Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos

The Importance of Giving Back

At Kipling & Clark, we always offer our clients a unique, carefully thought out humanitarian dimension as an option during their trip. Please note the various organizations and projects we work with in supporting peoples of need. Dependent upon the client’s destination, we integrate a donation or local altruistic activity to/with one of the following various organizations we work with: Doctors Without Borders, Southeast Asia Water Well/school/rural village donation visits, Charles Darwin Foundation, and Wilderness Wildlife Trust.

Charles Darwin Foundation

Following our first visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in 2014 (Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos), we were much impressed with their hands-on work protecting the unique wildlife of this fragile ecosystem.

The Charles Darwin Foundation’s (CDF) research projects are based on a long-term set of conservation priorities coordinated with the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) and officially approved and monitored by the CDF’s Board of Directors. Our work focuses on three areas: Invasive Species, Sustainability and Conservation Management.

Invasive species are the number one threat to Galapagos ecosystems and biodiversity. Over the last 20 years, there has been a constant increase in visitors, goods, boats, and airplanes arriving at the islands. In addition, inter-island mobility between inhabited and/or uninhabited islands has increased the risk of arrival, spread and establishment of exotic and potentially invasive species. Key problem areas are invertebrates (ants, flies, mosquitoes), vertebrates (mammals and birds), plants and marine invasive species.

Charles Darwin Foundation scientists work closely with local institutions specializing in the regulation, control, and management of invasive species. Their team provides partners with scientific knowledge to understand and overcome the most serious of threats.

Economic growth in Galapagos is estimated to be close to 20% per annum (CI, 2014, matriz de compatibilidad social). The main sectors of activity are tourism, fishing, agriculture, and construction. These activities are being developed under the framework of the new Ecuadorian constitution that includes the concept of the “rights of nature” and a national plan for Good Living (“buen vivir” in Spanish).

As scientific advisor to the Ecuadorian Government, the CDF is focused on developing research which aims to better understand the impacts of economic-driven activities on Galapagos ecosystems. The Charles Darwin Foundation provides our partners with scientific information on topics such as sustainable fisheries, agriculture, and ecological restoration programs.

(a) We aim to support the Galapagos National Park’s need for information to carry out conservation management within the protected areas of Galapagos (encompassing both the National Park and the Marine Reserve). Our research is centered on three programs within this area:
Protection of endangered species with a current focus on understanding and reducing the threats affecting small land birds in Galapagos.

(b) Monitoring of emblematic and vulnerable species in Galapagos.

(c) Innovation tools to develop conservation applications.

Doctors Without Borders

Based on its truly global reach (in 70 countries) providing crucial medical assistance and in areas of epidemics, natural disaster, and other crisis situations, we have always been big fans of the work of Doctors Without Borders. Amid the Parisian upheavals of May 1968, a group of young doctors decided to go and help victims of wars and major disasters. This new brand of humanitarianism would reinvent the concept of emergency aid. They were to become Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), known internationally in English as Doctors Without Borders. After the revolt of May ’68 burst onto their black and white TV screens, the French public soon saw other, more frightening images. For the first time, television broadcast scenes of children dying from hunger in remote corners of the world. Following the doctor’s first intervention in Biafra, Nigeria, their altruistic endeavors have continued worldwide.

Doctors Without Borders was on the front line of the initial 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Liberia/Guinea/Sierra Leone, long before the disease became more widely known. Doctors Without Borders is especially active in Africa (Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and South Africa) and Asia (Myanmar/Burma, Cambodia, India).

Southeast Asia Donation Visits

We work with several organizations and offer various hands-on giving back opportunities for our clients traveling to Southeast Asia. Many of our clients, particularly our younger ones, find these activities eye-opening and heartwarming, a real-world contrast to their privileged life back in the U.S. Past clients have frequently mentioned the impact these experiences have had on their entire family. Among ways to meet directly the people benefitted are water well donations to local villages, visits to various rural school and orphanages, along with pre-arranged supplies of notebooks, school supplies, and high-grade rice.

Among our most treasured Lynch family memories have been our various visits to rural villages in the outlying areas of Cambodia, Laos, and Burma. A visit to an obscure village an hour drive outside Siem Reap was particularly unforgettable. After purchasing several bags of 50 kg. high-quality rice and a number of kids’ coloring books/pencils/school supplies, our trusted guide and driver (Tru and Polo) steered us to one of the most underdeveloped and neediest village enclaves of Cambodia. Noticing a frail, elderly woman weaving baskets in front of her dilapidated stilted house, we decided to make a random stop to introduce ourselves and meet the family. Within a few minutes, many of her extended family members and nearby neighbors stopped by for a look-see. We happily unloaded our rice bags, kids’ treats and school supplies and played guardian angels to these warm, heartfelt people.

The beaming, smiling faces of the beautiful young children left an indelible mark on our travels; they were truly grateful and thankful for this remarkable day. Perhaps the most touching moment of the day was the elderly woman’s reaction to the surprise rice + school supplies brought to her village…tears of pure joy!

Wilderness Wildlife Trust

We are big believers in South Africa based non-profit Wilderness Wildlife Trust. WWT manages a variety of anti-poaching, community education, and conservations projects (over 30) in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Zambia's Nakatinidi Community & School

The Nakatindi Village, located about 3 miles from Zambia’s Sussi & Chuma Lodge, borders Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, its people living with the human-wildlife conflict every day. The tourism industry benefits communities like Nakatindi Village since it is an industry that relies on their continued willingness to coexist with wildlife. Experienced by several of our clients in 2016, our Lynch Family looks forward to visiting the Nakatindi Village and seeing the community efforts firsthand. During the trip, Zen and her friend Sophia will work on a video showing the positive impact of philanthropy efforts in the area.

With support from Sussi & Chuma guests, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy has given significant support to Nakatindi Primary School. Efforts include renovating existing facilities such as classrooms, building a new school kitchen, and expanding the school’s vegetable garden to generate income and supplement the children’s diets. Every day, lunch is provided to 850 students. Graduating students also each receive bicycles to aid them in the 4 mile trip to their secondary schools.

Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy also works to educate children about wildlife and natural resource protection efforts. Through various events, workshops, and excursions such as Rhino Watch Trips, children see a variety of wildlife including white rhino and elephants, gaining an understanding of the threats facing these species and the importance of their protection. The hope is that these programs encourage future conservationists and ambassadors for wildlife protection.

With help from generous guest donations, Sanctuary has built a much-needed medical clinic within the Nakatindi Community in 2013. The clinic addresses the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Nakatindi community. Around 50 people are served each day and the clinic takes an active role in prevention efforts. The next step in expanding the clinic is building a maternity ward in order to make labor and delivery safer for both mother and infants and will reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child.

While in Zambia, a visit to the Chipego Bike Shop is a must. A social enterprise, the shop provides bicycles and mechanical support for local healthcare workers, students, and customers throughout the community. The proceeds, aside from helping to maintain the shop, are being reinvested by the owners back into the community. This program not only creates employment opportunities but empowers women, generates income for a rural village and provides affordable mobility for a community. The Nakatindi Health Committee, who were the recipients of 15 bikes, have seen a big improvement in the number of patients their outreach workers are able to visit in a week, aiding in the provision of vital healthcare services. In the past few years, women-run bike shops providing the same opportunities have popped up over Africa, including the Dipetsana Bike Shop in Botswana.