April 15, 2008 - We're delighted to announce that in 2007, our non profit foundation, Planeterra raised more than US$200,000 for projects around the world. The foundation’s holistic approach aims to provide socio-economic means for local people to help improve themselves and their communities.
Initiatives ranged from supporting community resources such as a pre-school in South Africa, a home for street children in Peru, funding research on the effects of climate change on polar bears in the Arctic and studying declining numbers of Albatross in the Antarctic.
Bruce Poon Tip, founder of G Adventures and Planeterra, explained, “Part of our mission statement is to never forget what really makes our company and programs unique. It’s about community, people and cultural exchange. It is our duty to show ultimate respect for the privilege we all have with modern international travel.”
Planeterra Highlights from 2007:
Peru: House Purchase for Street Orphans
Upon learning the current home in Cuzco was under threat of closure, Planeterra managed to raise US$145,000 over a two year span and is looking forward to completing the purchase of the building in 2008.
Honduras: Micro Finance provided for Women to Start Businesses
Providing short-term loans in the wake of Hurricane Mitch, Planeterra helped 20 women throughout 2007 set-up small businesses to begin providing for themselves and their families, bringing the total number helped through this programme to 63.
South Africa: Helping to Build a Pre-School in South Africa
Planeterra covered the cost of the school’s roof to complete a project to build a pre-school for the Shalati community in South Africa. With many of these children having lost one or both parents due to HIV/AIDS the school is a vital resource for the local community.
Arctic: Researching the Effect of Climate Change on Polar Bears
Planeterra’s US$10,000 donation is helping fund a project for better understanding of the effects of global warming and pollution on polar bears and their fragile ecosystem and has been able to fund fieldwork and the cost of an on-ship lab analysis of 50 polar bears. It will also fund the fieldwork of one PhD student as well. This support will contribute to the success of the overall goals of showing the current health status of polar bears in the Svalbard region.
Antarctic: Helping to Save Endangered Albatross
Planeterra raised USD$25,000 to research the sources of Albatross mortality, in order to educate the fishing industry in an effort to turn the tide on the declining numbers of Albatross on South Georgia Island in Antarctica.
Tibet: Tibetan Eye Camp Project
In 2007, G Adventures raised US$15,000 to fund an eye camp which will be held in September 2008. It is estimated that this eye camp will provide sight-restoring operations to over 300 people with cataracts, as well as screening for thousands more. The government has committed to gathering patients and providing free transportation for participants. An experienced team of eye care specialists along with medical supplies will be sent to perform the surgeries.
Peru: Earthquake Victims Receive Massive Support
G Adventures and Planeterra acted swiftly through its ground operations in Peru after an enormous earthquake struck the region. With support from G Adventures’ travellers, local staff, tour leaders, guides, hotels, and operators, G Adventures quickly collected donations of clothing, several tons of food, water, blankets, tents, sleeping bags and cooking supplies and had them delivered directly to those in need. In addition to supplies G Adventures donated locally, it also managed to raise over US$97,000 which was donated directly to the Red Cross.