We really wish we could have written that line in the past tense, but sadly we can’t just yet.
As soon as it became clear that the pandemic was going to wreak havoc, we set up our Family Relief Fund and committed a minimum of £10,000 for immediate aid.
We then asked you, our amazing community of global adventurers, to help us double it. And of course, you did.
So far we have helped support over 190 families who needed some extra help this year. The power of our community is incredible.
We caught up with our partners again this week and it is clear that they are still grappling with the impacts of the pause in international tourism. More support is needed to provide what they need to get through the next few winter months.
So this December, we’re asking our incredible community of adventurers, can you get behind us in supporting them once more?
You can help do that in three ways:
Buy a giftcard
For every giftcard purchased in December, 5% of the value will be donated straight into the Family Relief Fund. Another 5% will go to important conservation projects when they book.
Make a direct donation
Every donation goes a long way. Scroll down for some examples of the impact we’ve been able to make so far.
The latest from Peru
Together, we’ve supported over 44 families in the Sacred Valley Region in Peru.
With your help, our partner Roxner and his crew at Action Peru Treks, have used the money to buy supplies like rice, noodles, beans, oil, tuna, milk, and sugar.
In the Cusco region, tourism is the lifeblood of the economy. My staff are doing anything and everything they can to make ends meet. Some staff members are working odd construction jobs or trying to do some small farming. I am doing everything I can to help them, but I no longer have the funds to support these 44 families. Any support would be well appreciated. We know that together we will get through this.
Here’s a few pictures of Roxner and his team in action…
It’s a similar situation in Northern Peru, through our partner Christian we’ve been able to support the families of 20 guides usually supported by his brilliant local trekking company, Go2Andes.
In most of the mountain villages the situation is relatively positive, strict measures are really helping to keep control of the virus, but the main hospital in Huaraz has collapsed under the pressure.
Christian puts it like this…
The coronavirus is still affecting us. Access to the trekking routes are closed. We hope things will start to improve in the new year. Next month we will start making plans to open up our trips again, and send our guides and cooks on extra training courses to ensure we can run our trips safely and securely. But we still need help to buy masks, disinfectants and continue to support the 20 families who work with us.
Elsewhere, our local partners Expedition Colombia had identified 32 families who needed support at the start of the crisis, and again, the situation there also means more is required.
We spoke to our host Jules at Expedition Colombia…
Our lack of hiking trips mean the families that work with us still need help as our borders remain closed. It would be amazing to be able to provide some kind of relief package for the local people who normally work with us. They are all victims of the civil war and tourism was a great source of hope and a sustainable income for them, which greatly helped the reconciliation and peace process in the area. There has been bookings coming through MBA for late 2021. Let’s hope we can make them happen then.
Over in Nepal, our community have helped to support 25 families. Our partner, Jagan, pictured above, sent this update in.
We are still struggling to cope with the financial crunch, and so are our staff. They went jobless for two consecutive trekking seasons, so help from the MBA community has made a massive difference. The bookings are beginning to flow but most of them are for Autumn 2021. We still need to bridge the gap. If the vaccine is approved, the bookings will rocket. We are thankful to you for your constant support over the pandemic.
Elsewhere, Iza who runs Trek2Kili in Tanzania, is also requiring further assistance in supporting the 20 families who rely solely on adventure tourism. He says…
“Me and my family are all well but to be honest, yet more support is much needed. We have not had any business since March and we have no other way to make some money for our family.
Thanks to your support our staff have managed to grow and sell crops, start farming again. Future bookings are looking promising but we still have more 7 months before we are back in business. We need support to help our staff with school fees. We can only thank the MBA team and donors for their support.
In Indonesia, 80 families and indigenous communities were supported through our local partners Wicked Adventures.
The donations went towards food, essential supplies, childcare needs and medicines for a month. Just £40 can support a family of 4 for a month there. That’s a big bag of rice, noodles, eggs, cooking oil and some basics. We want to make sure they have access to enough for the upcoming months.
We appreciate you taking the time to read and engage with this and hoping this campaign won’t be needed very soon.
Here’s to the power of community and a much better 2021 for everyone in ours.
Alex, Sam and Guy and the Much Better team