Giving back is at the heart of how Jacada Travel operates, with profits from each trip we book going to both a conservation and community charity or project. Here are just some of these charities’ achievements and successes from the past year.
Mousetrap Theatre Projects believe in the power of theatre to transform young lives. Each year they take thousands of children and young people who are disadvantaged or have special needs to see London’s top shows. They open the doors to this magical world for those who would otherwise find them closed.
Mousetrap also run an extensive range of theatre education projects in schools and youth clubs across London, designed to encourage creativity, teach new skills, develop self-esteem, boost self-confidence and raise aspirations.
This summer, Mousetrap enabled over 550 disadvantaged families to attend a theatre performance through Family First Nights, including 62 families who lost their homes in the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire. In addition to school and youth club projects, they also hosted a performance of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at The Old Vic for families with children with special needs and a family performance of Five Guys Named Moe, and supported Theatrecraft, the careers fair for young people.
Kids Saving the Rainforest, Costa Rica
Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife in and around Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica. The organisation was founded in 1999 when two nine-year-olds, Janine Licare and Aislin Livingstone, were inspired to protect the rainforest and its wildlife.
KSTR purchased sloth collars to monitor the animals once they have been released into the wild. This allows the scientists at KSTR to track the sloths, check on their wellbeing and gather valuable data that will help other wildlife release projects around the world.
The two-toed sloth, Beyoncé, is the next to be released and her enclosure has now been opened so she can go into the wild whenever she wants. Depending on her progress, sloths Bruno and Elvis may also be released soon. Kiwi is a three-toed sloth who is in the ‘bootcamp’ phase of being prepared for the wild.
The Condor Trust, Ecuador
Over the past ten years, the Condor Trust has helped over 80 young Ecuadorians attend secondary school and/or higher education. Some of the first students taken on in 2004 graduated from university in 2012 and now have professional jobs, which demonstrates how successful the whole cycle of support can be.
Jacada donations enable five young people from low- or no-income families in Ecuador to attend secondary school, paying for uniforms, books and school materials. All of them achieved high enough marks over the 2016/17 school year to allow them to pass into the next class.
In September, two of the students started their fifth and penultimate year of secondary education. For both of them, graduating from secondary school will be a tremendous achievement: no one in their families has managed this before and it will certainly transform their lives by opening up prospects either in further education or careers.
The other three young people are 14- to 16-year-olds and have just started their fourth year at secondary school. Thanks to Jacada’s contribution, all these young people have been able to buy the books and uniforms they need and also pay for transport to and from school, photocopies, drawing equipment and – importantly – have a healthy lunch every day.
Uthando, South Africa
Uthando (Love) South Africa is an innovative, non-profit and Fair Trade in Tourism-accredited company, founded by James Fernie. The aim of Uthando is to raise funds and other forms of assistance for various community development projects in South Africa.
This year, the funds Jacada Travel have donated have helped rebuild the township areas around Cape Town that were completely destroyed in a terrible fire. We donated money that was spent on 30 pairs of new ballet shoes for the NGO Zama Ballet School in the Gugulethu township, and also financially supported the creation of community gardens in various townships where organic vegetables will be grown. Contributions to Sihle Tshabalala’s coding school for underprivileged youths in Langa paid for the expensive data costs required to run the programme.
The Amy Foundation, which partners with Uthando, supports children living in poverty around Cape Town. Our most recent donations through Uthando mean that two children will be kept off the streets, with daily meals and classes to teach them essential and creative skills, for the next 12 months.
Further to donating to these projects, we also support Uthando by offering our travellers the chance to visit some of the projects themselves to better understand the issues faced by communities in South Africa and how these initiatives help.
Rhinos Without Borders, Botswana/South Africa
Faced with a devastating rise in illegal rhino poaching in South Africa, Rhinos Without Borders was formed by Great Plains Conservation and andBeyond in order to start moving these endangered animals away from poaching hotspots in South Africa to a safer environment in Botswana. They aim to move 100 rhinos in total.
The budget to translocate just one rhino is US$45,000. The whole project, including ongoing monitoring and security, requires a total budget of US$4.5 million.
Back in July, Rhinos Without Borders released a further 12 white rhinos in Botswana and in November, they moved a massive 40 more. Aside from moving the rhinos out of immediate threat of poaching, the South African rhinos also help to widen the gene pool in Botswana, which is another conservation issue tackled by the ambitious Rhinos Without Borders project.
From carbon offsetting to using green energy providers, find out how else Jacada practises responsible travel.