of gaining custody over 11 more Asian elephants (in addition to Chai Lai Sisters elephants) that had previously been rented out to an abusive tour company that was using them for back-breaking labor 12 hours a day.
Under our care, the elephants experience ethical treatment and have much healthier, happier lives. However, the elephants' owner will only continue renting us the elephants if we pay a very high cost to prevent him from renting them out to an unethical tour company again.
Our work with the elephants has been both inspected and commended by many of the leaders in elephant conservation.
Why We Need Your Help
This is our current situation:
We need to raise 15,525 USD per month to keep the elephants we care for safe and from returning to the custody of an abusive tour company.
With your help we can pay for the elephants and allow the proceeds of the Chai Lai Orchid to once again go towards our Daughters Rising program.
With your donations, we will fund the food, vet visits and renting the elephants.
With the burden of paying for the elephants temporarily lifted, we can focus our efforts on making Chai Lai Orchid a successful social business. This success will mean sustainable funding for Daughters Rising and the elephants too.
We don’t want the elephants or the women to be left behind. But, the reality is that without your help, these 9 full grown elephants and their 3 babies will be forced into giving chair rides 12 hours a day.
Please donate and be part of the mission to rescue elephants and empower women. Sustainable tourism will change the future, but we need to invest first in order to see these positive, long-lasting outcomes.
Who are the elephants? Meet Moka Paw
Moka Paw is a 45 year- old Asian elephant. She loves eating bananas and sliding in the mud. She was born in a peaceful Karen village, but the owner couldn’t afford the 150 kilos of food each day to feed her
The Karen are a hill tribe spanning across Thailand and Myanmar. Villages are usually very remote so there are no jobs to earn an income. Moka Paw's owner rented her to an elephant camp which offered rides for tourists. She started work when she was just two years old and she worked all day every day of her life without a single day off. She had to carry a heavy chair and 3 people on her back from sun up to sun down.
Last year, Moka Paw’s health suddenly started to decline. The owner was heartbroken. He searched for an ethical camp that would look after her and not make her wear a chair; but, He couldn’t find one. She started to go blind and deaf and the owner could not afford to bring her to a vet to get medical care.
The camp she worked for became rich and successful but she never got anything in return. Greed causes elephants to be treated purely like money making machines. They are confined to enclosures and painfully separated from their babies. Elephants at these camps work a 12+ hour work day parading tourists around, getting stabbed with nails so that they obey commands without tourists seeing a bullhook. They receive no medical attention, have little time to eat, work in intensely hot conditions, and never get a day off. This is life 365 days a year for most elephants in South-East Asia.
Donate to help elephants like Moka Paw now.
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