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We believe that a key part of responsible travel involves giving something back. We actively support a number of social and environmental charities and projects around the world and in the communities around our offices. This is done through donations, including fundraising by Audley staff, and through volunteer work.

Biannually, we ask our staff to nominate charities they think we should support as our charity of the year, and hold a vote on those shortlisted. We then work closely with the chosen charity over the course of two years to reach fundraising goals through the efforts of both our staff and our clients.

Charity of the year 2020 - 2021
Plastic Oceans UK

Current charities we support
Catherine Bullen Foundation, Namibia
Uthando, South Africa
Take 3 For The Sea, Australasia
The LATA Foundation, Galapagos Islands
Casa Mantay, Peru
Magic Bus, India
Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT), India
The Assafou Association, Morocco
Lumos, Europe
Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF), Mongolia
Children on the Edge, Burma/Bangladesh
STREETS International, Vietnam
Grenada School for Special Education, Grenada
The Bear ID project, Canada

Charities we’ve supported in the past
Charity of the year 2018-2019: ShelterBox
Charity of the year 2016-2017: WE Charity

Charity of the year 2020 - 2021

Plastic Oceans UK

Plastic Oceans UK aims to reduce our plastic footprint
Plastic Oceans UK aims to reduce our plastic footprint

The first UK charity focused on the environmental impact of plastics, Plastic Oceans UK has specialised in the field for a decade. Sir David Attenborough lauded its first documentary, A Plastic Ocean, as “one of the most important films of our time”.

The charity aims to empower the next generation to inspire change in their community around plastic. It creates educational material for schools designed to motivate real-life behaviour change around single-use plastics. It also works with businesses to help them reduce their plastic footprints.

To find out more, visit www.plasticoceans.uk

To donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/audleytravel

Catherine Bullen Foundation, Namibia

Catherine Bullen Foundation, Omaheke, Namibia
Catherine Bullen Foundation, Omaheke, Namibia

The Catherine Bullen Foundation works to improve the quality of life for those living in in the rural Omaheke region of Namibia, concentrating on health and education issues.

The charity is currently building a multi-purpose hall at Omuhaturua Primary School that will provide a facility for school functions, a sports and recreational area for children living in the school’s hostel, and a place for the village to hold an indoor market and community activities.

Past projects have focused on the village of Otjimanangombe, and have included refurbishing a water borehole, constructing a much-needed clinic, providing an ambulance, and adding a kitchen, dining facilities, an additional dormitory and flush toilets to the primary school. At Eiseb Primary School and Hostel, the foundation built a fully equipped kitchen, a covered dining area for 300 pupils, and a 40-bed dormitory to alleviate overcrowding.

The charity’s overhead costs are minimal, so all donations go towards its projects.

The foundation was launched in memory of Catherine by her parents, Roger and Linda, in 2003. She was a fifth-year medical student who died suddenly from severe gastroenteritis in August 2002 while in Oshivelo, Namibia.

For further information, go to www.namibia-aid.org.uk

Uthando, South Africa

Planters of the Home, one of the Cape Town projects you can visit with Uthando
Planters in the Home: an Uthando project in Cape Town, South Africa

Founded in 2007, Uthando raises funds for a broad range of community-based projects that support the most vulnerable sectors of society, in some of the most destitute areas of Cape Town.

We’ve supported a number of projects through the charity, including GCU (Greater Commission United). This project aims to keep children from the Cape Flats township off the streets by giving them a safe place to go, providing them with access to sports, tutoring, mentorships and school assistance.

Similarly, the Amy Biehl Foundation, another Uthando project, aims to empower 5 to 18 year olds by providing education and activities that offer students a healthy alternative to crime, drugs and other negative influences, and which help to unlock their creative talent.

Find out more at www.uthandosa.org

Take 3 For The Sea, Australasia

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Through education that inspires participation, Take 3 For The Sea’s aim is to remove and reduce plastics in our oceans and waterways.

Each year, an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean, killing and injuring wildlife and suffocating ecosystems. Launched in Australia in 2010 by a marine ecologist, a youth educator and an environmentalist, its plan to tackle this global issue is simple — take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach, waterway or riverside, and dispose of it thoughtfully.

Through use of social media and the hashtag #Take3ForTheSea, the movement has grown, and it now delivers school and community education programmes, arranges beach clean-ups, and promotes ethical practices surrounding our oceans.

The initiative removes approximately 10 million pieces of rubbish each year and has visited over 400 schools, educated over 350,000 students, devised early education programmes for young children to engage in ocean health, and launched a surf club around Australia combining hands-on clean-up activities with their usual lifesaving duties.

To find out more about Take 3 For The Sea, visit www.take3.org

The LATA Foundation, Galapagos Islands

One of the foundation’s projects is to reduce plastic bag use on San Christóbal in the Galapagos
One of the foundation’s projects is to reduce plastic bag use on San Christóbal in the Galapagos

The LATA Foundation is the charitable element of the Latin America Travel Association. It focuses on supporting a number of grassroots projects across both Central and South America. The foundation’s philosophy is ‘to give back to the continent we love’ by supporting social and environmental projects.

