Local guides, hosts, porters and their families in some of the most remote corners of the world have seen their livelihoods obliterated this year as a result of the pandemic.
In response, Much Better Adventures is committing a minimum of £10,000 for immediate aid for families identified by our local partners.
We're asking you, our amazing community of global adventurers, can you help us double it?
This relief fund will provide basic essentials like food, supplies and medicines and help develop alternative sources of income. It will be immediately distributed by our local partners in Nepal, Indonesia and Tanzania as these communities need our support straight away. It's likely we'll be adding more projects soon.
A little goes a long way: in Nepal just £25 provides enough food and essentials for one person for an entire month - £100 for a family of 4.
Every penny on top of our £10,000 raised on GoFundMe will help us to support 125 families who need us now more than ever.
1) 25 families in Nepal
Our local partners Freedom Adventures employs 25 full-time local guides and porters, and supports young locals to build careers in responsible tourism.
How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Nepal
Nepal is currently closed to tourism. The government of Nepal has currently stopped issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all nationalities. The direct impact has been felt by the trekking guides, porters and their families who depend entirely on income from adventure tourism. Bear in mind, trekking in Nepal is seasonal and what these hosts and porters earn in-season is typically what they live off for the whole year.
How will the money be spent?
A little goes a long way. £25 provides enough food and essentials for a whole month for one family member - £100 for a family of 4. £2500 would be just enough to support these 25 families for the 4 months that they anticipate needing help.
A word from the ground in Nepal
“These are very difficult times, especially for us in the tourism industry. From our perspective, we also do not think it is going to get much better anytime soon. Most of our clients are from Europe, which was the hardest hit by this virus. We can only go so long without earning an income. We aim to provide for 12 trekking guides, 6 assistant guides and 7 porters and their families. Many of the Freedom staff who work in the field (as a guide, assistance guide or porter) have progressed through the Freedom Social Foundation. This means that they are at very beginning of their career and from the rural area of Nepal, so they are not financially able to sustain their family. From our perspective, helping these individuals is our number one priority, and of course, any assistance will be greatly appreciated.” - Jagan at Freedom Adventures.
2) 80 families in Indonesia
Our local partners Wicked Adventures supports 80 families and indigenous communities in Indonesia through adventure tourism .
How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Indonesia
Indonesia is currently closed to tourism. There is no other support provided by the Indonesian government at this time beyond cutting tax obligations. As a result, many businesses have closed and the rebound will likely be slow. Wicked Adventures have had to suspend all operations until later this year with all staff on just partial salaries for the next three months. With depleted cash reserves after July, Indonesian law dictates that all staff contracts will need to be officially terminated.
How will the money be spent?
£4,500 will help the 80 affected families to get food, essential supplies, childcare needs and medicines for a month. Just £40 can support a family of 4 for a month. That's a big bag of rice, noodles, eggs, cooking oil and some basics.
A word from the ground in Indonesia
“We are used to complications and challenges, but not one like this. We have been through tsunamis, bombings, repeated volcanoes, earthquakes, riots and coups. We are resilient… and hopeful. We can and will come back in one form or another. All of us are also passionate about sharing our part of the world. This is also one of the very few sources for income in the remote communities where we operate. With all tourism and all the related income gone all donations will be going directly to supporting those in need with food, supplies, childcare needs and medicines. Our business will rebound, we will find a way but that is a matter for the future. Right now, all our efforts are finding ways to make sure these remote places are supported. The need is far greater than we expected.” - Paul at Wicked Adventures.
3) 20 families in Tanzania
Our local partners Trek2Kili supports 20 local porters and their families and have pioneered ethical tourism in Tanzania to ensure their fair and ethical treatment.
How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Tanzania
Kilimanjaro porters face the prospect of having no climbers this season. They also do not have access to the types of benefits we in other parts of the world might take for granted: severance, paid leave, unemployment insurance or even healthcare.
How will the money be spent?
Trek2Kili are setting up a sustainable agriculture project to give the 20 local porters an acre of land each to cultivate for their families. The goal is to rent one acre of farmland to produce 25 sacks of maize to eat and to sell which would then support a family for over three months. The setup of all this would be £350 per family and include land rental, tools, maize seeds, fertiliser, pesticides and irrigation facilities.
A word from the ground in Tanzania
“We are feeling for everyone during this unimaginable time in life when the future is so uncertain, particularly for our poor porters. We can help our porters to diversify their income by enabling them to cultivate sustainable crops like maize, beans and sunflower. This project can save 20 families of porters that we have identified are in great need of immediate help. These 20 porters have more than 100 members of those families. Distribution of funds will be made according to the financial status of porters’ family.” - Iza at Trek2Kili.
Funds lodged with GoFundMe are immediately accessible, so we will distribute donations as we go.
A massive, massive thank you
If you drop some money into this relief fund, we can't thank you enough.
We know our community spirit is strong: we saw that very recently with people raising thousands of pounds for all sorts of important causes by using our guide to summiting mountains on their staircases. We hope we can lean on your fantastic generosity and citizenship once more.
By helping these families in Nepal, Indonesia and Tanzania, we are also helping to preserve these amazing destinations that we hope we can all go back to sometime soon. These families are the stewards of the wild places we love to visit, and getting them back up and running is vital to supporting local conservation and bio-diversity.
If you’d like any more information about this relief fund, please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much.
Alex, Sam and Guy and the Much Better team
- Holly Smith
- Roseanna Sunley
- Sophie Davison
- Jana M