Over the past ten years, the foundation has worked with a number of different initiatives. They include habitat restoration and sustainable land use in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama, and a project to preserve and strengthen the Guaraní culture and to generate local employment through community-based tourism in northern Argentina.

A longer three-year project on the Galapagos Islands has helped deliver a youth campaign to reduce plastic bag use on San Cristóbal Island by 50%. These are all sustainable projects within communities that already have links to tourism.

The relationships that the foundation forms with the different charities running the projects begin with a comprehensive application to assess their aims, objectives, management and implementation. Once a donation is agreed, members of the foundation maintain regular contact with the specific projects to offer support and guidance if needed, and to ensure the funds are allocated effectively.

You can see a full list of the projects supported by the foundation on its website at www.latafoundation.org

Casa Mantay, Peru

Cuzco, Peru
Cuzco, Peru

Established in June 2000, Casa Mantay is a safe house for young mothers and pregnant girls.

It also employs former residents, who work in its workshop making high-quality leather goods. This not only teaches them new practical skills, but also gives them a chance to have a job and manage their own money while still having the support of the house.

When the women reach the age of 18, Casa Mantay offers them a self-contained flat within the house until they feel ready to leave. Even then, they’ll continue to receive support. Running Casa Mantay requires a large number of staff and lots of resources. Our support specifically helps to pay the wages of a full-time nurse who helps the new mothers and mothers-to-be in looking after themselves and their babies.

If you’re visiting Cuzco, you can contribute directly to Casa Mantay by purchasing goods at its shop in the Palacio del Inka hotel. Alternatively, you can donate by speaking to an Audley specialist.

Magic Bus, India

Mumbai (Bombay)
Mumbai, India

This award-winning charity helps children out of the poverty cycle by providing education and informing them about issues such as health. Youth leaders also help raise their aspirations in society, and older children are supported in career development.

Our funding is directed in two broad areas. Outreach volunteers go into local communities all over India to run sports-based activities with educational undercurrents. The main aim of this is to encourage children who aren’t currently attending school to start going regularly.

A major part of this involves educating the children on hygiene, which can impact school attendance, and improving communication and teamwork skills. Our donations also support Magic Bus’s work with young people who have left school, providing them with essential skills for employment. After finishing school, they receive three months’ further training, including work experience placements.

Once they’ve found a job, Magic Bus will further support them for six months in sustaining their employment.

To find out more, speak to one of our India specialists or visit www.magicbus.org

Tour Operators for Tigers (TOFT), India

Tiger, Ranthambhore National Park
Tiger in Ranthambhore National Park, India

This charity helps fund tiger conservation initiatives in India. If your trip includes visiting a national park in India, we include a £15 (approx. $20) per person donation to TOFT as part of your travel costs.

Projects supported through TOFT have included the Village Wildlife Guardian’s scheme, whereby local people are appointed to report conflict between tigers and farmers, and improved education for children to help them understand the importance of conservation.

To find out more about TOFT’s work visit www.toftigers.org

The Assafou Association, Morocco

Women learning textile skills in a workshop funded by the Assafou Association
Women learning textile skills in a workshop funded by the Assafou Association

This association is dedicated to building pre-school education facilities, tackling illiteracy among women living in rural areas and encouraging the preservation of rural communities in Morocco. It also helps to ensure that local people benefit from tourism in the Atlas Mountains.

Located in Al Haouz, an area of the High Atlas Mountains that’s close to Marrakesh, the association aims to build at least one school per year in remote mountain villages to enable both children and women to gain an education.

Some of the schools also have workshops to help preserve traditional skills, such as embroidery and weaving, and provide the women with extra income.

If you’d like further information, please speak to your specialist or visit www.associationassafou.org

Lumos, Europe

Lumos: campaigning to keep children with their families
Lumos: campaigning to keep children with their families

Founded by J.K. Rowling, Lumos’s aim is to put an end to harmful orphanages and work to improve education, health and social care systems so children can stay with their families.

An estimated eight million children worldwide live in orphanages, but many of them aren’t actually orphans. Globally, many families are forced to put their children in orphanages or other institutes due to poverty, discrimination, war or natural disaster. But, if given the right support, many of these families could continue to care for their children.

More than 80 years of research proves that growing up in an institution often harms a child’s development. Lumos works with international donors, governments and local communities to redirect funds from these institutions towards education and social services, so that children can be raised in more supportive environments.

It provides training for professionals so they’re able to deliver better care, as well as helping to replace orphanages with community-based services.

Lumos also works to encourage the European Commission to establish regulations that ensure funding to member states goes towards community services, not to the renovation or construction of juvenile institutes. It aims to eradicate these orphanages and institutions by 2050.

To find out more about Lumos's work, visit www.wearelumos.org

Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF), Mongolia

Traditional Mongolian ger
Traditional Mongolian ger

CNCF is dedicated to helping children in need by providing education, medical care, social opportunities and job placements.

Located in Mongolia’s capital, Ulaan Baatar, the foundation conducts outreach work in and around the city. It offers housing for poor and single-parent families as well as medical care, shelter and schooling for street children.

The charity’s Sunshine Ger Village comprises residential gers (traditional felt tents) and other facilities which create a home for 60 children and young adults ranging in age from 2 to 24 years old. Each residential ger is staffed by an adopted ger mother, often a single parent herself, who creates a loving home for all the children within her care.

At school age, the children are enrolled alongside their peers at the local district school. It means they can learn within the community and gain qualifications.

Children below school age attend the foundation’s kindergarten adjacent to the ger village, which also serves the wider community.

As part of its outreach work in the capital, CNCF also administers the Give a Ger fund, an emergency fund established to provide families in danger of becoming homeless with a secure and comfortable place to live. This has proved an essential lifeline for many in a country renowned for its harsh winters.

To find out more, speak to one of our Mongolia specialists or visit www.cncf.org

Children on the Edge, Myanmar/Bangladesh

Kutupalong Learning Centre, Bangladesh (© Jack Hill)
Kutupalong Learning Centre, Bangladesh (© Jack Hill)

This UK-based charity supports children all around the world who are living on the edge of their societies. The charity’s work has included providing long-term support to the refugee Rohingya community in Bangladesh, delivering an education to thousands of refugee children.

There were already an estimated 400,000 Rohingya seeking refuge in Bangladesh before the attacks by the Myanmar (Burma) military in August 2017, which forced an additional 700,000 refugees into the border camps.

Without support, children are ill-equipped to cope with the daily challenges of living in the camps, unable to process the trauma they have been through, and lack preparation for an uncertain future.

Children on the Edge immediately began to work with people in the makeshift Kutupalong Camp to provide more classrooms for their children. It also employs and trains both Bangladeshi and Rohingya teachers, helping to deliver basic education, healthcare, nutritional support and creative opportunities for around 7,500 vulnerable Rohingya refugee children.

Future work will focus on providing longer-term education and stability for children in the Kutupalong Camp.

STREETS International, Vietnam

Boats mooring in Hoi An
Hoi An, Vietnam

STREETS International is an innovative social enterprise initiative that aims to develop and operate sustainable projects that prepare vulnerable, orphaned and other disadvantaged young people across Southeast Asia for careers in hospitality.

The first STREETS Restaurant Café and Training Center opened in Hoi An, Vietnam, in 2009. Since then, it’s helped more than 100 young adults. Of the first two graduating classes, 100% of students were employed within months of graduation at some of the best resorts and restaurants in central Vietnam.

If you’re visiting Vietnam and you’d like to see the project in action, we can arrange for you to visit the STREETS Restaurant Café. Donations are gratefully accepted by the charity.

To find out more about STREETS, please ask your Southeast Asia specialist or visit www.streetsinternational.org

Grenada School for Special Education, Grenada

Harbour, St George's, Grenada
Harbour, St George's, Grenada

Based in St George’s, the capital of Grenada, the school caters for developmentally delayed students: one of only three schools on this Caribbean island to do so. The children at the school are cognitively delayed, autistic or have Down’s Syndrome or other developmental issues.

The school has 76 children and a staff of 16, including teaching and ancillary staff. It teaches functional academic subjects as well as skills such as woodwork, gardening, home economics, art, crafts and sewing, with the aim of preparing the students to be as independent as possible.

Our support is helping to improve the physical structure and conditions of the school, such as repairing blackboards, painting classrooms and updating the playground equipment. We’re also helping the school to work towards its longer-term aim of adding an extra wing to its building.

The Bear ID project, Canada

Grizzly Bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska
Grizzly Bears in Katmai National Park, Alaska

The Bear ID Project is a collaboration of conservation scientists, software developers and volunteers developing grizzly bear facial recognition technology to support conservation work.

Based on human facial recognition software, the project aims to develop and integrate bear-recognition technology with conventional camera-trap imagery to enable scientists and researchers to better identify individual grizzly bears. Part of the challenge is that the physical appearance of bears changes considerably throughout the year. The Bear ID Project aims to overcome this, opening the door for new ways to measure and monitor grizzly bear populations that are more cost-efficient and require less time and resources than current techniques.

If successful, this technology could apply to research undertaken on other wildlife species, leading to more accurate, efficient and wide-ranging conservation methods the world over.

You can read more about the project online at www.bearresearch.org. You can also contribute to the grizzly bear image database by uploading your own bear images to www.bearresearch.org/call-to-action.

Charities we’ve supported in the past

Charity of the year 2018-2019: ShelterBox

Shelterbox delivering aid in Ethiopia
ShelterBox delivering aid in Ethiopia

Since 2000, ShelterBox has helped more than one million people rebuild their lives after natural disaster or conflict has left them homeless. ShelterBox supplies emergency shelter and essential tools for families who have lost everything, in the form of their ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits.

Equipped with these emergency supplies, families can start to repair their homes and rebuild their lives straight away. The charity delivers aid to some of the most remote communities in the world.

Over a two year period Audley raised £128,745 for ShelterBox.

Charity of the year 2016-2017: WE Charity

Carrying water from the river, Me to We Kenya
Carrying water from the river, WE Charity, Kenya

WE Charity (formerly Free The Children) works with communities around the world to help them overcome poverty. With staff and client support we raised just over £86,500 ($113,950).